When conducting a transmission oil change, it’s important to get it right, but everybody makes mistakes, so here are four common errors to avoid.
The first mistake concerns nomenclature. Transmission fluid typically refers to automatic transmission fluid, or ATF. Automatic transmissions use ATF. And, somewhat confusingly, some manual transmissions also use ATF.
However, other manual transmissions use a type of oil. This could be regular engine or motor oil, hypoid gear oil, or transmission oil. Assuming your vehicle still has its original transmission, your owner’s manual should dictate which type of oil is best for your manual transmission. If you’re not sure, bring your vehicle into Mister Transmission and we can inspect your transmission and let you know.
Whatever type of fluid or oil your transmission needs, it performs the same basic function, which is similar to the function of motor oil in gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. Transmission oil lubricates and cools the transmission. Without enough oil, it’s easy for the transmission to overheat. This can cause lasting—and expensive—damage.
Most vehicles in Canada use automatic transmissions, so if you’re new to manual transmissions, you’re not alone. One mistake drivers of manual transmission vehicles often make is assuming that the fluid change interval is the same; it isn’t. The recommended change interval for manual transmissions is typically a bit shorter for manual transmissions, about every 48,000–80,000 km. Again, your owner’s manual should have a more specific recommendation.
Whether it’s transmission fluid or oil, many people tend to focus on quantity over quality. They assume it’s a matter of fluid levels and if the level is below the recommended line, they top it up. And that’s great, but what about the quality of the oil? If it smells burnt or looks discoloured, there could be something wrong with your transmission. If you think there’s something wrong with your transmission oil, bring your vehicle into Mister Transmission and we can check it out.
At this point you might be thinking, “OK, but how do I check my transmission oil?”. That’s a fair question, but the answer depends on your model of transmission. Come to Mister Transmission for any of your transmission needs.
At Mister Transmission, we are transmission experts. Please get in touch with us today to schedule a transmission inspection, maintenance service, or repair.