Keeping up with vehicle maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent serious issues that can cost you thousands in repairs. Everyone knows about oil, antifreeze, brakes and tires—but you may not have considered flushing your transmission fluid. While less frequent, it's an important part of keeping your car transmission running well.
How often should transmission fluid be flushed?
Transmission fluid flushing schedules can vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle and will largely depend on whether you have a manual or automatic transmission.
For manual transmissions, most manufacturer recommendations are often in the range of 30,000 and 60,000 miles. However, this will vary based on vehicle type and manufacturer.
For automatic transmissions, the variation is a little wider. Some manufacturers recommend you flush your transmission fluid every 30,000 or so miles and some as many as 100,000 or 150,000 miles. Always check your model’s manual to ensure an accurate mileage estimate for your vehicle.
As with any maintenance, you should also be vigilant on your driving habits. If your driving is mostly confined to a small town, you're not going to cause nearly as much stress on your vehicle as someone who drives hundreds of miles every week on freeways or rough, unpaved roads.
Why is it important?
Transmission fluid is essentially the oil for your transmission. To keep everything running smoothly, your transmission needs to operate at the right temperature with proper lubrication. Letting your car transmission fluid run too low or get too dirty can interfere with lubrication and cause premature wear and tear on your transmission. Since you'll rarely have to flush your transmission fluid, it's far cheaper than having to replace or repair your transmission.
Being aware of the stress you put on your vehicle and the maintenance it requires are the best preventative measures. A little bit of education and effort can ultimately save you hundreds or thousands in repairs.