What Is Transmission Fluid And Why Should It Be Changed?

Sun Auto Service Expert, published on 06/11/2015

The transmission is a key component to your vehicle and transmission fluid helps facilitate gear shifts, lubricate moving parts, reduce heat caused by friction, and cool the transmission. Just like other vital fluids in your vehicle, transmission fluid deteriorates over time – making it critical to inspect regularly.  

How often you should have your transmission fluid changed can vary quite a bit. Driving under high-stress conditions, such as frequent stop-and-go city driving can mean that transmission fluid should be checked more frequently. Another reason you may need to check on transmission fluid often is if you haul or tow heavy loads on a regular basis. These types of driving can cause increased pressure on your vehicle, indicating it may need to be serviced more often.  

Transmission fluid is made to be a different color from other necessary fluids that your car requires, like oil and coolant, usually reflecting a red hue. As the transmission fluid deteriorates, it burns and becomes darker in color. The key is to flush your transmission and replace with it with new fluid before any discoloration starts. Once the fluid is burned, it is not functioning properly and means that internal wear has already begun.

Keeping an eye on your transmission fluid will help ensure your car performs to the best of its ability and for a longer amount of time. As is true with any type of fluid in your vehicle, it’s important to make note of any leakage you might see.

With your transmission being one of the most expensive and complex components of your car, taking care of it will ensure its continued performance. At Sun Auto Service, our ASE certified technicians are equipped to handle your transmission problems. From basic transmission services, like a transmission fluid flush, all the way to complete replacement or transmission overhauls, we can resolve your vehicle’s transmission issues.