Tech Tips

Do You Need the Transmission Fluid Changed?

Taking care of your car or truck’s transmission is important for its long-term health. But all too often, car owners misunderstand the basic maintenance that’s needed to keep a gearbox running smoothly. Consumer Reports’ chief mechanic, John Ibbotson, explains what you need to know.

Do You Need to Have the Transmission Fluid Changed?

The simple answer is yes. But service intervals for new vehicles can exceed 100,000 miles before this needs to be done.

That makes this seemingly clear-cut advice something of a conundrum for car owners. Those who don’t hold on to a new vehicle for very long may never have to have the transmission fluid changed.

On the other hand, factoring in that service is good advice for any owner who plans […]

How To Check Your Transmission Fluid

Most auto manufactures recommend servicing your transmission every 50,000 miles or so (check your owner’s manual for more details). But it’s a good idea to check your transmission fluid periodically. One of the best times is during a normal engine oil change. If your transmission has a filler tube and dipstick you can check it yourself. If not, you’ll need to have it check by a transmission specialist.

It’s simple. Just follow these steps:
1. Make sure the engine is at normal operating temperature.
2. Park your vehicle on level ground.
3. Place the shifter in Park and set the parking brake.
4. Locate the transmission filler tube (note: some transmissions, particularly newer cars, do not have a transmission filler tube. If your car doesn’t […]