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Maintenance schedules offered by car manufacturers always include the transmission. Transmission fluid plays a critical role in how a transmission functions and the car part longevity. Like engine oil, transmission fluid should be checked and changed on a regular basis; however, the interval is different for all vehicles and dependent on the transmission and fluid type as well as use.

Most experts feel severe use warrants a recommended 15,000-mile fluid and filter change interval. Severe use is defined as more than 50 percent use in heavy city traffic with ambient temperatures above 32.2 degrees Celsius. Remember the correlation between heat and lifespan? Experts also recommend changing the fluid whenever there is an indication of oxidization or contamination.

How Often Do You Need to Have the Transmission Fluid Changed?

The best advice is to know your car and the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals.

It’s worth noting that intervals for changing transmission fluid vary widely. For some cars and trucks, it can range from as little as 30,000 miles to more than 100,000 miles. Some new vehicles, especially those fitted with automatic gearboxes, have transmissions that are almost sealed shut, with fluid that’s meant to last the lifetime of the car.

How Much is a Transmission Repair or Replacement?

The cost of carrying out transmission repairs or replacement varies between make and model.

The transmission fitted to your vehicle is what transmits drive, from the engine to the wheels. These transmissions can come in many forms, including;

  • Manual
  • Automatic
  • Semi-Automatic
  • Constantly Variable
  • Dual-clutch

Changing transmission fluid is not as simple as changing engine oil and should be handled by a service technician or someone with a thorough understanding of transmissions. Generally, the car is lifted on a hoist, the pan is dropped, and the old fluid pours out. This fluid and the pan are inspected for contaminants, such as fiber from clutch discs or any other indication of a larger issue that may be appearing. After a routine check of the exposed components the filter is changed, the pan is replaced, and the fluid added to the proper level.

Transmission warning light

A warning light alone, like the “check engine” light, typically doesn’t mean you have a transmission problem, but if any of the above symptoms are occurring in conjunction with an illuminated warning, have it diagnosed by a professional.