Transmission Fluid Change: When? Why? How?

A lot of times when people think about car maintenance they think “how important is it- really?” Whether you’re talking about the engine, transmission, brake, etc- it is important to know what is important! A common question is “Is it important to change my car’s transmission fluid?” The simple answer – yes.

The confusion comes in the questions:

    When do I need to get my fluid changed?
    Why my fluid need to be changed?
    How do I get my fluid change?


For a long time, the manufacturer’s recommendation for an automatic transmission fluid change has been about 100,000 miles (or higher). Many mechanics will say that is too long, and you should get your transmission fluid changed every 50,000 miles.

While there is still a discrepancy, think about how you use your vehicle. Are you towing heavy loads, driving in hot weather, using your brakes a lot or driving in other high-stress conditions? If so, you should opt for a more frequent change schedule.

Manual transmission recommendations are a bit different, depending on make. It’s best to look at the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual or consult your local auto repair shop.


As you drive your car, especially in higher-stress situations, heat puts strain on the transmission parts and fluid. Transmission fluid deteriorates over time, making it more difficult to lubricate parts and to shift gears. But don’t wait until you feel something to do something. You can check your transmission fluid yourself.

Overall, your fluid should have red color. If you notice your fluid is getting darker (brown/black color) in color or has dirt or debris in it- or it may have a “burnt” smell. These are just a few warning signs that is may be time to check your transmission and fluid to prevent potential mechanical/ transmission problems.


If you really want to change your fluid yourself, you can. There are plenty of videos and instructions online, if you have the tools and supplies like: ramp/ floor jacks, transmission fluid, a new filter, a drain pan, wrenches, a funnel, etc.

You can save time, trouble, and the risk of damaging parts or doing it incorrectly, by getting your fluid changed by a professional. With special equipment, and the highest training, they will make sure you you transmission is in tip-top shape and you’re ready to get back on the road.

Transmission Technicians in Massapequa can help you with your transmission fluid change, as well as any of your other transmission needs. Schedule your service online or at (516) 336-4126.


Written by Transmission Technicians

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