How To Know Your Car's Transmission Fluid Needs Changing

Posted on: 23 June 2018

The transmission fluid is the blood of your car; it ensures that the transmission system is safe and efficient. Don't forget that the transmission system is one of the most expensive parts of the car to replace in case of catastrophic failure. That is why you should always replace the transmission fluid when necessary; delays can be dangerous. Here are some tips to ensure your car always has a good transmission fluid.

Use the Manufacturer's Recommendation

For most car issues, including transmission fluid quality, it's best to follow the manufacturer's recommendation. Therefore, check your car's manual and adhere to the frequency advocated for by the manufacturer. It's important to note that you should check your exact car's manual since recommendations may differ by model variations. The fluid change recommendation is often determined by the number of miles; for example, you may be advised to change the fluid after covering 30,000 miles. The recommendation cannot be based on the number of days because the transmission only works when the engine is running.

Use the Dipstick

The manufacturer's recommendation relies on some assumptions that may not be necessarily true for your case. For example, you may find that the recommendation only applies to cases where the car is properly maintained and is bearing average load. However, your usage of the car may be markedly different from such conditions. For example, you may be used to towing extremely heavy loads, which makes your transmission work harder than normal.

Therefore, you need to use the dipstick to check the level and condition of the transmission fluid regularly. The transmission fluid is okay if it reaches the "Full" line, and it should be pinkish and almost clear, but not darkish.

Check During Routine Maintenance

It is also advisable to check the quality and level of the transmission fluid during routine maintenance of the car. Therefore, whenever you take the car out for a service, even for an issue unrelated to the transmission problem, ask them to check the transmission fluid too. That way you will be able to catch transmission fluid problems in time.

Watch Out For Signs of Transmission Problems

Lastly, you should always be on the lookout for telltale signs of transmission fluid problems. Watch out for signs of transmission slipping, erratic shifting, and gear slipping. Note that the same issues may be caused by other transmission issues, so a professional diagnosis is warranted.

Hopefully, the tips above will help protect your car's transmission system. Don't forget to consult a transmission mechanic immediately if you suspect there is a problem with the transmission system.