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Transmission Fluid: The Basics

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Transmission Fluid: The Basics

One of the most important maintenance services for your car is taking care of your transmission with regular transmission fluid flushes. Depending on the car and the type of transmission, it’s necessary for anywhere between every 30,000 and 100,000 miles. So what’s transmission fluid, what happens to it when you drive, and what’s the service?

What is transmission fluid?

Transmission fluid is a lubricant that helps your car change gears. In an automatic transmission like most of us have, transmission fluid also acts as both a coolant and a hydraulic fluid that transmits power from the engine to the transmission.

What about manual transmissions?

Manual transmissions still have transmission fluid, and it needs to be changed every 30,000-60,000 miles. In a manual, the fluid acts mostly as a gear lubricant. That’s why in some cars, gear oil or other lubricants can temporarily substitute for manual transmission fluid.

Why does it need to be changed?

When you change gears in both manual and automatic transmissions, the metal parts grind, and the transmission fluid gets contaminated by those ground metal particles. Additionally, in an automatic transmission, the constant heating and cooling of the fluid degrades it and causes poor performance over time. This can cause slipping gears and poor shifting—which is the last thing you need on a snowy or icy winter road.

What does Commercial Tire do?

Our service techs know to check transmission fluid at regular intervals as part of an overall fluid check, along with the other fluids in your vehicle. But for vehicles that are having transmission problems, we perform a flush, which takes the contaminated fluid out and replaces it with clean fluid. If the transmission is still acting up, we also have mechanics on hand to do any necessary transmission and gear repair. Of course, we recommend you come in before you have serious problems.

Got more questions? Contact your local Commercial Tire and one of our service professionals will be able to help.

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