How Often to Change Car Transmission Fluid in Manual and Automatic

The car transmission serves a very important purpose for your vehicle. It allows engine power to be transmitted to the wheels of your vehicle. That is why it is called a “transmission.” There are lots of moving components inside of a transmission just like there are in your engine. These components will generate a lot of heat if they aren’t cooled down quickly. For this reason, a transmission needs special lubricating fluid to cool down these components and ensure that they continue to run smoothly. That way, there won’t be any power problems for the wheels.

There are two types of transmissions available for vehicles. There are automatic transmissions and manual transmissions.  If you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission, then you don’t need to worry about changing the gears as you drive or slow down. The gears are changed automatically for you. But if you have a vehicle with a manual transmission, then you need to manually change the gears with the shift stick. There are several mechanical components in a manual transmission which make this happen. Automatic transmissions use hydraulics to allow for automatic gear changes.

Despite whatever type of car transmission that you have, it needs to be lubricated with transmission fluid. All those moving components creating friction and generating heat can cause damage to the transmission if they aren’t cooled down. You need to use the appropriate transmission fluid in your manual or automatic transmission in order to preserve its longevity. In addition, you need to change the car transmission fluid at the appropriate intervals. Otherwise, the existing fluid will be too old and no good for the transmission.

Changing Manual Transmission Fluid

Due to all the mechanical components in a manual transmission, it needs fluid changes a lot more often than automatic transmission do. The average manufacturer will recommend that you change the fluid in a manual transmission about every 30,000 miles. Sometimes they will even let you go up to 60,000 miles before the next fluid change. Various makes and models have their own set standards on this. Your owner’s manual should give you more specific information regarding the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Of course, there are exceptions to this recommendation. If you tend to drive your vehicle under rough conditions which put stress on the engine and transmission, then you may need to change your transmission fluid every 15,000 miles. Sometimes rough conditions don’t necessarily mean bad roads or anything like that. In fact, it can simply mean doing more in-town driving as opposed to interstate driving. When you drive short distances on a regular basis with a manual transmission, it requires you to change gears more often because the speed changes happen so frequently. This stresses out the gears and causes them to wear out faster. Therefore, you need to change the fluid sooner in order to keep the gears working.

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Changing Automatic Transmission Fluid

Automatic transmission fluid typically lasts longer than manual transmission fluid. That is why it is recommended that you use an automatic transmission vehicle if you do a lot of in-town driving. It may not have the best fuel economy compared to a manual vehicle, but at least you won’t need to change the transmission fluid as often.

The average manufacturer of an automatic transmission will recommend that you change the fluid at least every 100,000 miles. Sometimes you can even drive up to 150,000 miles before the next fluid change. Since most people sell their vehicles before they even get to that point, they never end up having to change their automatic transmission fluid at all. Of course, it is better to be safe than sorry. If your automatic vehicle has been driven 50,000 miles since it’s last transmission fluid change, then it is time to change it again.

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