Why Your Transmission Needs to Be Serviced Periodically

Your vehicle's transmission is one of its most important systems. It is literally what makes the vehicle move down the road as it transfers power from the engine and sends it out to the drive wheels. Just like you help take care of your engine with routine oil and oil filter changes, you will want to do the same for your transmission.

What Does a Standard Transmission Service Include?

A standard transmission service at Simard Automotive will include draining the old transmission fluid (also known as transmission oil or automatic transmission fluid—ATF) from the transmission pan, cleaning the pan, replacing the transmission filter and replacing the pan gasket if necessary. In some serious cases when the fluid is really bad, a full transmission fluid flush may be recommended. The process is actually pretty similar to a common oil change and the purpose is also similarly beneficial.

What Does Transmission Fluid Do?

Transmission fluid runs throughout key transmission components like the torque converter in an automatic vehicle or the clutch in a manual vehicle. It provides vital lubricating and cooling properties as these fast-moving metal parts do what they need to do to control the vehicle as it shifts between gears. Over time, the transmission fluid naturally starts to deteriorate. It gets too thick and dirty, and eventually becomes what we call "burnt." By the time the fluid reaches this stage of deterioration, it is doing more damage than good as it runs through all the important transmission components. Transmission fluid leaks can also develop when the transmission pan gasket wears out. Without proper lubrication and cooling, things start to seize up and grind together, and this will be really bad for your transmission.

Like an oil change, a standard transmission service is a necessary preventative maintenance procedure that will need to be done periodically to help keep your vehicle's transmission healthy. 

The good news is that transmission services do not need to be performed nearly as often as oil changes or tire rotations. How often you need your transmission serviced may depend on a number of factors:

  • Age of vehicle
  • Type of transmission (manual vs. automatic vs. CVT)
  • Size of vehicle
  • Mileage
  • Driving habits and overall vehicle usage

Pushing Your Transmission Too Hard

Let's talk about that last thing on the list real quick. How you drive and use your vehicle will make a significant difference. If you tow heavy loads or do a lot of rough driving up and down hills, you are going to put more strain on your transmission. If you like to drive super fast and shift aggressively, you are making your transmission work harder. In these cases, transmission services may be required more often than someone who doesn't put so much stress on their vehicle. The recommended mileage intervals between transmission services can usually range anywhere from 30,000 miles up to 100,000 miles depending on all these different factors above. Sometimes, they are required more often in older vehicles with a lot of wear and tear.

Take Care of Your Transmission

The important thing to remember is that your transmission needs to be serviced periodically to keep it running right and to prevent major internal damage. Check with your vehicle's owner manual, your dealership or your local automotive shop to stay on a consistent maintenance schedule for your transmission, engine, wheels/tires, brakes and all other systems that require routine maintenance.

If you are in the Fairbanks, Alaska area, you can turn to the automotive pros at Simard Automotive for all your vehicle maintenance needs. We offer several different maintenance plans like our Million Mile Warranty and Arctic Maintenance Schedule, and we can keep your car, truck or SUV running its best for as long as you own it. Call either of our two local shops today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd.). You can also book your service appointment online.

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