A standard transmission maintenance service will include changing the transmission fluid and filter. In some ways, it’s a similar process as what’s done for a typical engine oil change, though the work is a little trickier for a transmission and it usually doesn’t need to be done nearly as often. You’ll find fewer do-it-yourself car owners changing their transmission fluid compared to those changing their own oil. Even mechanics in the know will trust a professional to handle a transmission fluid and filter change. It should happen every 30,000-60,000 miles, depending on the vehicle and on the overall health of the transmission.
Transmission Fluid Maintenance
That said, you can and should regularly check your transmission fluid using the dipstick in your car (separate from the regular oil dipstick). If the fluid is red in color and has a sweet smell, then it is still in good shape. Top off the fluid as needed. If it is dark or smells burnt, it could be a sign of a bigger transmission problem and you’ll want to have it checked out.
Beyond just changing the filter and fluid, a standard transmission service will include an external inspection of other key transmission components like the pan gasket and transmission pan itself. You’ll want to make sure all the seals are good and no leaks are occurring. The transmission is one of your car’s most important components, so you always want it running as well as possible.
What is a Transmission Fluid Flush?
A transmission fluid change is pretty standard. However, there are times where you will want to consider a full transmission fluid flush. This is a different service, but it may be necessary if the fluid running throughout your system is all bad. Think of a fluid flush like a complete blood transfusion, where all the fluid is flushed out and replaced entirely (not just what’s in the reservoir tank). Usually, cleaning solution is pumped through the system during the flush process to remove any excess built-up fluid or grime. Then, it is replaced with all new fluid.
Naturally, a transmission fluid flush is a much more in-depth procedure and will be more expensive, partly because usually 2-3 times more fluid is needed to refill the entire system (12-22 quarts compared to 5-7 quarts). Before you consider a transmission fluid flush, though, consult an expert. It is not something you want to have done unless completely necessary. And if it is necessary, it is likely due to other transmission problems that you will want to inspected and repaired at the same time. Otherwise, you run the risk of encountering the same fluid issues.
Your Central Valley Transmission Repair Experts
If you are experiencing transmission problems or just need standard transmission service for your vehicle, call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online. We are the Central Valley transmission repair experts and can help with any transmission repair needs you have.