You probably don’t think much about your transmission fluid unless something goes wrong with your vehicle’s transmission system. However, paying attention to it can help prevent problems and keep your car running smoothly for longer. Here are three essential things you should know about transmission fluid.
1. The Importance of Checking the Level
One of the most important aspects of transmission maintenance is simply checking the transmission fluid level regularly. As you drive and put miles on your vehicle, some transmission fluid is consumed, and the level goes down over time. Low fluid levels can lead to all kinds of transmission problems, so you want to top it off if the dipstick shows it’s less than the “Full” line. Get in the habit of peeking at the dipstick every couple of gas fill-ups to ensure you have enough fluid.
2. When to Consider a Transmission Flush
While you might put a reminder on your calendar to change the oil every 5,000 miles, did you know you may need a transmission flush every 30,000 miles or so? Over time, transmission fluid picks up small metal shavings and debris which causes it to get dirty. Really dirty fluid can clog things up and affect shifting performance. That’s why a complete fluid exchange is recommended by your owner’s manual. This can give your transmission a fresh start. When adding a transmission flush to your maintenance routine, you’ll help extend the life of your transmission.
3. Choosing the Right Fluid
Not all transmission fluids are created equal. You need to use the exact type recommended by your vehicle manufacturer, found in your owner’s manual. Today’s automatic transmissions require specific synthetic blends designed to properly lubricate transmission components and withstand the heat generated in the system. Don’t just grab any fluid off the parts store shelf without double-checking that it’s approved for your make and model. Using the incorrect fluid could damage your transmission, so taking a few minutes to verify will give you peace of mind that your fluid meets strict original equipment standards.
With a little preventative care, your transmission will give you many miles of reliable service. According to Kelley Blue Book, you can help your transmission last well over 100,000 miles by ensuring your fluid levels are on the mark and maintaining a regular maintenance schedule. Using the right fluids and replacing dirty fluid with a complete flush every couple of years will go a long way to preventing premature wear. If you need a transmission flush, then schedule an appointment with us today.