Transmission Fluid Change Guide
One of the most common services that individuals have done on their cars is a transmission fluid change. It is frequently called transmission service. Another service that is available is the transmission flush. Some individuals consider it to be more effective.
Getting back to the transmission fluid change, it is recommended that you have it changed once every 2 years or 30,000-60,000 miles. When getting the fluid changed, the most important thing is ensuring that the filter is replaced and the pan gets cleaned. The reason for this is because over time the filter and pan can collect contaminants. If they are not cleaned out, they can mix with new fluid that is added, which makes the fluid change completely ineffective. Be sure that the service includes the pan being thoroughly cleaned and the filter replaced. The whole point of the service is to have the old fluid replaced with new fluid, in order for the transmission to last longer and work more efficiently. You are probably wondering what the cost is for having your transmission serviced. In a minute, we will be going over that.
What Is Involved In A Transmission Fluid Change?
Before going over the cost of a transmission fluid change, let’s first go over what is actually involved in the process. A fluid change usually requires that the vehicle be elevated. The car is then turned on in order to warm the fluids up to regular operating temperatures. Next, either the entire pan or a plug located on the side of the pan is removed in order to drain the fluid. If the whole pan is removed, it should be inspected to see if there are any signs of problems. Then the filter is replaced, the pan is cleaned, the gasket is replaced and the pan is re-installed. The vehicle is then lowered to the ground and the right amount of new fluid gets added into the transmission reservoir.
It is a fairly basic process. You can do it yourself if you want to, so we will describe the steps you need to take here. Now that you have a good understanding of what a transmission fluid change is, we will go over what it costs.
Cost Of A Transmission Fluid Change
The cost of a transmission fluid change will depend on the things you want to have done. As we suggested previously, the pan should be inspected and the filter replaced. It isn’t absolutely necessary that you do this, but we are taking a long term perspective. It may cost a bit more, but down the line you will end up saving money if your transmission lasts longer.
It will usually cost $60 to $250 to have your transmission fluid changed if you take your car in to a dealership or auto shop to have it done. The cost will vary depending on what the cost of labor is, the kind of transmission fluid that is used, the model and make of your car, what your car’s value is and the area where you live.
If you drive a sedan or another type of regular car, the average cost for a transmission fluid change will be approximately $60 to $100, which isn’t too bad. Auto shops tend to cost less than dealerships do, but be careful of the type of shop you take your car to. Research auto shops ahead of time to be sure the one that you decide on is trustworthy and honest.
However, there are other options besides taking your car into a dealership or repair shop. If you know something about cars and have enough patience to effectively learn the process, then you can save money by doing it yourself. You won’t ever have to take your car into the shop to have it done ever again! More than half the cost of having your transmission fluid changed at a dealership or auto shop is from the cost of labor. After you have learned how to change it yourself, you won’t need to waste money on having your car serviced ever again!
When doing the job yourself, the average amount you will spend on changing the transmission fluid will be $40 to $75. This includes the cost of the filter, gasket and fluid, although that total doesn’t include the cost of buying the necessary tools.
How To Check The Fluid
To check to see if your car needs to have its transmission fluid changed, just:
Turn your car on and allow it run for a couple of minutes (Checking your fluid after it has had a chance to warm up is always best).
Use a clean cloth to wipe a dipstick with, then put it in again and take it out.
If the fluid is clear but on the low mark, then just pour enough fluid in in order to bring it to the correct level. Just make sure you don’t overfill!
If your car’s transmission fluid smells burnt or is very dark, it is time to change it. Clean good oil should be pink or bright red.
Fluid- Check your car’s owner’s manual. It should tell you the specific type of fluid you will need as well as the number of quarts. Or you can talk with an auto parts store representative.
Filter- Be sure to get a high quality one that is the right size.
Torque Wrench- Don’t worry if you don’t happen to have one. You can also use a regular socket wrench set.
Large pan for catching the fluid- Don’t allow the fluid to get into the dirt or on the ground. Trying getting one that is larger than your car’s pan, since it will tend to leak from all of the sides.