Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Changing transmission fluid on a high-mileage car

asked by on

I have a car with 198,000 miles. The automatic transmission fluid has a brown red tinted color to it. I'm not sure if the transmissionn fluid has ever been changed but it is not black. Is that a good indication that the ATF has been changed at least once?

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, then a fresh change can sometimes make it slip. It’s kind of a gamble. So if you buy a car new, change it every 40,000 miles, and you won’t have that problem. In your case, if it shifts okay, I personally wouldn’t do it, with that kind of mileage. Because you would take some kind of a gamble changing it now.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Thudding and thumping during acceleration from a stop and steering vibration at highway speed on a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder

If it's happening when you stop or accelerate, it is often a broken motor mount or transmission mount. I've got a video "how to change bad motor mounts on your car" that shows you how to check it. You put...

Q: Clutch slipping while driving

Hi. Clutches usually only last about 150,000 miles and need to be replaced. If your experiencing the clutch slipping and it has over 100,000 miles, it probably needs replacing. As far as it slipping out of 5th gear, you may...

Q: Advice on what type of service to do on a car before a road trip

My advice is to stick to one type of oil. In my old cars, I've been using Castrol GTX forever. It's normal and it's not synthetic. I've never had a problem with it, they don't burn out oil and they...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.