Wondering when to change your automatic transmission fluid (ATF)? Most manufacturers recommend replacing transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If you tow, or do mostly city driving with constant changes of gears, it may be wise to change your ATF even more often.
Here's why. Your automatic transmission has a lot of moving parts. These are bathed in Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF), which keeps everything running smoothly. ATF is pretty complex stuff. Besides lubricating, it has chemicals that prevent corrosion and wear, keep it flowing in the cold, give it body in the heat, clean the transmission and more.
ATF, like all auto fluids, breaks down over time, mostly because of high heat. It can leave varnish and deposits on parts. If you've ever overheated oil in the kitchen, you've seen how it gets thick and sticky in some places, and watery and runny in others. ATF does the same. As the fluid loses its lubricating abilities, your transmission works harder and hotter, and is more likely to fail.
Transmission repairs often cost thousands of dollars. An ATF fluid exchange (some people call it an automatic transmission flush) is tens of dollars. It's worth the investment if your fluid is old or showing signs of heat damage. Bring it to any of our stores, and we'll check it for you for free.
If your ATF is showing its age, we can drain the old stuff, flush the transmission to clean out any grit or varnish and fill it with the right type of fresh ATF for your car or truck. You'll be on your way with your mind at ease in minutes.