Northwest Metro Denver

3686 W. 72nd Ave
Westminster, CO 80030
8AM – 5:30PM Mon-Fri

(303) 421-4140

(303) 421-4140

Southwest Metro Denver

SE Corner Mississippi & Pierce
1194 S. Pierce
Lakewood CO 80232
8AM – 5:30PM Mon-Fri

(303) 922-4102

(303) 922-4102

Lakewood 303-922-4102

Westminster 303-422-4140

Transmission Fluid Maintenance: Keeping Your Car in Top Shape


Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s transmission system, playing an essential role in its performance and longevity. Maintaining your transmission fluid is critical to ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently. This article will guide you through the nuances of transmission fluid maintenance, from checking and changing the fluid to selecting the right type for your car.

The Importance of Transmission Fluid Maintenance

Transmission fluid serves multiple crucial functions; it lubricates moving parts, cools the transmission, and transmits power from the engine to the transmission. Neglecting transmission fluid maintenance can lead to premature wear and tear, overheating, and even transmission failure, resulting in expensive repairs and significant downtime for your vehicle.

Checking Your Transmission Fluid

How to Check Transmission Fluid

Checking your transmission fluid regularly is simple yet vital. Your owner’s manual will describe the proper procedure for your vehicle. In most cases, park your car on a level surface and warm up the engine. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick, pull it out, clean it, reinsert it, and then pull it out again to check the level. The fluid should be a bright red color and should not smell burnt. These characteristics indicate good fluid health.

Signs of Low Transmission Fluid

Symptoms of low transmission fluid include sluggish vehicle response, especially in gear shifting, strange whining or grinding noises, and transmission overheating. These signs should not be ignored as they can escalate into more severe problems.

Changing Your Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid Change Intervals

The frequency of changing your transmission fluid depends on the vehicle type and your driving habits, as well as the environment you are driving in. Generally, it’s recommended every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, but consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific guidance.

DIY Fluid Change vs. Professional Service

Changing your transmission fluid can be a DIY project or handled by professionals. Doing it yourself can be more economical and gratifying,but requires specific tools and careful adherence to safety protocols. Professional services are more convenient and ensure the job is done correctly with the appropriate tools and expertise.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Transmission Fluid

For those opting for a DIY change, you will need to drain the old fluid, replace the filter, and refill with new fluid. Make sure your vehicle is secure on jacks or ramps, locate the transmission drain pan, unscrew the drain plug, and let the old fluid drain out completely before removing the transmission pan. You will then be able to replace the filter. Replace the gasket on the transmission pan, reinstall the pan, then reinstall the drain plug. Once this is completed, you can now fill the transmission fluid back to the proper level.

Best Practices for Transmission Fluid Maintenance

Always use the type and grade of transmission fluid recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Regular checks will help you maintain optimal fluid levels and condition, thereby extending the life of your transmission.

Disposing of Old Transmission Fluid

Dispose of your old transmission fluid responsibly. Many auto shops and recycling centers accept used fluid at no charge. Ensuring proper disposal helps protect the environment and complies with local regulations.

Maintenance Tips and Tricks

Maintain a regular maintenance schedule and be vigilant for any signs of transmission issues. Regular check-ups can catch potential problems early, saving time and money in the long run. When the fluid starts to change color, it is a sign that it is time to change the fluid.


Regular maintenance of your transmission fluid is crucial for the health and efficiency of your vehicle. Taking proactive steps to check, change, and choose the right transmission fluid can significantly impact your vehicle’s performance and longevity.

If you suspect your vehicle might be facing transmission fluid issues, consult a professional immediately. For more information on maintaining your vehicle and ensuring optimal performance, continue exploring our resources.

Owner at Advanced Transmission Center | Website | + posts

Advanced Transmission Center is a Colorado-owned and operated auto repair shop with locations in Denver / Lakewood and Westminster. ATC specializes in driveline issues such as automatic transmission repair, four wheel drive repair, clutch replacement, differentials, manual transmissions and CVT. As Colorado's first AAA approved shop our goal is to provide accurate, timely service with exceptional customer satisfaction. All of our technicians are certified in the latest makes and models and we are one of the few transmission repair shops with a nationwide warranty.

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Free towing is just one of the ways we strive to save you money on a major in-house repair such as a transmission rebuild. With our thorough TrueTest™ Inspection process, you will fully understand what is wrong with your car and only pay for the repairs you need.
Every transmission repair should start with a thorough and accurate diagnosis of the problem. Our multi-step TrueTest inspection procedures have been designed over decades to identify whether a minor repair can fix your issue or if a major repair is required.
We can turn around a transmission repair in as little as 2 days with our fast services! Our in-house rebuild department, expert technicians and strong vendor relationships help us get vehicles fixed ASAP. It also helps to have two local repair shops with identical operating procedures and quality standards.
After a major repair, you can take a breath and know Advanced Transmission Center has your back! We offer various warranty options (1-year, 2-year, 3-year, local or nationwide) and make sure any warranty claim is hassle-free for our customers.

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