The most important part of maintaining the integrity and performance of your automatic, manual, or diesel transmission is regular maintenance checks and fluid changes. Though these semi-frequent visits to the mechanic may feel like they’re adding up, it’s actually saving you loads of money in the long run.
Transmission Fluid Checks and Changes
Depending on the type of transmission in your engine, the frequency of fluid checks and changes may vary. Generally, if you have a standard automatic transmission, the manufacturer recommends that the fluid and filter be changed every 100,000 miles. But, there are some exceptions. For example, it’s recommended that the fluid be changed in Ford transmissions once every 150,000 miles.
On the other hand, most mechanics recommend that you get your transmission serviced every 50,000. Consulting the owner’s manual for your car will usually tell you when this preventative maintenance should be performed.
How to Check Your Transmission Fluid
Even with general guidelines set in your owner’s manual, servicing your transmission should be evaluated on a case by case basis. If your car has been subjected to hard use, like frequent stop and go driving or hauling heavy loads, you should be checking your transmission more than the common motorist.
Most engines come with a built-in dipstick to check your fluid levels, with the proper level marked on it. Typically, new transmission fluid has a reddish tint. As it ages, it begins to turn a darker, brownish color. That’s when you know it’s time to swap it out for fresh fluid.
Follow these steps to check your transmission fluid:
- Park your vehicle on a level surface, with the parking break firmly in place.
- Idle your engine for two minutes. Then, press down on the brake pedal.
- Shift through all gears and reset your lever in the park position.
- While your engine is still idling, pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean.
- Re-insert the dipstick, and pull it out again. At this point, you should get an accurate reading of the fluid level.
- Then, check the color of the fluid by wiping it on a clean paper towel. If it still has a slight reddish tint, the fluid is still good. But, the closer to brown it is, the sooner it should be changed.
After you’ve checked your transmission fluid, and concluded that it’s time for a change, come on down to Superior Transmissions of Tampa. We’ll swap out your fluid and filter, saving you from future (expensive) problems that could be prevented with simple maintenance. Call today!