You’re supposed to change your transmission fluid every so often. But is that something you really need to concern yourself with? Just how important is it too change your transmission fluid?
If transmission fluid is so important, we should probably all know what it is, right? Automatic transmission fluid (often just called “transmission fluid”) lubricates the components inside a vehicle’s transmission. Automatic transmission fluid also acts as a coolant. Not all automatic transmission fluids are the same, but synthetic fluids are often superior. In any event, your vehicle’s operating manual might indicate a recommended fluid for you. Automatic transmissions use automatic transmission fluid, as the name suggests. Manual transmissions can also use automatic transmission fluid, but they might also use regular motor oil or a transmission oil known sometimes called “heavyweight hypoid gear oil”. In addition to lubrication and cooling, transmission fluid can also clean and protect metal components, condition gaskets, and increase rotational speed and temperature range.
You definitely need to check your transmission fluid regularly and you will almost certainly need to top up your transmission fluid. At Mister Transmission, we urge our customers to err on the side of caution and check their transmission fluid every month. This will mean you can catch problems early on and also, it’s just good to get into a routine. Take ten minutes on the first Sunday of every month, for example, and check your transmission fluid.
You’re checking for two things. First, you’re checking the level of your fluid. If the fluid doesn’t reach the recommended level on your dipstick, you need to top it up. The second thing to check for is quality. Healthy transmission fluid is largely odourless and largely translucent (with a reddish tinge). If your transmission fluid smells bad or if it is discoloured, then there might be something wrong with your transmission. In this case, you might need to change your transmission fluid.
If something looks to be wrong with your transmission fluid, bring it in to Mister Transmission for an inspection. We will look to see what the issue is, and we can change your fluid while we’re at it. But even if you don’t notice any issues, changing your transmission fluid every so often is a good practice. Every two or three years, change your fluid or bring it in for a change to ensure that your transmission is running at peak efficiency.