A transmission service is a routine maintenance to inspect the health of your car’s transmission and to perform a transmission fluid flush and filter exchange.
There are many reasons why it is necessary to bring in your car for a transmission service with most of them revolving around avoiding the potential to break down due to an overlooked transmission problem.
Signs That Something is Wrong & Transmission Repair is Needed
- Trouble Shifting Gears
- Gears Slip Out of Place
- Fluid Leaking
- Inoperative Vehicle
- Check Engine Light Turns On
- Burning Smell
- Grinding, Shaking, Clunking, Humming, or Whining
All of these are indicative of a transmission problem. The transmission is the heart of the engine and provides a consistent power source to the rest of the vehicle. It is made of 800 different parts and requires an expert mechanic to identify any issues and fix them. Most transmissions are rebuilt, rather than replaced brand new, because of the high cost.
What Happens During a Transmission Service?
Like a heart, the transmission requires fluids to function properly. Transmission fluid is like blood going through the body, helping everything else to work. It is also essentially similar to an oil change but with a different, more specific part. The transmission service performed depends on whether you have an automatic or manual transmission car.
A manual transmission is a lot easier to maintain and typically includes a transmission fluid flush and exchange. Automatic transmission services are more complicated and may include a fluid flush and exchange, filter replacement, and pan gasket replacement. During a transmission service, a mechanic runs a diagnostic test to see if the computer sees any errors as well.
If the diagnostic shows a problem with the transmission, it may require a full rebuild to remove and replace the broken parts. Your AAMCO certified mechanic can explain to you what happened and the plan to fix it.
How Often Do I Need a Transmission Service?
It is best to check your car owner’s manual for factory recommended maintenance since each car varies greatly by make and model. However, the average vehicle needs to get a transmission fluid flush every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
There are a lot of small particles like metal shavings that get caught up or build up in the transmission fluid and as this passes through cogs and gears, it gets stuck and wears down the various parts of the transmission. Without regular maintenance, this will lead to a need to rebuild the transmission in order to replace the worn parts.
The new transmission fluid improves the holding power between the clutches so that it doesn’t slip and reduces the heat created from friction.
Even though a transmission service is only necessary here and there throughout the lifespan of your car, it goes a long way to extending the life of your car and avoiding any major transmission repairs.