Have you ever asked yourself, “What is transmission fluid?” In order to keep your car’s transmission in tip-top shape, it is vital that you pay attention to your transmission fluid. Having a service technician check your transmission fluid levels and change it periodically can make all the difference in the level of performance and reliability you will get out of your vehicle. In order to have a car that runs at its peak for years to come, it is important to bring it to a service center for regular transmission checkups, including transmission fluid changes.
What is transmission fluid?
Like oil for your car’s engine, transmission fluid is an essential component in the functionality of your car. The transmission fluid lubricates all the moving parts inside your transmission, as well as functioning as a coolant and acting as a conduit of power from the engine to the transmission. Additionally, transmission fluid is necessary for keeping everything clean- as the fluid runs throughout the transmission, it collects debris, dirt and particles from the outside environment and the inner workings of the gears, leaving everything clean and in proper working order.
How often should I change my transmission fluid?
The regularity with which you should change your car’s transmission fluid depends largely upon what type of transmission you have. For owners of a vehicle with a manual transmission, manufacturers recommend a transmission fluid change once every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Some manufacturers even recommend a transmission fluid change every 15,000 miles if your manual transmission vehicle gets heavy-duty use.
If your car is equipped with an automatic transmission, the answer is significantly different. While some manufacturers still recommend a fluid change once every 30,000 miles, most car experts agree upon a transmission fluid service interval of between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. The reason it is necessary to change the transmission fluid more often in a manual transmission is because of the amount of contaminants that begin to build up from tiny metal particles that are a result of wear and tear on the synchronizers, bearings and gears. With an automatic transmission, the amount of contamination from these microscopic metal particles is significantly less; however, the fluid can still degrade over time due to the hotter temperature of an automatic transmission.