The Anatomy of Healthy Cars: A Service and Repair Blog

Why You Should Not Change Your Car's Automatic Transmission Fluid by Yourself

by Brittany Marshall

Chemical companies spend an enormous amount of money on developing automatic transmission fluid. They need to do so to keep pace with technology, where car manufacturers continue to push the envelope and make increasingly complex systems. Little wonder these fluids contain some very clever additives and other capabilities that allow them to perform under duress. You can take advantage of these "trick" liquids if you regularly service your automatic transmission, but this is not a straightforward process, and you may need to take additional measures to perform this work properly. What do you need to consider?

The Role of Transmission Fluid

There's been a rapid change in the automotive transmission world as new technologies, such as dual-clutch transmissions and continually variable transmissions, hit the market. The inside of a typical transmission casing is a very complex environment, and the fluid plays a critical role in everyday operation. As such, the fluid will need to be pumped through a number of smaller chambers under pressure to help select the correct gears. And this is where problems can sometimes materialise when it comes to that essential service.

Trapped Fluid in Place

There are so many chambers and passages within the transmission casing that the fluid can sometimes become trapped and difficult to reach when it's time for a change. After all, the fluid will immediately stop flowing when the engine turns off and could be hard to reach. In this case, it won't be able to flow out through the forces of gravity when a mechanic attempts to remove the old oil. Without some additional work, some old lubricant may remain when the new fluid is introduced.

Avoid a Shortcut

This is why you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic rather than trying to change the lubricant yourself. If you do so, you're likely to do "half a job," as you do not have the tools or the experience to remove all the stale lubricant.

A Comprehensive Job

A mechanic will attach a special machine to the transmission system, which will then pump out all that remains and clean those inner passages as well. You will then only have fresh lubricant in the system and not some older and less efficient liquid. You will be able to protect that system for the months ahead before you need to consider another change.

Your Best Approach

Don't try to save yourself money by changing your automatic suspicion fluid yourself, as this may be a false economy. Instead, take the vehicle to the experts instead. 

For more info about automatic transmissions, contact a local company.