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Your vehicle’s transmission is designed to transfer power from the engine to your wheels. As it is composed of many moving components, it needs proper lubrication to maintain its efficiency. This is where transmission fluid comes in.

How Much Is Transmission Fluid?

You can get high-quality transmission fluid for around $5 to $15 a quart. Prices can vary depending on its brand and other product specifications. Labor costs for a transmission and fluid change can go anywhere between $200 and $400. Remember that this range doesn’t include taxes and other expenses, so you’ll have to consider those too. Also, the exact price will depend on a variety of factors, such as the type of vehicle you have and the shop you choose.

What Is Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid lubricates the moving parts of your transmission. Most automatic transmission fluids are made with a refined mixture of base oil and a combination of additives. They typically look bright red or pink, but they will turn brown over time.

In vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions, the fluid also helps produce hydraulic pressure, which helps the planetary gear sets shift. It is also used by the torque converter.

automotive transmission fluid replacement
Transmission fluid lubricates the moving parts of your transmission.

To check your transmission fluid, you’ll have to locate the transmission fluid dipstick. Here’s a guide to help you check your transmission fluid level.

How Often You Change Transmission Fluid?

On most vehicles, automatic transmission fluids last around 30,000 to 100,000 miles. The exact service interval for this fluid will depend on the vehicle. To know the exact details of your transmission fluid service interval, consult your owner’s manual or talk to a trusted mechanic. It’s also important to note that some vehicles don’t require a transmission fluid change because their transmission is sealed.

What Causes the Transmission Fluid to Degrade?

It’s natural for the transmission fluid to deteriorate over time. However, some factors can shorten its lifespan. For example, carrying heavy cargo, trailer towing, and other driving habits can cause your automatic transmission fluid to run hot and prematurely deteriorate. The fluid is also prone to overheating if your vehicle has transmission-related issues.

What Happens When the Transmission Fluid Is Contaminated?

Contaminated transmission fluid can cause loss of hydraulic power, making the gears in your transmission slip. That’s because contaminated or dirty fluid won’t be able to flow in the system smoothly. When this happens, there might be inadequate pressure to stay in gear.

Contaminated fluid can also cause a variety of other transmission performance problems, ranging from harsh engagement to improper torque converter operation. In some instances, the check engine light might also illuminate.

What are the Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid Levels?

Low transmission fluid levels can cause transmission performance problems, such as slippage and a vehicle that won’t move in gear. You may also notice liquid dripping or a puddle forming underneath your vehicle. In some cases, the check engine light might also illuminate.

What Causes Low Transmission Fluid Levels?

Transmission leaks are the primary reason your ride’s transmission fluid level is low. Leaks can be caused by a cracked transmission pan, failed transmission pan gasket, damaged fluid line, bad axle seal, or faulty torque converter.

mechanic checks car transmission pan
Transmission leaks are the primary reason your ride’s transmission fluid level is low.

You can check out this guide for more information on how to check your vehicle’s transmission fluid level.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic.

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