Automatic Transmission

Change & Service

Get your transmission fluid changed from just $150!

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Your transmission is one of the most expensive to replace or rebuild. And if it stops working while driving it could be very dangerous, because it affects your ability to switch gears.

  • But luckily all this can be prevented by getting your transmission fluid changed regularly.
  • It is also something that you can inspect and check the condition of at home (which you can read later about in the article)

What exactly does your transmission do?

An automatic transmission is essential an automatic gear shifter. It helps you shift gears in your car as you speed up.

A transmission basically transfers the power from the engine to the wheels, without it then your car wouldn’t move.

Automatic-Transmission-Diagram

Image courtesy of ClearMechanic.com

To see how it actually works watch this informative video here.

Why is it important?

Within the transmission there is the fluid which helps to lubricate, cool but also acts as a hydraulic fluid which help facilitate the gear shifts.

As you use the car, step on acceleration, tow things and brake – the gears and parts inside the transmission will heat up. 

And as it heats up, the transmission fluid will deteriorate over time – losing its properties and ability to property lubricate. Once that happens – the parts will scratch against each other and start to wear out and lose grip.

Once the gears and part inside are worn – this may cause your transmission to slip gears and once that happens repairs will be very costly.

The cost of repairs, rebuilding or replacing is very expensive – compared to actually keeping your transmission properly maintained.

Below is the average price you’d expect to pay if something goes wrong with a transmission:

Basic Repairs $1000 – $2000+

Replacement $1800 – $3500+

Salvage yard $1000 – $1500+

Rebuilt $1500 – $2500+

Re manufactured $2500 – $3500+

When should you do a transmission fluid change?

Each vehicle has different recommendations when changing the transmission fluid. Some cars use a “lifetime” fluid – which basically means you “don’t” need to change it for the life of the transmission. Though we do recommend getting it checked at least every 100,000 kms to ensure everything is running smoothly cause sometimes moisture can get in and damage the properties of the fluid and parts.

Other vehicles might recommend you to change it every 50,000 kms or 100,000 kms. So it is best to first check your owners manual for the specific cars recommendation.

The frequency of when you do need to change may also depend on how you drive your vehicle. If you tend to drive fast and push your car with hard accelerations, brake hard or maybe even be pulling trailers – you’ll probably need to check your transmission fluid more frequently.

So it’s best to know some of the symptoms that you may need a transmission fluid change. Below are some of the symptoms to look out for.

What are some of the symptoms to look out for?

  1. Transmission is slipping between gears while driving or popping back to neutral
  2. Grinding/Clunking/Humming noises – especially when in neutral
  3. Burnt smells
  4. Grinding/Thumping when gear changes instead of smooth transitions – mainly due to worn bearings or other rotating components
  5. Lag/Delay between gear changes and or higher than normal RPM for a given speed or gear change.
  6. Clutch is dragging (Manual transmission) – clutch stays engaged and causes grinding noises when trying to shift.
  7. Leaking fluid
  8. Engine stalls at low speeds
  9. Refuses to go into gear (manual)

How to check the condition (At home)?

  1. Ensure your vehicle is running, on park and on a level surface.
  2. Find your transmission dipstick – pull it out
  3. Wipe the dipstick on a white cloth
  4. If the colour is cherry red and fairly clear – it is in good condition
  5. However, if it’s dark and smells burnt – there may be a problem and your best option would let a specialist check further.

Tip: If you can’t find the transmission fluid dipstick – sometimes the vehicle may be using a lifetime fluid and the transmission is “sealed”. Which means its hidden and may be harder to access and actually check.

If you have some tools, can raise your car off the ground and don’t mind getting your hands dirty and – You can also do a quick google search for “Your Car + Transmission Fluid” to find out where it is located to check the oil quality.

transmission-fluid-colours

Courtesy of Auto Repair Huntington Beach

How much does it cost?

Average cost for a Transmission Fluid Change is around $150 – $250. While a transmission flush would be around $300 – $500.

What is the process? & How long does it take?

The length of the process of a transmission fluid change is around 1 hour and includes:

  1. Drain your transmission
  2. Filters/Pan cleaned or replaced.
  3. New fluid added (According to specification by manufacturer)
  4. Inspected for leaks and other issues
  5. Conduct a road test to check the shift pattern and to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Note: A Transmission Flush is a different process – where a machine is used to flush all the old oil out and new added which normally takes around 2+ hours.

Recommendations

  • Check owners manual for recommended intervals for when to change your transmission fluid.
  • If you have a transmission fluid dipstick – pull it out and check the colour of fluid.
  • If you have a sealed transmission – take it to a qualified mechanic for a quick diagnostic unless you don’t mind getting your hands dirty.
  • Make sure to keep an eye out for symptoms regardless whether it is time to change or not.

If you are unsure, bring your car to K1 Motors at 62 Henderson Road, Clayton 3168 Victoria for a quick diagnostic – to avoid potentially expensive repairs and headaches!

We are located around 25mins from Melbourne CBD. 5 Minutes walk from Monash Uni (Clayton Campus).

Alternatively, submit a message here with your enquiry or concerns and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

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