Fluids & Filters
Automatic transmission fluid is specially formulated oil, containing numerous additives to withstand gruelling operating conditions. There are several different types of automatic transmission fluids and should be used according to the recommendation in your car's owner's manual.
Automatic transmission fluid serves a multitude of purposes. Among other things, it cleans, cools, lubricates, transmits force, transmits pressure, inhibits varnish build-up and protects the transmission on a day-to-day basis.
Owner's manual recommendations on transmission fluid changes vary considerably and may go as high as 160,000 kilometres or more. For best results, have your car's transmission fluid and filter changed every two years or 40,000 kilometres. Always use the type of fluid specified by your car's manufacturer. This information can be found in the owner's manual or on the end of the transmission dipstick. The overwhelming majority of transmission failures are heat-related, and automatic transmission fluid breaks down rapidly when subjected to high temperatures. Driving conditions such as trailer towing, quick stops and starts, ascending and descending mountains, and wheel-spinning in slippery conditions are but a few scenarios that can devastate the life of the transmission fluid. Although changing the fluid yourself is not difficult, it's probably best left to a qualified service technician. This is also a good time to drain the transmission fluid from the torque converter, if possible. Consult your technician to see if this can be done.