How Long Does Transmission Fluid Last?

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Transmission fluid lubricates all the moving parts of your car transmission, and in an automatic transmission, it also acts as a coolant and viscous fluid that delivers engine power to the transmission.

What kind of transmission fluid to use

The type of transmission fluid you use will depend on the type of transmission you have in your vehicle. Automatic vehicles, of course, use automatic transmission fluid. For vehicles with a manual transmission, different oils are used, including ordinary motor oil, gear oil, or sometimes even – wait for it – automatic transmission fluid! Your car owner’s manual will tell you what your transmission requires.

How long does transmission fluid last?

Transmission fluid does need to be changed from time to time, and the most accurate answer to the question is that the fluid will usually last between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. That said, if your vehicle sustains heavy use, you could have to change the transmission fluid in as few as 15,000 miles. Of course, more frequent changes won’t harm your vehicle.

The type of transmission can also affect the life of your transmission fluid. The fluid in an automatic transmission, for example, will degrade more quickly than in a manual transmission, because the automatic generates more heat.

Another factor that can affect the life of your transmission fluid is the presence of contaminants. They have to be drained out, and if they aren’t, fluid life is going to be the least of your worries – you’ll be more concerned with the life of your transmission. If you’re lubricating your transmission with metal shavings and other nasty contaminants, at some point it’s going to develop serious problems. Regular transmission fluid changes are simply a good investment.


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Theodore

14 years of experience
1091 reviews
Theodore
14 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Bellevue, Washington
Second time using Theodore to service my van. He's always professional and detail oriented. He takes extra effort in tracking down issues and explains things well. Very customer oriented. Highly recommend.

Tung

14 years of experience
284 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Victor

33 years of experience
105 reviews
Victor
33 years of experience
Chrysler Grand Voyager - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Have used Victor multiple times now for work on my vehicle. He is prompt, courteous, knowledgeable, and dependable. I never have to worry about a thing as Victor makes sure work is performed quickly, efficiently and and correctly.

Chuck

8 years of experience
120 reviews
Chuck
8 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Coppell, Texas
Had an appointment for replacing Front Brake Pads today. Chuck did a great job and completed the task before the schedule. I will surely refer yourmechanic to my friends as well. Happy Thanksgiving Chuck. Thanks again for your great service.

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