Transmission fluid plays several key roles within your vehicle. It acts as a hydraulic fluid, lubricant, coolant and a substance that cleans your car’s internal transmission parts. Like all fluids, its additives break down with time from heat, use and various contaminants. If you don’t change it within a certain timeframe, its poor and degrading quality may be behind shifting, slippage and overheating issues.
While many drivers try to get their oil changed regularly, transmission fluid frequently falls on the back burner until serious problems emerge, and you’ve got to take your car in for repairs.
When to Change Your Transmission Fluid
In general, it’s always a good idea to change your car’s fluids according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, these figures may not always be accurate, sometimes ranging from every 100,000 to 150,000 miles. The typical driver travels about 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, so these numbers make it seem like you only have to change transmission fluid every 6.5 to 12.5 years.
A more reasonable figure is changing the transmission fluid every two to four years – or when you’ve put anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 miles on your vehicle. Doing so gives your car a constant supply of clean, healthy fluid, which makes the transmission more efficient in the long run.
Drivers should be aware of certain exceptions, which put more wear and tear on your car:
- Heavy towing
- Regular stop-and-go driving – common in urban and high-traffic environments
As these three instances increase the operating transmission’s temperature, the fluid quality lessens far quicker. In response, these drivers should consider changing the transmission fluid every 15,000 miles.
Along with these factors, if your transmission fluid simply doesn’t look good, it likely needs to be changed. Drivers can check this on their own about once a month. Healthy fluid looks reddish, with a slight darker color appearing with age. Be concerned if you notice the following:
- A black or brown color
- A burnt smell
- Signs of contaminants, such as metal shavings, dirt, debris and any other fine particles.
When it comes time to replace the transmission fluid, you’ll have the option to change or flush the system. Many drivers are unaware of the differences, but a fluid flush tends to be a more involved procedure. Rather than simply topping off the transmission fluid, the system’s contents get drained and the debris cleaned out.
Depending on your manufacturer’s recommendations, a transmission flush may entail forcing out the old fluid and pumping in the new. A cleaning solution may also be added to remove any grime, sludge and debris that has accumulated in your system’s torque converts and cooler. Once the solution comes out clear, our team adds fresh oil, safe for your car make, model and manufacturer’s recommendations.
How does a flush improve your car’s performance?
- It removes the residue from the engine improves its operation.
- It removes the debris helps prevent future transmission problems.
- A thorough cleaning helps extend the engine’s overall lifespan.
Whether you need routine maintenance according to your manufacturer’s schedule or a full transmission fluid flush, contact DaSilva’s Auto Body for high-quality service. To make an appointment, give our Naugatuck location a call today at 203-729-5967.