Automatic Transmission Filter Buyer's Guide
- The automatic transmission filter keeps contaminants out of the automatic transmission fluid.
- It is usually located above the vehicle’s transmission pan, and just below the pick up tube connected to the oil pan.
- The filter can get clogged due to debris, dirt, and metal shavings from other vehicle components.
- Symptoms of a clogged or faulty transmission filter include rattling noise, leaks, burning smell or smoke, and difficulty changing gears.
- When looking for a replacement, make sure to consider the materials used for the filter as well as its compatibility with your vehicle.
- Automatic transmission filters are usually priced between $50 to $250.
Your vehicle’s transmission makes it possible for your wheels to be in sync with your engine. One of the components that make up this essential system is the automatic transmission filter.
What Is an Automatic Transmission Filter and What Does It Do?
The automatic transmission filter helps keep contaminants out of the automatic transmission fluid. This fluid serves as a lubricant and cools your transmission to facilitate gear shifts.
Unlike a manual transmission vehicle that uses a clutch, a vehicle with an automatic transmission uses a torque converter. This device refers to a hydraulic coupling that is responsible for transferring engine power to the transmission. For this process to run as smoothly as possible, the transmission fluid must not be contaminated. This is where the role of an automatic transmission filter comes in.
Usually, the transmission filter is located above the vehicle’s transmission pan below the pickup tube, which is connected to your oil pump.
When Should I Replace My Automatic Transmission Filter?
Your transmission filter is no different from any other type of filter. Eventually, it will get clogged due to debris, dirt, and other contaminants. As your transmission gets old, metal shavings from the different components may get mixed with it. Once this happens, your transmission fluid will not be able to perform its function.
Here are the most common symptoms of a faulty automatic transmission filter:
Generally, any unexplained and disturbing noise in the engine or transmission isn’t a good sign. Once you hear any rattling sound, try to have your vehicle’s transmission checked. Filters that are clogged with too much debris may cause this noise.
You may also opt to check the fluid level. If it is thick and dark, chances are something is preventing the transmission fluid from flowing properly.
Although rattling noise can be a sign of a clogged filter, you also have to check other vehicle components, such as your brake pads and catalytic converter among others. These parts may also produce a rattling noise when faulty.
Leaks can be the result of a poorly fitted filter. Aside from that, defective seals and gaskets may also cause a leak and cause serious damage to your transmission. A clogged filter may also cause transmission fluid to be forced through the vent tube, causing unwanted leaks.
If you often notice leaks right where you just parked your vehicle, it is best to bring your vehicle to a trusted professional. If it is not your transmission filter that is causing it, chances are something else is leaking inside your engine. This would normally need immediate attention.
Burning Smell or Smoke
Without a properly flowing transmission fluid, your transmission will start to overheat. If left unresolved, you may see actual smoke from your transmission or engine. Once this happens, have your vehicle checked right away.
Difficulty Changing Gears
A clogged transmission may cause you to have problems changing gears. As a result, you may notice hesitation when trying to shift gears. If you also notice your vehicle surge for no reason when changing gears, it is time to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop.
In some cases, fluid change may solve the issue. However, if your filter is clogged or damaged, it is best to have them replaced right away.
What to Consider When Looking for an Automatic Transmission Filter
Here are two major things to consider when buying an automatic transmission filter:
The transmission filters sold in the market today can be made of different materials, such as polyester, mesh, and paper-based variants. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of material before choosing your filter. It is best to read up on different filter materials and decide which one best compliments your transmission components. Make sure your transmission filters are made from high-quality materials.
Make sure the filter you are buying is compatible with your vehicle. For example, if you own a truck, it is best to opt for a heavy-duty filter. It is also important to consider the type of transmission assembly you have installed in your vehicle. Make sure to read your vehicle’s manual or consult your trusted mechanic before buying any vehicle component.
How Much Does an Automatic Transmission Filter Cost?
Automatic transmission filters are usually priced between $50 to $250. Some are priced higher, depending on the brand and materials used. It can be sold individually, in kits, or as part of a whole assembly. Make sure to check the product specification before buying one for your vehicle.
Finding the Right Fit
To ensure that you're getting the right fit, enter the correct details of your vehicle into our built-in search function. You may also filter your search according to the brand and price range you prefer. Click search and browse through our wide selection of high-quality filters.