A transmission fluid change is something that will be necessary at some point for nearly every vehicle with an automatic transmission. But why?
A transmission fluid change consists of letting the transmission fluid drain out of a transmission and then replacing it with new fluid. At Mister Transmission, we drain the old fluid into a pan and then examine it. A burnt or foul smell could be indicative of a larger problem than simple wear and tear. Furthermore, while some particulate matter is to be expected, too much is a sign of a problem. Lastly, it’s beneficial to replace the filter at this time.
Automatic transmissions, which account for a strong majority in Canada, need automatic transmission fluid to lubricate and cool the inner components. Transmission fluid also cleans and protects metal components within the transmission as well as helping to increase rotational speed and temperature range. Synthetic transmission fluids are generally best, though your manufacturer’s manual should recommend one or more types of transmission fluid.
Transmission fluid that’s burnt or worn out cannot effectively lubricate and cool a transmission. Furthermore, if there are many small minerals and metals in the fluid, they can damage the other components of the transmission. Replacing such fluid with new fluid means that your transmission will be lubricated and cooled properly, thus increasing its efficiency, lengthening its running life, and minimizing the potential of future transmission problems.
When you check your transmission fluid (something you should ideally be doing monthly) you should be checking for two things. First, you want to ensure the fluid reaches the recommended marking on your dipstick. If not, your transmission fluid needs a top up. Second, inspect the quality of your transmission fluid. Good fluid is largely odourless and translucent (with a reddish hue). Bad transmission fluid tends to be opaque or foul smelling. If this is the case, you need a transmission fluid change.
Manual transmissions might use motor oil, or something called transmission oil or “heavyweight hypoid gear oil”. Some manual transmissions also use regular automatic transmission fluid. Because all these fluids generally serve the same function as automatic transmission fluid does in automatic transmissions, they should also be changed out of a manual transmission periodically.
At Mister Transmission, we’re happy to perform transmission fluid changes, and any other transmission fluid related services, to our clients. To learn more about transmission fluid changes, please contact us. We have a comprehensive COVID-19 policy to keep everybody safe.