Selecting The Right Transmission Fluid
Selecting The Right Transmission Fluid For Your Vehicle
When it comes to transmission fluid there are a number of options on the market. It is not a product that is one size fits all, unlike what many people believe. Depending on the type of transmission you have and the year it was made, there is a specific formula that is the right match. It is critical that you use only the type that is right for your vehicle.
Not using the right fluid can greatly reduce the life of your transmission. In the worst case scenario it can actually cause it to seize up, leading to having to have it replaced soon after adding the wrong type of fluid. Transmissions are one of the most expensive parts of a car or truck, so clearly this is not something that you want to risk. Additionally, but not using the right formula you will null any warranty that you might have on your car, leaving you responsible for the bill.
Depending on the make, model and year of your vehicle, you should change the transmission fluid every 24,000 to 36,000 miles. For most people this means it should be done every two to three years, but if you put on more than 12,000 miles per year it may need to be done more often. You should be able to find the specific time frame and mileage recommendations inside your vehicle's owners manual.
When proceeding with changing the fluid you should flush the entire system to remove any grime that has built up over time. That is the main reason that it needs to be changed. You do not want to simply drain the transmission and refill it, as that will not get the job done properly. It is also important that you change the filter for the same reason.
If you are not completely sure of how to go about this process you can find a wealth of information online about how to do it depending on which type of vehicle you have. There are also countless tutorials so you can see it done first hand. If after doing some research you are not sure that you have the necessary skills or knowledge you may want to seek the help of a professional to ensure that you do not miss a critical step, putting the life of your transmission at risk.
When it comes to selecting the right fluid it is critical that you check your owner's manual for this information. There are two main types of fluids that are used in vehicles. They are known as Mercon and Dextron. You want to be sure that you use the one that is specified by your car or truck's manufacturer. There are also two subclasses, them being traditional and synthetic. Synthetic versions are more commonly used in newer vehicles because they perform better and can withstand higher temperatures. This should also be specified in the manual. If you have an older vehicle it is best to continue to use the traditional class, as that is what was intended when the transmission was manufactured.
You will find that there are many brands on the market for each type of fluid. These can differ depending on where you are located. It is important to note that just because a product is a big name does not mean that it is of the highest quality. When making your purchase you may want to seek the help of a store employee. They can give you more information about which kind they find to provide the best results.
Finally, you will want to check your fluid every 3,000 miles to ensure that it is at the right level. Many places that provide oil changes will do this for you, but if you do your oil change yourself you can just take a moment to check all of your other fluids. Having this right fluid level will ensure that your transmission has the longest life possible.
Just remember that it is critical to use the right fluid type. Making the wrong choice can damage your transmission significantly. A good rule of thumb is to double check your owner's manual before adding the fluid each time.