When Should I Service my Transmission?

Posted by
|

Once a technician has performed a free multi-point inspection and verified that your transmission is in good condition, we will complete a transmission fluid service. Transmission fluid change is important preventative maintenance and we will present the following options:

Transmission Maintenance Services

At my AAMCO Merriam, KS and Kansas City, MO stores we offer three different transmission fluid services. This is uncommon at most auto repair service centers, but it’s important that our customers receive the right service for their car. The 3 transmission maintenance services we offer are as follows.

Traditional Transmission Fluid Change

I commonly refer to this option as the old fashioned fluid change. This is when your car’s transmission fluid sump or pan is removed and approximately half of your fluid is drained out. This service also includes filter replacement, sump cleaning and resealing with a new pan gasket.

The only disadvantage of the traditional transmission fluid change is that only about half the fluid is exchanged because the other half is still trapped up in the transmission.

Power Purge Service

This service requires a special machine that is connected to the car transmission and actually purges out all of the old fluid and replaces it with new fluid. While this service will replace the entirety of your transmission fluid, the sump pan isn’t cleaned and the filter isn’t replaced. However, modern transmissions don’t give off wear material like transmissions did 30 to 35 years ago. Unless something is starting to come apart internally in your transmission, it isn’t necessary to replace the filter.

This service is especially useful for a minority of cars out there that use transmissions that don’t have a removable pan or filter. Without a removable pan and filter, this is virtually the only service available for cars such as most Honda vehicles.

Premier Service

This transmission fluid service is essentially a combination of the traditional and power purge services. The sump pump is removed and cleaned, the filter is replaced and the pan is resealed with a new gasket. The power purge machine is then connected to flush out all of the remained old fluid and replace it with new fluid.

When should I get my transmission serviced?

If you are purchasing your car brand new, you should have your transmission fluid changed at approximately 60,000 miles regardless of the factory recommendation.

Transmission fluid has been improved greatly over the past 20 years, but car and truck transmissions run hotter than ever and that heat will break the fluid down. Therefore, changing the fluid sooner than later is important.

Once you’ve gotten your first fluid service at 60,000 miles, you should start changing your fluid every 2-3 years (or every 25-30,000 miles). Remember that time can be just as big of a determining factor in the breakdown of your fluid, so don’t put it off just because your mileage isn’t there. Cars with low mileage are typically driven in short spurts which can lead to premature wear and failure. We highly recommend that your service should be done based on your driving style and not strictly mileage.

If you have purchased or inherited a car or truck with a lot of history, have the transmission thoroughly checked out to ensure it is operating properly before it is serviced. You can then apply the same guidelines as a new car and have it changed every 2-3 years or 25-30,000 miles.

For example, if you purchase a car with 100,00 miles on it and you don’t know if it has been serviced, take it to a honest and reputable auto repair shop for them to tell if you if it’s safe to service your vehicle. Remember, the higher the mileage, the more likely they may tell you not do anything. A trustworthy shop won’t take your money for transmission services if they believe it will lead to further problems.

Make sure you take your vehicle to a shop that specializes in transmissions and not a quick oil change chain store that are quick to sell you service.


For an expert opinion and trustworthy advice, come into AAMCO today. We specialize in transmission maintenance and repair. Call today or come in for your multi-point inspection.

Call now! Schedule a Auto Repair appointment with AAMCO.

Merriam (913) 766-2350 or Kansas City (816) 533-4247

Add a comment