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Auto Maintenance: Transmission Fluid Change

Auto Maintenance: Transmission Fluid Change

TRANSMISSION FLUID CHANGE

We learned long ago to never flush a transmission.  The internals of a transmission can be delicate when they get older and damage can occur by flushing them.  The better way to change out the fluid is to simply drain and fill the fluid from the transmission.  Approximately 2/3’s of the old transmission fluid will drain out and when you put new fluid in it will mix with the old.  Your transmission fluid not only allows your gearshifts to work properly, but also cleans the internal gears. When transmission fluid stops lubricating the gears properly damage will begin to occur. 

WHAT IS TRANSMISSION FLUID?

Transmission fluid is used to lubricate and keep clean the components of a car’s transmission to reduce friction and control the temperature. In vehicles with automatic transmissions, this fluid also acts as a coolant. There are several types of auto transmission fluids depending on the type of transmission and manufacturer. 

WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY TRANSMISSION FLUID?

Ideally the transmission fluid should be replaced strictly by the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, if checking the fluid, you notice a discoloration or odor it should be changed.  If you notice a burnt smell to the fluid this is typically a sign of damaged gear shavings.  If you notice a performance issue with the transmission it is often too late to change the fluid as the damage has been done and expect to replace the transmission in the near future. 

CAN I DO IT MYSELF?

If you have a place to safely collect and store 8 quarts of dirty transmission fluid and then a way to accurately replace the transmission fluid, then yes.

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