Regular Transmission Fluid Service. Your vehicle has many fluids running in it; all of them are important and all of them require regular changing. Even though the manufacturer’s maintenance guide advises one to change the fluid every 100,000 miles. However, it is important to do periodic checks now and then.
Having said that, one has to remember that the transmission fluid is the most important in a car. Transmission fluids are subject to deterioration over time due to hard use from frequent stopovers, carrying heavy loads and trailer towing. The way one drives and the heat generated as a result of this places a heavy load on the fluid and it might require frequent transmission fluid services.
So, What Is Transmission Fluid?
Quite contrary to the engine oil, which is just a lubricant, transmission fluid serves both as an oil and hydraulic fluid. It helps in lubricating the gear, cools the transmission and helps in lubricating moving parts.
Transmission fluid is usually red and often turns darker on deterioration and that is when you know that you need a transmission fluid service.
Provided below are a few more tips on determining whether you need a transmission fluid service or not.
Checking the Transmission Fluid
A transmission fluid dipstick is a thing of the yore because car manufacturers prefer owners to get their cars to regular servicing. This is because accidents many occur if owners tampered with the transmission fluid themselves. Moreover, it is a cumbersome process, which requires an inspection from underneath the car. It is, therefore, recommended that the owners took their cars to the transmission fluid service centre.
However, if you are an old car owner and eager to get your own hands dirty for the purpose, here are certain steps that you should follow:
- Ensure that you have gone through the owner’s manual to find the recommended procedure of checking the transmission fuel.
- It is important to park the vehicle on a level surface for an accurate reading.
- Ensure that you check the fluid with the engine running on and off.
- It is important to check that the engine fans are shut off and at operational temperature before checking the fluid because otherwise, you can meet with an accident.
- Some cars require checking the transmission fluid with each of the gears in place.
- While removing the dipstick, it is important to verify that transmission fluid is not spilled on hot engines or exhaust parts.
- It is important to clean the dipstick with a clean rag.
- Ensure that the fluid level is up to the mark.
- If you feel, there is a leak, get transmission fluid serviced immediately to avoid loss of the transmission fluid.
‘Flush’-Ing Is Not the Ultimate Truth
More often than not, car service centre asks its owners to pay a little extra to ensure that the transmission fluid service is done. Never give in right away. Buy some time out and check your user’s manual for the ideal frequency to change the transmission oil. If you found, it was about time compare the prices of the oil online and get the product yourself. You can pay for the service centre for the servicing charges.
This way, you can not only save money but also ensure that the oil you have used guarantees of quality.
Some service centres use the ‘flush’ method that forces out the old fluid and pumps into new fluid rather than letting the old fluid go. This could save you money but will not save your car. Some manufacturers like Honda are against this method as they believe it could damage the car.
Transmission fluid service should be your monthly agenda. However, if the mechanic suggests that you can go without it for a couple of months, go for it! But decide judiciously.