How to change transmission fluid in Tappahannock

The lifeblood of any vehicle is its fluids. When transmission fluids get brown, old, and sludgy, it is detrimental to the car and your pocket for maintenance repairs. Transmission fluid keeps the transmission mechanical system lubricated. Ironically, most divers often neglect it. You will potentially be staring down a massive maintenance bill when ignored.

What is transmission fluid?

Transmission fluid is the viscous oil that makes the transmission function effectively without failure. By lubricating, the transmission internals prevents heat build-up and wear and tear of metal parts. Transmission fluids are usually red or green to make it easy to distinguish from conventional motor oil.

Changing transmission fluid: A step-by-step guide

Changing transmission fluid is one of the messiest car maintenance jobs that someone has to do. However, doing it yourself will save you a lot of money, and it is relatively easy to determine if your transmission fluid is already low. Airport Auto Sales—Used Car Dealership in Tappahannock suggests you consult an automatic transmissions service if you detect one of these signs of low transmission fluid:

  • Noisy transmission.
  • Transmission slips.
  • Rough transmission shifts.
  • No driving engagement in reverse or forward gears.

If you have initial patience, learning how to change automatic transmission fluid is beneficial for you in the long-run. In changing transmission fluid, you will need a transmission filter kit that contains a gasket for the pan, the new transmission filter, and O-ring. You will also need some mechanical tools before you perform these step-by-step procedures.

Step 1: Transmission fluid drains better under operating temperature. Let the car idle for a minute, then turn off the ignition afterward. Raise and secure the vehicle before laying down some newspaper under at least a two-gallon catch pan. Remove the bolts from one side of the transmission pan. Be careful of the hot exhaust parts and fluids while doing this step.

Step 2: Loosen the other bolts gradually to allow the pan to tilt and begin to drain. When all the bolts are unscrewed already, lower the pan and dump the excess fluid into the catch pan. Break the gasket seal gently with the use of a screwdriver if the need arises.

Step 3: Carefully clean the gasket surface on the transmission housing and the pan. Check the pan for some metal shaving or other internal damage signs and clean it with water, if necessary.

Step 4: Slowly remove the old transmission filter and its O-ring. The transmission filter has fluid, so keep the drain pan underneath it.

Step 5: Put the new transmission filter making sure that the O-ring is seated in its appropriate orifice.

Step 6: Attach the new gasket to the pan using oil-soluble grease. Do not use an adhesive or a gasket sealer in attaching the new gasket.

Step 7: Check your car’s manual about using a threat sealer on any or all of the bolts in the transmission pan. Screw all the fasteners finger-tight.

Step 8: Twist the pan bolts in a spiral pattern beginning at the middle part. The maximum torque is approximately 12 pounds per foot.

Step 9: Gently lower the vehicle and start filling the transmission. Check your owner’s manual on the recommended amount of transmission fluid to be filled.

Step 10: After filling the transmission fluid, start the ignition. Warm it up, then shut it off. Look around and check for leaks. If there is no leakage, switch on the ignition at operating temperature and set it on level ground. Move the shifter through all the gears before you return to the park and check the dipstick while the engine is functioning.

Safety measures when changing transmission fluid

Airport Auto Sales Used Car Dealership in Tappahannock, Virginia always advises you to practice good safety behaviors when working on motor vehicles. As additional safety measures, use appropriate personal protective equipment like goggles, safety gloves, shoes, and helmets to avoid further injuries. 

Key takeaways

Most transmission fluids are made to last for up to a hundred thousand miles. There are a few with higher limits, though it is still recommended you change the transmission fluid at 100,000 miles or close to it.

Unchanged transmission fluid could evaporate, seize, or worse, can cause catastrophic transmission failure. It is ideal to change your transmission fluid regularly. Should you have questions on how to change your transmission fluid? Don’t hesitate to contact Airport Auto Sales—Used Car Dealership in Tappahannock, Virginia now!

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