If you drive a car or truck, you should know about transmission maintenance schedule. As with other maintenance with your car, ignore it and fixing it will cost you more. When was the last time you checked your transmission fluid? Do you even know what to look for when you check your transmission fluid? When was the last time you changed your transmission fluid? How often should you change your transmission fluid? If the answer to these questions is something along the lines of, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” then chances are that you have a thing or two to learn about transmission maintenance.
Like other moving parts in your engine, your transmission is protected by a fluid. Transmission fluid is not the same as engine oil, so you can’t use the two interchangeably. Nonetheless, your transmission fluid is similar to engine oil in that it will not last forever. Engine oil will last somewhere from three thousand to five thousand miles before it needs changed.
Transmission fluid, on the other hand, will last fifteen thousand miles or more before it needs changed. Because transmission fluid can be contaminated just like engine oil, it is important to change the fluid before contaminants in the fluid begin to wear on the moving parts of the transmission. Unlike engine oil, changing transmission fluid is not usually a simple operation. Depending on the transmission you have on your car, it is sometimes best to take your transmission to someone who does transmission maintenance.
Automatic and manual transmissions require different steps to maintenance. Most cars with an automatic transmission will have a dipstick similar to an oil dipstick. When you check your engine oil, you want to make sure that the engine is cold before you check your oil. This is not the case with an automatic transmission. You will want your engine running when you check transmission fluid, and you will want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in regards to how hot the engine should be before you check the fluid and what gear the car should be in to get a proper reading. A manual transmission will have a fill plug. To check the level of the transmission fluid, you simply remove this plug and check to make sure that the fluid is just below the level of the plug.
Some transmissions cannot be checked without special training and tools. If this is the case, you will have to take your car to someone who specializes in transmission maintenance, so they can give you maintenance tips and check the your transmission fluid for you. Checking the level of transmission fluid is only the first step to checking transmission fluid. You will also want to smell your transmission fluid. If it smells burnt, then your transmission has a problem with overheating, and you will want to have it checked out to see what the problem is.
Also, if your transmission fluid smells like gas, oil, or some other engine fluid, then your car has a leak somewhere, and you will want to get it checked out. Finally, you will want to compare the color of your transmission fluid to clean transmission fluid. If the colors are vastly different in color, and you will want to change out your transmission fluid and filter.
When it comes to changing transmission fluid, it is usually best to take your car to someone who does transmission maintenance. Changing transmission fluid is more complicated than changing engine oil, so to make sure that the job is done right, it is best to leave the job to the professionals.