Mechanic reveals how often you need to change your transmission fluid

@fordbossme/TikTok pongmoji/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘There’s 3 different types of situations here’: Mechanic reveals how often you need to change your transmission fluid

'The dealers like to fight having to replace it.'


Vladimir Supica


Posted on Apr 19, 2024

Wondering about how often you should be changing your transmission fluid? It’s a common concern among vehicle owners, and one that’s recently been addressed in a viral TikTok video.

Posted on April 17 by automotive expert Rich, also known as @fordbossme, the video has over 81,500 views and counting.

In it, Rich breaks down his advice based on three distinct scenarios: manual transmissions, automatic transmissions with serviceable filters, and automatic transmissions with non-serviceable filters.

How often should you change your transmission fluid?

“On a manual transmission, even though there’s less wear and tear on the vehicle in general. There’s less parts that have to be moving inside the transmission, I still tell people, I would like to see it about every 30-40,000 miles just to drain the fill.,” Rich advises. “Maybe you can push 50, but I wouldn’t go more than that.”

Moving on to automatic transmissions, Rich highlights the difference between those with serviceable and non-serviceable filters. For automatics with non-serviceable filters, he suggests a “drain and fill” every 30,000 miles.

However, the waters get murkier for transmissions with serviceable filters, like the one in his Ford F150. “The dealers like to fight having to replace it because they don’t want to struggle with replacing the oil filter,” he explains. So Rich recommends a staggered approach: Change the fluid every 40,000 miles, then both the fluid and filter at the next interval, and so on.

Finally, Rich reserves the last part of his TikTok for CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) owners, advising a more frequent fluid change regimen. “You better be changing the fluid every 30 to 40 thousand miles anyway, probably closer to 30 anyhow, because those transmissions are junk,” he declares.

Commenters on the TikTok video had varied opinions, with some echoing Rich’s advice to service transmissions early and often for optimal performance. Others, however, shared conflicting experiences and advice.

One commenter offered his own guidelines, stating, “Manual Gear oil 100k. Automatic 50k. CVT 25k cause they’re junk.”

@fordbossme Replying to @oldmarineiwacuni ♬ original sound – Rich

Another viewer asserted, “I was told never to change the transmission fluid because it causes problems after.”

This commonly held belief that altering transmission fluid can introduce unforeseen complications is not completely unfounded. However, it only applies to cars that haven’t had their oil changes done in a timely fashion.

According to Kraken Auto Repair, “If your fluid has never been changed before, replacing it with new fluid can cause the transmission to start slipping, even if it wasn’t slipping before. This is because the old fluid will contain clutch material from being in there over time and can actually be helping the transmission to still shift gears.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Rich via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Apr 19, 2024, 10:57 pm CDT