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When Should I Change My Transmission Fluid?

Your transmission is the heart of your vehicle, and much like this vital organ, it needs good, quality care and upkeep. It is the primary lubricant that keeps your motor running smoothly and efficiently. Driving with transmission fluid that's dirty or polluted can cause wear and tear on all other parts of your transmission and will lead to a much shorter lifespan for your car if something isn't done right away.

The question of when you should change your transmission fluid relies heavily on your driving habits. If you do a lot of driving, as in with deliveries, then getting your transmission fluid checked for residue is something that should be done right away. Those who have automatic transmissions should consider having their fluid changed within the 50,000 to 100,000 mileage range, while those who drive a manual transmission need to think about getting a flush done anywhere within the 50,000 to 90,000 mileage range.

Since most newer models don't have a way to check your transmission fluid manually, then consulting your owner's manual is best for a recommendation. In some cases, you should think about making yourself aware of any signs or symptoms of a transmission gone bad. You may begin to hear grinding noises within your engine, and when you do, you should check the color of transmission fluid. If it turns out to be bright red, then everything's okay and no flush is needed. But if the fluid looks to be brown or black, then a flush wouldn't hurt. In fact, brown or black transmission fluid is a sure sign that contamination has seeped in.

Delays in acceleration, gear trouble, and problems with gears that slip all have origins in dirty or contaminated transmission fluid. Fluid that flows at an inconsistent rate may cause the vehicle to surge forward or backward, or may jerk suddenly when you try to press harder on the accelerator in an effort to get it going.

These signs and more are only the beginning of your transmission woes. When they happen, don't worry. If you need transmission service, just bring your vehicle in today!