Automatic transmission fluid is distinguished from engine oils by its red or green color. In the case of automatic transmissions, the oil is changed at a certain period, whereas for manual transmissions it may never be changed. Here’s when you need to do an automatic transmission fluid change and how to check its level.
Tips to protect your gearbox
- Use the parking brake, and do not leave the car in one gear, especially if it is on an incline.
- Stop the car completely if you want to reverse, and vice versa. If you don’t wait and go into reverse while the car is sliding forward, you’re wearing the gear down a lot.
- Observe transmission oil changes.
- Check the gearbox oil level every year
- Check transmission fluid leak
- For automatic gearboxes, you better go to a service. There is a special procedure, and you risk damaging the box if you don’t know it.
How many km do you have to do an automatic transmission fluid change and how much does it cost
The transmission fluid is recommended to be changed in the case of cars that have been used for hundreds of thousands of km. Also, cars that towed caravans or were driven in mountainous areas required gearbox parts. Therefore, it would be worth changing the transmission oil. Various situations can heat the transmission oil of the boxes beyond acceptable limits, to over 90 degrees. Normally, the operating transmission fluid temperature is 60–70 degrees.
Why it is good to change the transmission oil in both automatic and manual gearboxes. The oil is contaminated, over time, with iron filings, small pieces of metal thrown off gears or other mechanisms.
Generally, the color of transmission oil is transparent red. During use, this transparency disappears from the oil and the color darkens. In addition, the oil becomes more liquid and no longer properly lubricates the components of the box.
If the type of oil is not specified in the car’s owner’s manual, you can find it based on the engine code, or the VIN code. Each transmission needs a specific type of transmission oil. The exchange interval for automatic transmissions is at least 50,000 km.
A liter of ATF automatic transmission oil costs, in online stores, between 40 lei and 260 lei for BMW automatic transmissions. At the representative offices, theoretically, the rates are even higher. The labor, depending on the service, could cost between 200 and 500 lei.
Symptoms that you should change the transmission fluid
- There is hesitation when changing gears, even with automatic boxes
- The engine makes a noise when the transmission system shifts gears
- The box makes a noise
- The button on the automatic gearbox shifter is hard to press
- With manual boxes, there is a noise when you press the clutch and the car stands still
- If the automatic gearbox does not shift in time, fuel consumption increases
Transmission fluid check
Some cars have a dipstick that will show the transmission fluid level, this has a yellow ring, just like the oil dipstick. Those that do not have this dipstick, usually those with a manual gearbox, must be lifted on a lift.
The oil level is checked through the gearbox filler hole under the car. When the transmission fluid is changed, you must also replace the gaskets and filter. Approximately 2 – 2.5 liters of transmission oil fit in the gearbox.
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If you have a car with an automatic gearbox, you need to check the transmission fluid change interval. You don’t have to wait for symptoms. Some automatic gearboxes, such as the 9G-Tronic on Mercedes models, even dealerships refuse to repair. It is better to change the oil in the gearbox as per the book.
An automatic gearbox costs more than a car engine. In Mercedes models, the disassembly prices for a gearbox vary between 1000 euros and 2000 euros.
Types of automatic transmissions:
- Sequential gearbox (manual robotic gearbox): the clutch pedal has been replaced by a hydraulic, electric, or mechanical actuator. Changing gears is done electronically.
- Automatic gearbox with double clutch: two manual gearboxes, one with odd gears and the other with even gears
- CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) automatic gearbox, without gears, uses one belt and four cones
- Classic automatic gearbox with torque converter (hydrated)