The Best Ways to Change Transmission Fluid

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    • You could damage your car's transmission if the fluid isn't changed car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from

      Transmission fluid is viscous fluid that provides lubrication for the moving parts inside your transmission. It also acts as a coolant and transmits power from the engine to the transmission. There are many different types of transmission fluids, suitable for different types of vehicles. Automatic transmissions, for example, will require automatic transmission fluid; while manual transmissions will require regular motor oil, heavyweight hypoid gear oil and sometimes automatic transmission fluid as well. Different specifications call for different types of fluid, which are rated according to viscosity. Type F, for example, is used for Ford transmissions, and sometimes on Toyota transmissions. The best way to tell what kind of transmission fluid is needed is by consulting your vehicle's manual.


    • The recommended frequency for changing your transmission is approximately every 30,000 miles or once every two years. However, if your vehicle is a newer model, produced in the last 5 years, you should change the fluid more frequently, about every 25,000 miles.


    • Auto repair shops will generally flush your transmission for you. Most use a machine that circulates the transmission several times until it is clean. While this may remove dirty remnants from your transmission, it may not result in a complete cleaning of the transmission fluid. You can request that your lube shop completely replace the transmission fluid, although leaving a bit of the old fluid in won't harm the new fluid.


    • Just as it's important to replace your transmission fluid, it's important to make sure your transmission filter is looked after; otherwise, replacing the transmission fluid could prove pointless. Over time, metal and plastic becomes lodged in the filter. If this happens, your filter could break down and become compacted and restrict the flow of transmission fluid.

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