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 and how often should you check your fluid? Do you even know what to look for when you check it? 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.
Like other moving parts in your engine, your transmission is protected by a fluid. It is not the same as engine oil, so you can’t use the two interchangeably. Nonetheless, it 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 it can be contaminated just like engine oil, it is important to change it before contaminants begin to wear on the moving parts of the transmission. Unlike engine oil, this is not usually a simple operation. Depending on the car, it is sometimes best to go to someone who does transmission maintenance.
Automatic and manual cars 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 when your car is automatic. You will want your engine running when you check it, 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, you simply remove this plug and check to make sure that the level 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, so they can give you maintenance tips and check the fluid for you. Checking the level is only the first step. You will also want to smell it. 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 fluid smells like gas, oil, or some other engine substance, then your car has a leak somewhere, and you will want to get it checked out. Finally, you will want to compare its color of to a clean one. If the colors are vastly different in color, and you will want to change out your fluid and filter.
It is usually best to take your car to someone who does transmission maintenance. It 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.