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What to Know When Changing Automatic Transmission Fluid

The automatic transmission fluid performs two vital roles – lubricating and cleaning. The liquid circulates through various parts to reduce friction between them and gather sediments that can circulate through the system and cause damage. You need to change oil for automatic gearbox at regular intervals to keep the car running and healthy.

Things You Should Know While Changing the Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

If you want to carry out the procedure of automatic transmission fluid flush into your garage, it’s necessary to have knowledge about some things.

The color is red

The color of fresh transmission liquid is bright red and smells sweet or like a tart. You need to change it if the texture turns into a smoky dark shade and it reeks a burned odor. Use a dipstick to see if the fluid is fresh or becomes blackened. Besides, the dipstick is also handy to measure the level of the liquid. You will need to fill up if the level is low.

change oil for Automatic Gearbox
Fresh liquid looks red while the burnt up fluid is black. (photo source: My Honest Mechanic)

Flushing is necessary for burnt oil

The fuel changes its color because of the heat and for collecting dirt and metal shavings over time. If you don’t flush the chamber at the time of filling it up with new fluid, there’s a chance that the sediments of the old burnt oil will flow throw the system. It’s risky because the dirt can damage various components. So, you need to flush out the old fuel at the time of changing.

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Clean the torque converter too

Everyone knows about cleaning the transmission pan and replacing the filter but amateur people forget about the torque converter. In fact, half of the burnt up automatic transmission fluid and the contaminants remain in that component. You should also clean up the valve body and clutch drums if want to get the full benefit of change oil for transmission gearbox.

Seal the pan properly

If you find dimples around the bolts of the pan rail, flatten them with a hammer and dolly. Not doing it will leave you with the risk of a leaking pan gasket sometimes later. You can also use adhesive or a thin layer of gasket sealer for extra protection. Don’t use a silicone sealant because it will break off eventually and increase your problems by clogging the pump intake.

Automatic Transmission Fluid
Change the fluid as the owner’s manual. (photo source: Cardekho)

Change Oil for Automatic Gearbox Regularly

Regular change of automatic transmission fluid prolongs the life of your car. You should schedule a change at every 30,000 miles or 30 months. However, the best thing to do is to check the owner’s manual to get the correct recommendations. In fact, it mostly depends on how you use the vehicle. If it tows heavy loads in warm weather, you may have to change the liquid every year.

  1. Peter says

    Very helpful!!keep posting such articles

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

    2. Charles Mwangi says

      Useful info. Continue giving us such.

  2. Merrick says

    I drive a 2007 Toyota Harrier 240G and lately I have noticed that sometimes it refuses to move when drive is engaged even though it reverses ok. What could be happening?

  3. Timothy says

    I own a Toyota Ractis 1300cc which has given me a hell of time. When I bought it it had a knocking sound inside the engine. I changed the engine but the situation worsened. Fuel consumption went up. What could be the problem and is there a remedy?

  4. Chilungamo says

    I use a vitz 2006 model but i cant see where to check for ATF .
    I was told they are some cars that do not need extra ATF is this true?

  5. Chilungamo says

    I use a vitz 2006 model but i cant see where to check for ATF .
    I was told they are some cars that do not need extra ATF is this true?

  6. Elias says

    for used Japanese car.. Lets say 2004 car but with mileage less tha 30000..if imported today when is the best time to change transmission oil?

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