Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Transmission Filter Last?

Transmission Filter

Your transmission filter is a very important component in your vehicle, because it’s the front line of defense when it comes to keeping contaminants out of your transmission fluid. Most automobile manufacturers recommend a transmission filter change every 2 years, or every 30,000 miles (whichever comes first). When your mechanic replaces the filter, he or she should also change the fluid, and replace the transmission pan gasket.

Signs that your transmission filter needs to be replaced

Outside of regular replacement, you may notice signs that a transmission filter change should be done sooner. Here are some signs that replacement is in order:

  • You can’t change gears: If you can’t change gears easily, or at all, then there could be a problem with the filter. If the gears grind, or there’s a sudden surge in power when you shift, this could also be an indication of a faulty filter.

  • Noise: If you hear rattling, and you can’t explain it any other way, you’ll definitely have to check your transmission. It could be that the fasteners need to be tightened, or it could be that the filter is full of debris.

  • Contamination: The transmission filter, as we have stated, works to keep contaminants out of the transmission fluid. If it’s not doing its job effectively, the fluid will become too dirty to work properly. In the worst case scenario, the fluid can burn and result in you needing expensive transmission repairs. You should check your transmission fluid regularly – not just to be sure that it’s at the proper level, but to see that it’s clean.

  • Leakage: If the transmission filter isn’t fitted properly, it could leak. Leakage could also be due to a problem with the transmission itself. There are many gaskets and seals in your car transmission, and if they become misaligned or dislodged, they’ll leak. Puddles under your car are a sure tip-off.

  • Smoke or burning smell: If the filter is blocked, you could notice a burning smell, or even see smoke coming from your engine.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...

Related questions

Q: Whining noise. 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe

Hi there. If you are only hearing the noise in those speed ranges, then you may have bad overrunning clutch needle bearings inside the transmission. In this case, the transmission will need to be overhauled and repaired. If you would...

Q: How Do Transmission Filters Function?

A transmission filter is most commonly a thick, flat, paper element that is enclosed inside a plastic housing. The filter housing sits in the bottom of the transmission fluid pan where it is fully submerged in transmission fluid. The transmission...

Q: Changing transmission fluid on a high-mileage car

It probably has been changed. Here is the problem with changing the transmission fluid. On a normal car, you should change it every 40,000 miles or so. So if you don't, and you go 198,000 miles and never change it,...