Transmission fluid is used to lubricate all the parts of your vehicle’s transmission so they can do their job. So yeah … it’s pretty important.
Transmission fluid is usually colored red or green so you can distinguish it from other fluids in your vehicle. There are different types of transmission fluid, depending on whether your vehicle is an automatic or a manual. But unless you’re changing the fluid yourself, this is typically not something you’ll need to worry about.
What is important to know is the role transmission fluid plays in your vehicle and that when it’s not properly maintained, it can cause your car to malfunction. If you don’t change your transmission fluid at an appropriate time, in some cases your car can actually overheat.
When Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid?
The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) recommends changing your transmission fluid every 50,000 km, or two years. You can confirm this in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. There you will find a recommended schedule directly from the manufacturer. If you keep to this schedule, your transmission will last long and perform more efficiently.
Why This Matters To You
Transmission fluid deteriorates over time, especially with certain types of driving. If you do a lot of towing, hauling heavy equipment or if you make frequent stop-and-go-type trips in the city, your transmission fluid may be working on overdrive.
When transmission fluid deteriorates, it’s not able to do its job properly. It won’t be able to cool the transmission, lubricate its parts, or help necessitate smooth gear changes. This can lead to costly repairs in the future. Performing regular transmission fluid changes will save you money in the long run.
Consult Your Owner’s Manual
Sometimes it’s a great idea to flush out the old transmission fluid before replacing it with new fluid. However, consult your owner’s manual before doing so. Some manufacturers suggest not doing it with their vehicles.
Some vehicles also require a certain type of fluid. Your owner’s manual will specify which fluid that is and you can confirm with your service technician to make sure they’re using the right one.