How Often Should You Change Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid may not be known or forget to change because it will only be changed after couple of thousand miles, therefore always try to update about your vehicle time to change fluid using manual instruction given with the vehicle which tells you when to change, each car has different requirement in case of what fluid and what grade would be best either 75-150 or 85-150 for manual and ATF for Auto transmission depends upon vehicle condition, usage, mileage and location.

What is Transmission Fluid?

Like most fluids if your car, transmission fluid is what helps keep things lubricated and cool. It is important to note that unlike other systems in your car, transmission fluid is also used as a hydraulic fluid to move components and affect shifting in your car. It can be hard to pin down exactly what transmission fluid is because it serves so many purposes in a vehicle.

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What Does Transmission Fluid Do?

Transmission fluid main purpose is helping your car’s transmission work at its optimal level. Besides being a lubricant, transmission fluid also helps your vehicle shift gears and cools the transmission. Since your transmission fluid is constantly being pumped, pressurized, moved and squeezed through small passages it can lose some of its ability to properly lubricate over time. As your transmission fluid travels through your transmission it will pick up tiny particles. These particles are worn off the gears, bands, clutches and shafts in your transmission as it operates and will travel around with the fluid.  If too many of the particles get build up in the fluid they can cause excessive wear on components, especially seals and gaskets.

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How Often Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid?

The life of transmission fluid is highly dependent on operating temperatures. Frequent stop-and-go driving, towing, or snow plowing heats up the transmission and shortens fluid life. Those extreme cases are also usually covered in the manufacturer’s service schedule, so, again, If you’re still worried about the life of your automatic transmission, install a temperature gauge that lets you know exactly how hard your gearbox is being pushed.


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Two Types of Transmission

Manual: Most manufacturers recommend that manual transmission fluid be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Under heavy-duty use, some manufacturers suggest changing transmission fluid every 15,000 miles.


Automatic: Service intervals for an automatic transmission vary from every 30,000 miles … to never. The typical service interval is 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Changing it more often does no harm.


Why do I have to do this?

Manual: In a manual transmission, the problem is not so much the fluid degradation, but rather fluid contamination. This contamination occurs over time as the synchronizers, bearings and gears in the transmission wear out. The resulting metal particles then float around in the lubricant. And we all know that oil with microscopic particles of metal in it does not lubricate as well as clean oil. So if these contaminants are not drained out, they will shorten the life of your transmission.

Automatic: Because more heat is generated in an automatic transmission, automatic transmission fluid actually degrades and breaks down with use.

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What if I don’t or delay to change transmission fluid?

If you don’t change the transmission fluid on schedule, you’ll be lubricating your transmission with metal shavings and other contaminants. This will shorten the transmission’s life. The result could be a hefty boat payment to your mechanic. In other words, changing your transmission fluid at the correct interval is a good investment.


About The Author

Avatar for Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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