Q: Does my transmission fluid need to be changed?

asked by on March 10, 2017

I took my 2008 Ford Escape to get and oil change and they did an inspection. They said my transmission fluid was turning dark and was due to be changed at 100,000 miles. My car was at 98,000 miles. It is now at 106,000 miles. I called a mechanic to get it changed and they said changing it would probably cause problems. Should I get it changed?

My car has 106000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Transmission Fluid Service $125.08 - $440.73 Get a Quote

The color of used transmission fluid is not particularly relevant in judging the remaining life of the fluid. If the fluid is visibly contaminated with particulate matter and/or the fluid has a burnt odor, as a consequence of overheating, those would be relevant inspection factors. Fluid with a burnt odor, for example, should be changed at once. There is no recommendation in your Ford manual to change the automatic transmission at any particular interval, assuming the vehicle is used in normal service. However, Ford does clearly state that if the Escape is used for trailer towing the fluid should be changed every 30,000 miles, that is frequently. As a compromise, even though Ford does NOT require it, it is definitely a good maintenance practice to change the fluid at least every 100,000 miles in normal service. As far as the mechanic’s remark that changing the fluid would cause problems, in YOUR circumstances, that is with a relatively new vehicle that has only moderate miles, that advice is technically incorrect and unwise. If you are curious, ask the mechanic to cite specific literature, journal articles, field test data, lab results or other actual, tangible, documentable evidence that there is potential harm. If he supplies such evidence, take it into consideration. If he supplies nothing, you can safely ignore the "advice" that he gave you. If you desire, YourMechanic does perform transmission fluid exchanges on a mobile basis. The service to request would be transmission fluid/filter change. If you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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

What others are asking

Service engine soon. Light not blinking. Diagnostics engine head radiator hot. I see no problems no overheating?

Hello. Thank you for writing in. It would be beneficial to have the diagnostic codes that were pulled from the scan. Have you checked the level of the coolant? You should start there. Make sure that the thermostat is completely...

I am missing two bolt on my transmission will it damage it ? and from the transmission to the oil pan there is oil leaking is tha

The bolts that are missing should not cause a problem but they should be replaced as soon as possible just in case. The leak between the engine and transmission can be oil from the engine. It could potentially be a...

Squeaking from front driver's side tire

If the noise is heard when turning it could be the strut tower bushings. These are rubber bushings that ride on a bearing. They insulate the strut from your vehicle and aid in turning. Over time dirt gets between the...

Speedometer stops on 40 mph until driving for 20 minutes and then regains correct speed on the speedometer with no other noticeable issues.

Hi there. The issue with your speedometer not working properly is the transmission output shaft speed sensor has a faulty pickup or broken wire inside it. The speed sensor has a magnet that reads between teeth on a gear within...

What does the AdvanceTrac® Light mean on the dash?

Your car is equipped with an advanced traction and stability control system called AdvanceTrac®. The system is always on unless you manually turn it off. The AdvanceTrac® Light should come on in the dash when you first crank the engine...

Crank but no start. No spark or fuel - all quit at the same time

Hello. If the vehicle began to experience these issues after going through a puddle then it may very well be possible that one of the components may have shorted or malfunctioned due to moisture. First off, keep in mind that...

Can the horn/alarm be permanently disengaged or disconnected?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. It seems the problem is that one or more of the door latches is not closing completely when the door is closed, therefore the car will activate the door ajar light switch cause the...

Stuck brake caliper

Although it is possible for a collapsed (internally and thus "invisible") rubber brake line to cause a retraction failure, by far the most common scenario is the caliper is sticking. If the calipers have more than, say, 70,000 miles on...

Car won't start due to cracked oil pan

Your car has an aluminum oil pan. They can not be repaired. Driving with an oil leak isn’t safe. Oil can catch fire if it leaks on the exhaust. If you car is cranking, but not starting, there is a...

Related articles

5 Signs Your Car Isn't Shifting Correctly
Improper shifting is a sign of car transmission problems. The solution might be simple or complex, but get it inspected to avoid expensive repairs.
How to Buy a Classic Ford Vehicle
When it comes to American-made vintage vehicles, few brands are more collected than Fords. Indeed, many Ford models do embody the adage “things get better with age” – at least in terms of value. In most cases, once a Ford...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Kickdown Cable
If you feel that your car's transmission is shifting roughly, too fast, or too slow, you may need to replace the kickdown cable.