The car transmission is often forgotten about since people do not need to change it as often compared to other car maintenance requirements such as the oil. However, it is crucial to check the transmission fluid regularly as it lubricates the transmission’s moving parts as well as cools it down. It is recommended to replace your transmission fluid every 2 years or every 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. In the meantime, there are many things you can do to keep your transmission fluid in better condition.
Check the Transmission Fluid
Take a peek at your transmission fluid every now and then to see whether or not it’s getting too dirty. First, check your car’s owner’s manual to see if you need to have the engine running or off as you check the transmission fluid. Some newer cars don’t have a transmission fluid dipstick so you’ll have to take it to a car shop to get it checked out.
For those who do have the dipstick, after you know whether to have the engine on or off, pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean. Then dip it in again and pull it out. Check to see if the fluid is at the right level, which is marked on the dipstick.
Then asses the color of the fluid, it should be a reddish color. If it is brownish, you’re ok for a little while but if it’s dark brown, black, or smells like burning oil, it’s definitely time to change it right away. Also, if the level is low, then you’ll just need to add more transmission fluid.
As you’re driving your car on a daily basis, being kind to it will help extend the life of your transmission. The transmission can get damaged in the following ways:
- Towing Heavy Loads
- Stop & Go Traffic
- Driving in Hot Weather Over 99 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Rocking Vehicle in Snow
- Trying to Drive Fast Through Heavy Snow or Mud
- Driving With the Emergency Brake On
- Shifting Directly From Reverse to Drive
Avoid these things while driving and your car and wallet will thank you for it.
Prevention is Key
Other ways to ensure your transmission is doing well is to check for leaks under your car where you park. If you decide to change your transmission fluid yourself, be sure to use the same type that’s specified in the owner’s manual or on the dipstick. With any type of DIY car maintenance, be sure to pour the correct fluid into the right area. Adding oil to the transmission fluid will severely damage your vehicle.
When You Should Bring Your Car to a Transmission Shop
If you are unsure whether or not your car’s transmission should be inspected by a professional, it’s best to bring it in. As noted above, if your transmission fluid is dark colored or smells like burning oil, it definitely needs to change. Other signs that you should have your car checked by a transmission specialist is if there are leaks, noises, and problems with shifting. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
At AAMCO Colorado, we love cars as much as you do. But we also want your vehicle to drive in a safe and properly operating condition. If you live in Colorado, and need an Transmission Service, Radiator Repair, Brake Repair, or any other Automotive Repair, please contact your local AAMCO Colorado Location to schedule an appointment. Because those who know, go to AAMCO!