The transmission in your vehicle has routine maintenance recommendations from it’s manufacturer. These service intervals for transmissions do not need to be performed as often as, say an engine oil change, but are still critical to the longevity of a transmission. How much longer can this be? It will depend on the type of transmission and the type of driving it’s exposed to (heavy towing, extreme city traffic, etc.), but there are some transmissions out there that can go 100,000 miles before a fluid exchange is required. Transmission that are rated for far less can still go 100,000 miles without having the fluid changed, but would we recommend stretching a service interval like that – definitely not.
Transmission Fluid is used to lubricate, clean, and transfer heat within the transmission. Over time, the detergents in the fluid can break down and the fluid has a harder time performing its tasks. When the time comes to replace the fluid, there is a special machine used to flush all of the fluid from the transmission, torque converter, and oil cooler. This is called a Transmission Flush and is the most common of the transmission services. There is also a Transmission Drain and Fill service which only exchanges a fraction of the system’s capacity but allows you to change the filter in the transmission. Transmissions use a filter to trap contaminants and metal shavings. There are many things that can hurt a transmission, but its main arch-nemesis will always be heat. Running dirty fluid for too long or running a transmission with low fluid will allow the build-up of heat and can lead to catastrophic failures.
Transmissions are expensive and replacing one is an extremely labor-intensive job. It’s not uncommon to hear about transmission replacements running anywhere between $3,000-$5,000. So properly servicing a transmission over the life of a vehicle will always be cheaper than paying for a replacement. If you’re curious how often your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends servicing your transmission, a service plan can usually be found in your owner’s guide. If your vehicle did not come with an owner’s book, we can assist you with planning out your vehicle’s maintenance. We have access to all manufacturer recommendations & intervals and we can provide these services at a fraction of the cost of the dealership.
Did you know having a new vehicle serviced at Auto Stop will not void your manufacturer warranty? Give us a call in Arlington and Falls Church if you have any questions regarding the maintenance of your new or older vehicles!