Warning Signs to Replace Transmission Fluid and Filter
One of the biggest indicators to needing transmission fluid and filter maintenance is your transmission starts slipping. You may be driving along when your car pops into another gear for no apparent reason. Additionally, you may notice your car struggling, lacking power or failing to accelerate like usual.
If you detect rough shifts, the first thing to consider is having your transmission serviced. The car may refuse to change gears like it normally does or fail to do this smoothly. Plus, the car may exhibit difficulty getting up to speed.
Another indicator is your car may make loud, odd sounds. This may include a high pitch or whining noise. A driver may feel or experience a clunk or thud when shifting gears, as well.
Additional signs include the car having a noticeable delay or even refusing to move when you shift it into drive or reverse.
Finally, look for stains on your driveway or garage floor that are bright red, dark red or brown in color. Healthy transmissions should never leak. Put cardboard down underneath the car to verify the area it’s leaking from.
How Often Should Transmission Fluid and Filter Be Changed?
Avoid a major transmission repair by checking the level and condition of the transmission fluid monthly. When you pull the dipstick, you should see good clean fluid that’s a bright red or pink color. Additionally, it should smell sweet. If the fluid looks dark, dirty and smells burnt, head straight to DeBroux Automotive to get this vital maintenance done right away.
Many auto repair experts recommend changing the transmission fluid and filter every 30,000 miles or 30 months. But some manufacturers recommend new fluid every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
However, if you drive in severe conditions, you may need to change the transmission fluid sooner than recommended. Severe conditions include pulling heavy loads in hot weather, driving fast for extended periods of time and driving in extreme cold weather. If you drive under any of these circumstances, your vehicle will likely need service every 15,000 to 24,000 miles.
One more tip from auto repair pros: Drivers who own imports should read their owner’s manual closely to find out the exact ATF specifications.
Steps to Add New Transmission Fluid and Filter
Expect this to be a dirty and messy job since a majority of transmission pans lack drain plugs. This means the entire pan must be removed to drain the oily liquid. However, if your vehicle does include a drain plug, the pan still must come off, so you can install a new filter. Make the job somewhat neater by leaving some bolts partly screwed in on one side of the transmission pan.
Auto shops typically use machines to remove old transmission fluid and the debris mixed in it. Only after the transmission finishes draining, does new fluid go back into your car. For extra piece of mind, spend a few more dollars on a synthetic ATF, which improves today’s cars performance.
This job eventually requires that the pan to be removed to clean deposits and sediments with solvent. Plus, the filter and seal will also need to undergo replacement before reinstalling the pan to the car. Many auto technicians use oil-soluble grease — not a gasket sealer or adhesive — to attach the seal or gasket. They put it back on by starting every pan bolt by hand before using a torque wrench to tighten it up.
Bring Your Car to DeBroux Automotive for Your Maintenance Needs!
Roll on in to DeBroux Automotive for fresh transmission fluid and a new filter that can restore your gearbox to smooth shifting. Whether you need this service or other maintenance, you can count on our experienced mechanics to get the job done. We have provided high-quality and trustworthy work to our Pensacola, Fla., area neighbors since we opened our doors in 1989. Call us today!