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The most vital aspect of your vehicle’s life expectancy is ensuring you perform the necessary maintenance, such as replacing the different oils including your transmission fluid. If you search for an auto body shop near me, their mechanics can perform the essential oil changes on your car to ensure the longevity of your transmission.

East End Body Shop in Huntington, West Virginia can assist you with your car maintenance. Their mechanics offer quality repair service, prices, and customer service.

When do I need to change my transmission fluid?

The timeline of when you need to change your transmission fluid will differ according to the manufacturer and model of the vehicle. 

Typically, the transmission fluid needs to be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for manual transmissions, and 60,000 to 100,000 miles for automatic transmissions.

You should be changing the fluid and filter on a timeline that is recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual. When you take your vehicle to an auto body shop near me to e looked at by a technician, they will flush and refill the transmission. The process consists of flushing the old fluid out with the new fluid. The transmission pan on the bottom of the transmission holds one-third to one-half of the fluid, while a large amount is stored in the transmission’s torque converter. Meaning, that simply emptying the pan is not a proper fluid change.

auto body shop near me
auto body shop near me

How do I check my transmission fluid?

To check your vehicle’s transmission fluid, you will want to locate the automatic transmission dipstick, which is commonly located near the back of the engine under the hood. Certain new cars, however, do not have dipsticks, and instead the fill point is under the vehicle on the transmission near the pan. If you have difficulty located your car’s dipstick, you can enlist the help of your local mechanic by searching for an auto body shop near me.

The steps to check your transmission fluid goes as follows

  1. Lift the hood and locate the dipstick
  2. Grab a rag solely for car use on-hand, then pull the dipstick out and run it between your fingers while holding the rag. 
  3. Inspect the dipstick for where the lines show the minimum and maximum line.
  4. Insert the dipstick back into it’s place and pull it out again.
  5. Ensure that the oil line is roughly at the maximum line, meaning it is at a good level.
  6. If it is low, you will need to add more.

Transmission fluid is generally pink or red, but if it’s dark red, rusty, or black, it needs immediate attention.

Car owners are recommended to check their transmission fluid every few times they are filling their car with gas while they are waiting for their car to fill up.

How can I tell when I need to change my transmission fluid?

  • Dirty transmission fluid

When you do your usual inspection of your transmission fluid, you should note the color of the oil. If it is dark red, rusty, or black, you need to replace the fluid to avoid damage to your transmission. You will also want to check for any visible particles which can also mean you need to change the fluid.

  • Transmission whines

If you notice your vehicle’s transmission is making a whining noise, it can mean a couple of different things depending on the time it whines. If the transmission whines when you’re in reverse, it can be a problem with your transmission fluid line. If the line is clogged, the fluid can’t flow properly, leading to serious problems with your transmission. If the transmission whines when you’re moving forward, then it indicates a problem with the torque converter.

  • Gears slip

If you notice your gear slipping, it may be due to a lack of hydraulic power. One cause of loss of power is the transmission fluid is dirty. If the transmission fluid is dirty, it cannot flow through the system properly, hurting the pressure in the system, which causes the gears to slip. If this is happening, changing the fluid will allow it to flow correctly again and fix the problem.

  • Inability to reverse

One reason for your car’s inability to move in reverse is having dirty transmission fluid. If the transmission fluid cannot flow due to being dirty, the car doesn’t have the ability to switch into reverse.

  • Engine is running too hot

If the transmission fluid in your vehicle is not flowing as it should, it won’t pass through the transmission properly, which means it won’t enter the cooling tank and cool. This creates excess heat. The slipping, friction, and increased wear from your transmission adds heat as well. This heat will transfer to the rest of your engine, causing it to run too hot. If the cooling system is not the cause of your engine running hot, then you need to check the transmission fluid.

  • Transmission making grinding noises

If you are hearing grinding or any other unusual noises coming from your transmission, check the fluid levels and consistency. Even if the oil is at a decent level, if the fluid is dirty, it can’t lubricate the parts it should, causing the unusual noises.

auto body shop near me
auto body shop near me

What happens if I don’t change my transmission fluid?

Without the proper transmission fluid, your car can experience a variety of issues including:

  • Overheating
  • Burning smell
  • Engine losing power
  • Delay in shifting
  • Difficult in shifting
  • Gears changing too fast or too slow

The most common practice of changing your transmission fluid is servicing it at a local auto body shop near me, but if you are car savvy, you can change it yourself.

The mechanics at East End Body Shop can assist with your transmission fluid needs, along with other car services. You can also reach out to the shop if you have questions about prices for car maintenance in Huntington, West Virginia.

If you are experiencing any of these issues that indicate a problem with your transmission, or any other concerning signs, search for an auto body shop near me.