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How Often You Should Change Your Transmission Fluid

A Well-Working Transmission Keeps the Vehicle Moving

Bass Transmission in Roanoke, VA, can advise you on how often you should change your transmission fluid. The transmission’s main job is to deliver engine power to the wheels. A typical transmission uses 5 or 6 gear sets that engage or disengage with each other to increase or decrease the power being sent to the wheels. If a vehicle didn’t have a transmission, the explosive power produced by a typical automobile internal combustion engine would simply be too high for starting or stopping a car or moving at slow speeds.

There are a few things you can do to take care of your transmission and get the most fuel and power efficiency. Bass Transmissions is your local authority in the Roanoke, VA, area for all things transmissions. When your vehicle needs transmission work, call us!


Transmission Fluid Does More Than You Might Think

Transmissions use a special type of fluid to lubricate parts, reduce friction between gears and clutch plates, and provide cooling. Both automatic and manual transmissions require different types of fluid. CVT transmissions, which we recently mentioned in December’s blog, and transmissions with dual clutches also need a special type of fluid. Knowing what type of fluid that your transmission requires is key to maintaining longevity.


Automatic Transmission Fluid vs. Manual Transmission Fluid

Automatic transmission fluid serves the multiple functions inside the transmission case. The fluid aids in gear lubrication and assists in torque converter operation and valve body operation. It also reduces high friction on the clutch plate, reduces brake band friction, and aids in transmission cooling. Manual transmission fluid is sometimes heavier and thicker, or more viscous, than automatic transmission fluid.

Older vehicles with manual transmissions will use 75W to 140W fluid. These fluids provide better wear protection as older transmissions come with their own set of quirks, due to age. Most new model vehicles with manual transmissions will use an automatic fluid in their transmissions.


Know When to Change Your Transmission Fluid

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend servicing your transmission every 60,000 to 100,000 miles for an automatic and 20,000 to 30,000 miles for a manual. Hard shifting, leaking fluid, sweet-smelling or burnt odors, rough idling, slow acceleration, and warning lights just might be the first signs of transmission issues. If your transmission is beginning to fail, you just might be left on the side of the road, unable to move.


A Quick Note on Differential Fluid

Differential fluid is found in the axle housing of some rear-wheel drive, 4WD, and AWD vehicles. It’s designed to perform under high-pressure situations, rather than high temperatures like engine oil. Large rear-wheel drive pick-up trucks, semi-trucks, 4-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and other vehicles capable of hauling or towing heavy loads all have differentials. The fluid inside acts as a lubricant to help turn the axle when under heavy load. Without differential fluid, the gears would overheat and possibly lead to a breakdown, safety issues, broken parts, and require expensive repairs. Remember to check your differential fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles or when your vehicle manufacturer recommends.


For more information on transmission fluid changes, give Bass Transmission a call at (540) 345-8871. Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest news and information. We are happy to discuss more information about how often to change your transmission fluid.