A transmission fluid flush might not be top-of-mind for you, but the same can’t be said for your car. This maintenance procedure is the most important thing you can do to keep your automatic transmission operating properly for the life of the vehicle.
We’ve pulled together a cheat sheet on all things transmission fluid, so you’re educated and empowered to keep your car in top condition. Get ready for your crash course:
The scoop on transmission fluid
Perhaps surprisingly, transmission fluid does more than lubricate the components of your transmission to keep it shifting smoothly. It is also used to build up hydraulic pressure in order to shift your car from first gear into second and so on. The fluid also cools the internal parts of the transmission, keeping it from running too hot and, subsequently, self-destructing.
Where it goes wrong
Your transmission fluid is constantly hard at work. Over time, the parts in your transmission wear down and “shed” metal into your transmission fluid. This turns the fluid from a clear bright red color to gray, brown or even black.
Why dirty transmission fluid is bad
When your vehicle’s transmission fluid is riddled with pieces of metal, it wears down the parts of your transmission at a faster-than-normal rate. And if the fluid is overly dirty and contaminated, the transmission cannot build up enough hydraulic pressure to properly shift gears.
How to prevent a major transmission problem
This is where our metaphorical knight in shining armor comes into play. A transmission fluid flush is a simple process that replaces the old dirty fluid with a fresh and clean supply.
Why a professional transmission fluid flush is best
Certified mechanics, like the ones at Auto Lab, have the equipment needed to thoroughly evacuate your transmission and remove most of the old fluid. If you only drain the dirty fluid from the the transmission pan, you still leave loads of dirty fluid inside the transmission, diluting the positive effects of your maintenance efforts.
How often should I flush my transmission?
Start by looking at your owner’s manual. If it’s not specified or you can’t find the maintenance schedule, ask the qualified auto experts at Auto Lab.