WHY YOUR TRANSMISSION FLUID SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED
An automotive transmission converts an engine’s force into a controlled source of power to move the vehicle and provide usable power from a stopped position throughout all speeds. Without a transmission, the power from the engine could never reach the wheels. It acts as a mediator between the engine and the wheels and converts the high power produced by the engine into torque (rotational force), which is then transferred to the differential(s) and axles, which in turn rotates the wheels.
What causes transmission fluid breakdown?
High fluid temperatures are ultimately what kills transmissions. It is estimated around 90% of all transmission failures are due to excessive heat, but what exactly causes transmission overheating? It is often related to the transmission fluid itself such as low, dirty, burnt, or contaminated fluid. However, there are other factors that can come into play such as internal part failure, heavy towing, lots of stop and go driving, or a very hot operating climate.
It is important to note that no fluid, including so called ‘lifetime' fluids, can last forever. Realistically, they will not last for the lifetime of a vehicle unless lifetime is defined as when the component they are supposed to protect fails. Heat, friction, and normal wear and tear eventually break down all fluids. If the original owner keeps a vehicle beyond the factory warranty period, the reality of this will set in quickly. Worse still, once the vehicle is sold, the new owner will eventually have to pay the piper for the deferred service.
Oil is cheaper than metal. It is much less expensive to change fluids, even synthetic fluids, than it is to replace parts. If your vehicle has over 100,000 kilometers, invest in finding out what the transmission fluid condition is even in a sealed ‘lifetime' fluid transmission. This is beyond the scope of a normal used vehicle inspection on transmissions without dipsticks or inspection plugs.
A simple check can go a long way...
If your vehicle is equipped with a transmission dipstick or fluid level inspection plug, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to inspect the fluid level to make sure it is full and carefully inspect the condition of the fluid by inspecting its color and smell. Transmission fluid generally starts out bright red or clear in color, looks clean, and is nearly odorless. If the color is brown to black and the fluid smells burnt and looks dirty, transmission service is a good idea.
Performed by licensed tech
Refill with new, OEM fluid
Maintains smooth shifting
Extends transmission life