How Do You Know When Your Transmission Fluid Needs to Be Changed?

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Transmission oil or fluid is a vital part of your vehicle’s performance, as it lubricates the various components and inner surfaces of the transmission system to prevent wear over time. Although you rarely need to change transmission fluid other than every 20,000 miles or every other year as a preventative measure, there are instances where you may need a transmission fluid flush more frequently. Promptly consult a mechanic if you notice any of the following symptoms in your vehicle that can indicate it’s time for a transmission fluid change:

  • Grinding or squealing noises while shifting: These noises aren’t just annoying but indicative of a more serious problem beneath your hood. If you hear grinding or squealing, pull over as soon as possible and check your transmission oil or fluid level while the engine is still running. When you do, also note the color of the fluid. If it is anything other than bright red, you may need a transmission fluid change.

  • Shifting is difficult: Whether you drive a vehicle with an automatic or manual transmission, it still changes gears. If you have an automatic, you may notice that it shifts “harder”, or at odd times that seem sooner or later than usual. With manual transmissions, it can be physically difficult to shift into position.

  • Inexplicable surging: Sometimes, when you need a transmission oil change due to dirty fluid, your vehicle may surge forward or backward as if you pressed the accelerator or brake for no apparent reason. This is due to contaminants in the fluid preventing consistent flow through the transmission system.

  • Gears slipping: When the transmission fluid or oil flow is interrupted by grit and grime within the system, it interferes with the pressure levels that keep the gears in place. This can cause your transmission to periodically slip out of gear without any warning.

  • Delay in movement after shifting: Occasionally, dirty transmission fluid can cause a delay in your car or truck moving after shifting gears, which is also related to fluid flow interruption. This delay may be only a moment or several seconds, and longer delays likely indicate greater contamination of your transmission oil.

If you have experienced any of these issues while driving, it makes sense to have your transmission system checked thoroughly. Although simply getting a transmission fluid change, especially if the color of the transmission oil is anything other than bright red or has a burnt odor, may solve your woes, there is a good chance something else is awry and the fluid issue is simply a symptom of a bigger problem. If for no other reason than peace of mind, consider calling one of our experienced mechanics for a consultation, which can save you a significant amount of money and degree of headache down the road.


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Recent Transmission Fluid Service reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Transmission Fluid Service Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

898

Rating Summary
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Milenko

15 years of experience
86 reviews
Milenko
15 years of experience
Mitsubishi Endeavor - Transmission Fluid Service - Indianapolis, Indiana
Milenko knows his business!! He was punctual, personable and extremely knowledgeable of his profession. He did an excellent job! He’s the one for my future automotive repair needs. A+
Acura MDX - Transmission Fluid Service - Indianapolis, Indiana
Very friendly & professional. He explained what he performed on vehicle, showed me the parts he told out. He was very concerned about my brake pads being worn out and suggested getting that done soon.

Vadym

4 years of experience
38 reviews
Vadym
4 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Transmission Fluid Service - Denver, Colorado
Vadym was on time, competent, and got the job done. This service is fantastic! I would recommend Vadym anytime! I recommended Your Mechanic to all my friends!
Toyota Prius - Transmission Fluid Service - Denver, Colorado
Vadym did a great job on three services that required a lot of work and specific parts. He worked to make sure that all the parts were available before performing service and communicated well about any delays.

Richard

15 years of experience
47 reviews
Richard
15 years of experience
Lexus LS430 - Transmission Fluid Service - Union City, California
Richard did a great job, explained everything that needs to be done. He is honest and has the expertise to do the job right, took his time to find and use the absolute right parts, oil and fluids.

Bryant

10 years of experience
282 reviews
Bryant
10 years of experience
BMW 740Li - Transmission Fluid Service - Fishers, Indiana
I don't know if I will use another mechanic. He was fantastic and went above and beyond everything I asked of him. I have recommended him to multiple people.

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