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Every car has a transmission—most of them automatic, some manual—and all of them do basically the same thing: The job of the vehicle transmission is to regulate the amount of power that goes to your wheels, always relative to the speed at which you’re traveling. The transmission actively shifts gears, much like on a multi-speed bike. Of course, there are some key distinctions between automatic and manual transmission, but what’s the same across every vehicle is that attending to regular transmission maintenance is vitally important.
It’s important to have your transmission fluid flushed every so often because, over time, it becomes very dirty—and dirty transmission fluid simply isn’t able to provide the lubricating functions your transmission needs. Thus, your transmission system will bear the brunt of everyday wear and tear, and you could start to experience more and more problems.
To understand what makes a transmission so important, think of a bike. When you pedal in a low gear, you can get great acceleration, but usually not much speed. Once you start coasting along a flat surface, you can switch to a higher gear and start improving that speed. Your car’s transmission does basically the same thing, modulating your power to ensure optimal performance.
Transmission fluid serves a pretty simple purpose: It lubricates your gears. Thus, as they shift, the wear and tear they take on is minimal. Transmission fluid extends the lifespan of your transmission considerably, which is what makes it so important to schedule a regular transmission fluid check, and to replace your transmission fluid when it becomes too dirty.
The question is, when do you know it’s time to schedule some transmission maintenance? Well, it’s good to check transmission fluid levels regularly—perhaps when you bring your car in for an oil change or tire rotation, once or twice a year. You should also schedule transmission repair if you notice any problems shifting gears, such as strange noises during the gear shift process.
Some auto manufacturers recommend that you get a transmission flush every 30,000 miles. For other cars, it’s just once every 100,000 miles. You can check your owner’s manual for a general estimate, but really what we recommend is just asking a Meineke service professional to check transmission fluid levels every time you get an oil change or tire rotation. Just make it part of your preventative maintenance routine, and stay on top of all your transmission maintenance requirements!
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