Manual: Most manufacturers recommend that manual transmission fluid be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Under heavy-duty use, some manufacturers suggest changing transmission fluid every 15,000 miles.
Automatic: Service intervals for an automatic transmission vary from every 30,000 to 80,000 miles depending on manufacturer. The typical service interval is 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Changing it more often does no harm.
Transmission Fluid Service
When to service: The first transmission fluid service should be done around 50-80 thousand miles or when the fluid changes color or smells burnt. Transmission fluid is red with a sweet, strong smell. We recommend changing the fluid every 30 thousand miles after the first service. This service is for vehicles fitted with a transmission drain plug.
In line fluid exchange using industry standard transmission flushing machines
Check for contamination. If debris has built up in fluid, a transmission filter replacement will be recommended (additional cost)
Refill transmission with 3-4 quarts of OE specified Automatic or Manual Transmission Fluid
How much does it cost to repair transmissions?
A transmission that needs to be repaired, rebuilt or replaced can be relatively expensive. Our mechanics can break down the costs depending on the type of transmission service you need for your vehicle.
Signs of Possible Transmission Problems
A burnt smell coming from under the hood.
Car is shaking while driving at any speed.
Fluid is visibly leaking from your vehicle.
If your manual tranmission gear shifter is physically hard to move or won't go into gear.
The transmission fluid on your vehicle's dipstick is cloudy, thick or foul smelling.
The tranmission is slipping, grinding or jumps during acceleration.
You hear clunking, screeching or whistling sounds coming from your vehicle.
What the color of your transmission fluid tells you
The red color that you see in transmission fluid is from a dye added to it. Without it there would be almost no color to the fluid at all! Don’t be deceived if your fluid looks great. The color of the fluid is not an indication of transmission wear, or the last time that it was serviced.
If you check your transmission fluid and it appears as a nice maroon color, that is an indication of fluid that has been in the case for quite a few miles. Heat will cause the dye in the fluid to change color and get darker over time.
Even very dark fluid does not show an automatic transmission problem, unless other symptoms are present. Fluid that has not been replaced for 100,000 miles will often be very dark.
While amber, brown, and black are usually harmless, that is not the case with black transmission fluid. The reason that the fluid has gotten to be black is because of issues in the transmission.
If you run into any of the colors above and find silver shavings in it, you have a major problem with the transmission. This indicates metal on metal friction. Parts are actively grinding against each other. and failure is imminent.
This pinkish diluted color is an indication that antifreeze or water has corrupted the transmission. Water is almost impossible to get out of the transmission. It usually gets in there through a failing radiator.