Don’t believe the hype! No fluid in your vehicle’s engine lasts a lifetime. Yes, modern automobile manufacturing technology has made it easier for fluids to last longer than they used to. For example, synthetic motor oil can last a long as 15,000 miles in some automobiles, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your vehicle’s systems serviced at their recommended intervals or the fluids changed. This includes the transmission. Trust us. Fairfax Auto Repair knows.
It’s Not Just About Changing the Fluid
Your transmission, whether manual or automatic is much more than the transmission fluid. Even if the manufacturer does contend you have lifetime transmission oil under the hood, the transmission itself and the clutch in a manual vehicle needs to be serviced. Transmission service goes beyond flushing and refilling the fluid, it also entails
- Removing and inspecting the transmission pan
- Replacing the transmission filter when necessary
- Replacing the pan gasket when worn
- Inspecting the transmission for other signs of wear
- Inspecting the clutch (manual transmission)
- Adjusting the clutch when necessary (manual transmission)
All of these things prolong the life of your transmission, and if you’ve ever had to have your transmission replaced, you know how expensive that can be. Why set yourself up for an unmanageable repair bill? Check your owner’s manual to see when your vehicle’s transmission requires service. In most cases, that should be every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.
Why Does the Manufacturer Say the Fluid is Lifelong Then?
The reason why automobile manufacturers boast about lifetime transmission oil is that they hope you won’t keep your vehicle longer than 100,000 miles. They want you to buy a new car every couple of years, and we guess you can’t blame them. That’s how they make money. Nonetheless, if your vehicle is new, chances are your owner’s manual doesn’t recommend changing the fluid until you’ve hit that coveted 100,000-mile milestone.
In fact, Ford has stated that you don’t have the transmission oil changed in some of its engines until you hit 150,000 miles, but experts (including us) disagree. Depending on your driving habits and your commute, you should have the “lifelong” fluid inspected at least every 50,000 miles to determine whether it’s dirty or has become contaminated in some way. This ensures a mechanic can flush and replace the fluid before it causes harm to your transmission.
We here at Fairfax Auto Repair in beautiful Fairfax, VA, hope this clears up any confusion about the importance of transmission service and lifetime transmission oil. If it doesn’t, give us a call at 703-822-5911. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.