Your automatic transmission is the second most important system in your vehicle, after the engine. The transmission ensures that the right amount of power is applied to the wheels so that they drive at the correct speed by shifting gears. Unlike a manual transmission, for which you have to apply the clutch to shift gears, the automatic transmission does this all for you. If your transmission malfunctions the repair bill can be very expensive. Thus proper transmission maintenance is crucial for avoiding huge repair expenses and keeping your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently.
The key to keeping your automatic transmission properly running is making sure that the transmission fluid is at the proper levels and has been changed when your service manual says it should be. The number of miles you drive before the transmission fluid needs to be changed caries according to model and make of vehicle. It can range from 30,000 miles to 100,000 miles. If you intend to hold on to your car or truck for any significant amount of time, or if you have bought it used with a high amount of mileage, you will likely have to change your fluid at least once during its operational lifespan.
The transmission fluid keeps the moving components cool and running smoothly. Over time, the fluid picks up particles from the inside of the transmission and gradually becomes dirty and abrasive. If the fluid becomes dirty in a short period of time, some underlying problem with the transmission is occurring.
Checking the transmission fluid level could be a job that only a mechanic can do during scheduled maintenance. Some vehicles, though, come with a transmission fluid dipstick and, if so, you should check your fluid level on a regular basis. A red puddle underneath your vehicle is a sure sign of a leak.
Changing the transmission fluid is by and large too formidable a job to do yourself. Your mechanic will have computer diagnostic tools that with help to determine temperature and other characteristics. A transmission fluid change at a mechanic shop will cost perhaps $100 to $200, depending on the make and model of a vehicle. The job is certainly less expensive than replacing a transmission that has been damaged because of neglected maintenance.
For more information on proper vehicle maintenance, please contact us.