When to Check Transmission Fluids

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid helps your car move smoothly and change gears without issue. It does so by lubricating and cooling the interior components of your transmission. That cooling is especially important for drivers in Richardson, Garland, Addison, and Plano.

To make sure your car continues to perform well, Courtesy Nissan created this guide on when to check transmission fluids. Keep reading to find out how often this service should be performed.

When to Check Transmission Fluids

A good rule of thumb is to check your transmission fluids every time you get your oil changed. For many newer cars, this happens once a year or every 10,000 miles. Of course, if you notice a transmission fluid leaks, check it right away.

If you have an automatic transmission, chances are it’s easy to check your transmission fluid. There’s usually a dipstick in the engine compartment, similar to the one you use to check your oil. Automatic transmission fluid generally lasts anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 miles. However, some vehicles recommend you change this fluid every 30,000 miles, so check your owner’s manual.

If you have a manual transmission, your transmission fluid—or gear oil, depending on the vehicle—is a little harder to check. You’ll need to put your car up on jacks to perform this check. Unfortunately, manual transmission fluid also doesn’t last as long: Many vehicles recommend changing it every 30,000 to 60,000 miles under normal driving conditions.

If you have a continuously variable transmission, there’s a lot more variation. CVTs are relatively new to the scene, so methods and timelines aren't standard across brands yet. For instance, Nissan CVTs have a locking dipstick you can use to check the transmission fluid. However, some vehicles need a qualified technician to perform this service.

Do you drive a car, truck, or SUV that makes it hard for you to check the transmission fluid? If so, ask your service technician to check it whenever you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance.

Why Check Transmission Fluid?

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is in a closed system and doesn’t burn off like oil does. As a result, it shouldn’t run low unless there’s a leak somewhere in the system. Transmission fluid leaks are often easy to identify, because you’ll notice a puddle of reddish, viscous fluid under your car.

The main thing you’ll want to look at in a transmission fluid check is quality. Again, the fluid should be pink or red in color. If it’s a dark brown color, it should be replaced. Likewise, it should have a smooth consistency. Any grittiness or other debris mean your transmission fluid has reached the end of its life.

Finding these transmission fluid issues before you notice a decrease in performance can help your transmission last longer. That’s why it’s important to check your transmission fluids on a regular basis.

Need Transmission Repair?

Courtesy Nissan can help you find the source of a transmission fluid leak if it’s running low. We can also replace the fluid for you if it’s dark and gritty. Need more involved transmission repairs near Richardson, Garland, Addison, and Plano? We can do that, too.

Contact our service center today to get more info and schedule an appointment!

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