Like all of your vehicle’s parts and systems, the transmission is essential to providing smart performance—and simply keeping you on the road. While your transmission is a complex system, one thing that’s relatively simple is transmission fluid: the fluid that cools and lubricates your transmission. While a healthy transmission requires little in the way of maintenance compared to the rest of your vehicle’s systems, a fluid change or a full transmission flush can have a serious impact on your vehicle’s performance, whether there are any noticeable issues or not. Read on to learn more about the difference between the two, as well as some signs that your transmission could need some TLC. 

Signs of transmission issues

We’ll start with some of the warning signs that your transmission isn’t working its best. While transmissions generally don’t require much in the way of maintenance (most modern vehicles tend to last somewhere around 12 years, or ~200,000 kilometres), there are some easy to spot warning signs that could help you avoid serious—and expensive—repairs to your transmission.

First of all, it’s important to know what your transmission is responsible for: shifting gears in a smooth, and predictable manner. If your vehicle is presenting any of the following symptoms, the transmission might be the culprit (though this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • Issues changing gears
  • Gears not shifting sequentially
  • Gears not shifting predictably
  • Odd engine noises before, or after, a gear change
  • Brown or dark red liquid on the transmission’s dipstick

If you’re experiencing any of these issues you’ll want to visit our service department to take a look, and either do a fluid change or a full transmission flush.

What’s a transmission fluid change?

A transmission fluid change is exactly what it sounds like: one of our service technicians changes out some of the fluid in your transmission. First they’ll drain some of the current fluid, replace the filter, and then top off your transmission with new fluid. Recommended about every 50,000 kilometres, a fluid change is a good way to remove buildup and contaminants from your vehicle’s transmission for better performance—and it’s relatively inexpensive. 

What’s a transmission flush?

While a fluid change only changes a percentage of your transmission fluid, a transmission flush will change it all. First, your transmission will be fully drained and then flushed, removing any contaminants, buildup, or allowing us to see where potential issues in your transmission’s performance lay. From there, your transmission filter will be replaced and then it will be filled with new fluid. This can be done at any time your transmission is exhibiting problematic behaviour, but if you’re not experiencing any issues it’s recommended that you only do it about every 100,000 kilometres—or roughly twice in a vehicle’s lifespan. 

A healthy transmission will result in a vehicle that not only performs better for longer, but it can also save you money. Your vehicle’s gear ratios have been finely tuned to present the optimal mix of performance and efficiency, meaning a well performing transmission will result in the best fuel economy possible for your vehicle. Not only that, but by ignoring transmission issues you could be due for a hefty bill down the line. 

Whether you’re in the market for a fluid change, a transmission flush, or any other recommended or necessary vehicle maintenance, just swing on by the home of the Swinging Lady—Golden Mile Chrysler—for the best vehicle service in the Greater Toronto Area!