Radiator and Transmission Maintenance

How to Choose the Right Transmission Fluid Type


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It’s important to know the right transmission fluid type for your vehicle. Making the wrong choice can cause damage to the transmission in the vehicle.

1. How Often to Change Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid should be changed between 24,000 miles and 36,000 miles, which translates to every 2 to 3 years. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have more details. At that time you should also do a transmission flush and change the transmission fluid filter.

2. Types of Transmission Fluid

There are two main types of transmission fluid, Dextron or Mercon. Whichever type your vehicle uses, you need to stick with it. The owner’s manual will tell you which transmission fluid type the vehicle uses.

Within each type of transmission fluid, there are options between a synthetic fluid type and the traditional conventional transmission fluid type. The synthetic fluid has several advantages for modern engines. It performs better at higher temperatures and gives an overall better performance in the vehicle. Those with older vehicles will generally do better to stick with the conventional transmission fluid type, as the engines have been designed for this.

3. Brands

There are many different brands of transmission on the market. All the big oil names offer different transmission fluid types. In reality there’s little to choose between them. The brand is largely irrelevant, as there’s little to choose between them. Even some of the off brands offer high quality products and these are often at lower prices. Check the transmission fluid regularly to ensure it’s at the proper level, as part of the transmission maintenance on the vehicle. Checking every 3,000 miles is good.

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