Transmission fluid is a crucial component of any car’s transmission system. It helps lubricate the gears and other moving parts within the transmission, prevents rust and corrosion, acts as a coolant to keep the transmission from overheating, and helps transmit power from the engine to the wheels. However, over time, the transmission fluid can break down and become less effective in protecting your transmission. That’s why it’s essential to change the fluid and filter regularly. In this article, we’ll discuss when you should change your car’s transmission fluid and filter, the importance of doing so, and what a comprehensive transmission service typically involves.
What is Transmission Fluid and Filter?
Before we delve into when you should change your transmission fluid and filter, let’s first discuss what they are. Transmission fluid is a type of lubricant that helps keep your transmission running smoothly. It’s usually a bright red colour and has a distinctive smell. Transmission fluid has many important functions, including:
- Lubricating the gears and other moving parts within the transmission
- Preventing rust and corrosion within the transmission
- Acting as a coolant to keep the transmission from overheating
- Helping to transmit power from the engine to the wheels
The transmission filter is responsible for filtering out any contaminants or debris that may have found their way into the transmission fluid. It helps keep the transmission fluid clean and functioning optimally. Over time, the filter can become clogged with debris, making it less effective in filtering out contaminants. This can lead to decreased performance and potentially costly damage to the transmission.
When Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid and Filter?
The general recommendation for changing transmission fluid and filter is every 48,000 to 96,000 kilometres or every two to three years. However, this can vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model, how you drive, and the conditions in which you drive. Here are some signs that it may be time to change your transmission fluid and filter:
- Difficulty Shifting Gears
If you’re having trouble shifting gears or notice a delay in the shifting process, it may be time to change your transmission fluid and filter. As transmission fluid breaks down over time, it becomes less effective in lubricating the gears, making it harder for them to shift smoothly. A clogged filter can also cause similar issues as it restricts the flow of fluid through the transmission.
- Slipping Gears
If your car is slipping gears, it may be a sign that your transmission fluid and filter are not doing their job correctly. When transmission fluid breaks down, it can cause the gears to slip, making it difficult to maintain speed or acceleration. A clogged filter can also cause slipping gears as the transmission pump may not be able to get enough fluid to the gears.
- Leaking Transmission Fluid
If you notice red fluid on your driveway or in your garage, it may be a sign that your transmission fluid is leaking. Leaking fluid can lead to a loss of lubrication and cause damage to the transmission. A clogged filter can also cause fluid to leak as the pressure buildup within the transmission can cause seals to fail.
- Unusual Sounds
If you hear unusual sounds coming from your transmission, such as grinding or whining, it may be a sign that your transmission fluid and filter need changing. Unusual sounds can be an indicator that your transmission is not properly lubricated or that the filter is clogged, causing restricted fluid flow.
If your car’s transmission is overheating, it can cause serious damage to the transmission. Overheating can be caused by a lack of lubrication, which can be due to old or dirty transmission fluid. If your car’s transmission is overheating, it’s essential to have it checked out by a professional mechanic.
Why is Changing Your Transmission Fluid & Filter Important?
In addition to changing the transmission fluid, it’s also essential to change the transmission filter during a transmission service. The transmission filter is responsible for removing any contaminants or debris that may have entered the transmission fluid. Over time, these contaminants can build up and cause damage to the transmission, leading to costly repairs.
Changing the transmission filter, along with the fluid, helps to ensure that your transmission is properly protected and operating smoothly. Here are some reasons why changing your transmission fluid and filter is so important:
- Maintains Proper Lubrication
Transmission fluid serves as a lubricant for the gears and other moving parts within the transmission. If the fluid becomes contaminated, it can lose its effectiveness and fail to provide the necessary lubrication. Changing both the fluid and the filter ensures that the fluid remains clean and effective at protecting the transmission components.
- Improves Transmission Performance
When the transmission filter becomes clogged with debris, it can restrict the flow of fluid through the transmission. This can lead to sluggish shifting, poor acceleration, and reduced fuel efficiency. By changing the filter, you can improve the performance of your transmission and restore its smooth operation.
- Extends Transmission Lifespan
A transmission is a complex and expensive component to replace. Regular transmission service, including changing the fluid and filter, can extend the lifespan of your transmission and help you avoid costly repairs or replacement. Over time, the transmission filter can become clogged and cause damage to the transmission. By changing the filter and fluid, you can help prevent this damage and keep your transmission running smoothly for longer.
- Prevents Contamination
The transmission filter is responsible for removing contaminants and debris from the transmission fluid. If the filter becomes clogged, it can no longer effectively remove these particles. This can lead to damage to the transmission components, reducing the lifespan of the transmission. By changing both the fluid and filter, you can ensure that the transmission fluid remains clean and free of contaminants, protecting the transmission from damage.
Is Changing Your Transmission Oil Necessary on Transmission Service?
While changing your transmission fluid and filter is important, it’s also essential to change the transmission oil as part of a comprehensive transmission service. Transmission oil is a lubricant that is specifically formulated for use in the transmission. Like transmission fluid, it helps to lubricate the gears and other components within the transmission, as well as protect against rust and corrosion, as well as helping keep the transmission cool and preventing it from overheating. This is advised if your vehicle consists of a clutch plate, however if your car has both differential oil and transmission oil, then differential oil replacement is advised.
Over time, however, transmission oil can break down, becoming less effective at protecting your transmission. This can lead to increased wear and tear on your transmission, which can result in expensive repairs down the line. That’s why it’s important to change your transmission oil regularly as part of a comprehensive transmission service.
When you bring your car in for a transmission service, your mechanic will typically drain the old transmission oil and replace it with new, fresh oil. This helps to ensure that your transmission is properly lubricated and protected against wear and tear.
In order to check for wear of the clutch plate, inspection of the transmission oil is done. Usually if the transmission oil appears to contain shining debris, this would indicate an issue with your clutch plate. This can easily be fixed by our transmission services, ensuring no further issues will arise.
Overall, changing your transmission oil as part of a comprehensive transmission service is crucial to the health and longevity of your transmission. It helps to ensure that your transmission is properly lubricated and protected against wear and tear, which can help prevent expensive repairs down the line. If you’re due for a transmission service or are experiencing any issues with your transmission, be sure to bring your car in to a trusted mechanic who can help diagnose and fix the issue.
In conclusion, the transmission system is one of the most crucial components of your vehicle, and taking care of it is essential for your car’s longevity and performance. Regularly changing your car’s transmission fluid, transmission oil, and transmission filter is an integral part of maintaining a healthy transmission system.
Transmission fluid lubricates the gears and moving parts within the transmission, prevents rust and corrosion, acts as a coolant, and helps transmit power from the engine to the wheels. When the transmission fluid breaks down over time, it can lead to various issues such as difficulty shifting gears, slipping gears, leaking fluid, unusual sounds, and overheating.
Changing your transmission fluid and filter regularly helps to ensure that your transmission runs smoothly, extends the life of your transmission, and improves your car’s fuel efficiency. It’s also essential to change the transmission oil during a comprehensive transmission service to ensure that the new fluid is not contaminated by old oil. A full transmission service also includes inspecting the transmission for any damage or wear and adjusting any necessary components to ensure that your transmission is running smoothly.
Ultimately, investing in regular transmission maintenance is much more cost-effective than waiting until you’re faced with costly transmission repairs or replacements. At European Prestige Auto Service, our expert technicians use only the highest quality transmission fluids and perform thorough inspections to keep your transmission system in top condition. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of your vehicle’s transmission. Contact us today to schedule a transmission service appointment and keep your car running smoothly for years to come.