This guide explains transmission fluid costs and walks you through the process of changing your own fluid yourself.
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Is it time to get new spark plugs? Check.
Is it time to change the air filters? Done.
Is it time to replace the transmission fluid? What?
A task like this should never be neglected. Even if you don’t have a lot of mechanical know-how, you can easily perform the technique yourself at home.
Is it expensive to have the fluid in your transmission changed? If you take it in a different location, the outcome may be different. In a mechanic’s or a dealer’s shop, expect to pay anything from $80 to $250.
But if you’re up for the challenge, you can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $100 to have it done on your own.
Because of this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn about transmission fluid, including what it is and how often it has to be replaced. You’ll also learn how much it will cost for this service.
Here is a step-by-step tutorial on changing your transmission fluid at home.
Right now, let’s get started!
What Is Transmission Fluid And How Often Does It Need To Be Changed?
Because it lubricates the transmission, transmission fluid is like engine oil, but it also serves as a hydraulic fluid.
In addition to keeping the transmission working at a safe temperature, it aids in gear shifts and provides lubrication for the moving parts.
Transmission fluids typically contain the following:
- Corrosion inhibitors
- Anti-wear additives
- Viscosity improvers/modifiers
- Seal swell additives
- Anti-foam additives
- Anti-oxidation compounds
- Cold flow improvers
- High-temperature thickeners
- Gasket conditioners
- Petroleum dye
Does it make sense to postpone replacing the one component that keeps a $1,500-$3,500 part from operating if you need to repair it? Even more so, when the above ingredient list is so comprehensive?
Between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, most transmission fluids last, although others claim to last up to a whopping 150,000 miles. In this case, the goal is not to see how long you can keep yours alive.
In order to safeguard the transmission, it must be kept as efficient as possible.
What are the telltale symptoms that your transmission fluid needs to be changed? There are a number of common indicators, such as:
- Gear slipping
- Inability to shift
- Irregular shifts
- Overheated transmission
- Delayed gear shifts
Once you’ve learned how crucial transmission fluid is and how frequently it needs to be replaced, you’ll never drive without it again. Let’s take a look at the price tag on this service.
How Much Does Changing Transmission Fluid Cost?
To begin with, where you have it done – at a dealership or a mechanic/service center–affects the cost. The brand and type of your automobile is another important factor. When it comes to transmission fluid, this determines what kind you need and how much of it you will need.
Most transmission fluids cost between $8 and $20 per quart, and most cars require 5 to 15 quarts ($40 to $300) to properly service the transmission.
Filters and pan gaskets should also be replaced while changing transmission fluid. Gaskets for pots and pans cost anywhere from $75 to $150, while filters cost $15 to $30.
All in all, you’ll pay anything from $130 to 480, with an average cost of $80 to $250, for all of these items together. If you go to a technician or service center, you can expect to pay less, but if you go to a dealership, expect to pay more.
You can save $50-$100 by performing the transmission fluid change yourself if you don’t mind getting your hands muddy.
The good news is that we’ll get to that in a moment.
How To Change Your Transmission Fluid At Home
Step #1: Jack The Front Of The Car Up
Place a jack under the front of your vehicle and slide it under the frame to begin. Place a jack stand next to make sure it’s stable.
Step #2: Drain The Transmission Fluid Into A Drain Pan
Using a hex head, loosen the drain bolt located at the bottom of the transmission.
If you don’t have rubber gloves, you may want to put them on. After that, remove the bolt by hand to complete the installation process.
Step #3: Remove The Pan And Change The Filter
The filter in your car needs to be replaced if you have one.
In order to remove the pan, you’ll notice a few bolts surrounding it. Once these are removed, you can replace the filter and reinstall the pan.
Step #4: Tighten The Drain Bolt And Refill
Tighten the drain bolt with your hex head. Determine how much fluid to add back in after that.
This can be accomplished by transferring the dirty transmission fluid from the drain pan to empty 5-gallon bottles. The amount you need to add back in is the number you require.
Once you’ve located the transmission fluid cap, the final step is to replace the fluid.
Why Take The Risk? Instead, Maintain Your Transmission Fluid
Transmission replacement can cost anything from $1,500 to $3,500, as previously noted.
For every 30,000-60,000 miles driven, how much would you rather spend on a new transmission or a $80-$250 fluid change?
We’d absolutely go with option two.