The truth is that the overwhelming majority of car owners are very responsible drivers and would do absolutely everything they can to make sure that their vehicles run just as good as brand-new – if not even better.
At the same time, there are a lot of hidden costs to vehicle ownership that many people aren’t familiar with, and a lot of other routine pieces of maintenance that need to be tackled aside from cleaning the injectors, changing the oil and swapping out the brakes that many drivers ignore or are ignorant of.
In this article we’ll cover just about everything you need to know about changing your vehicles transmission fluid and also how much is the average transmission fluid change cost.
Changing your transmission fluid is one of those hidden pieces of routine maintenance, and one that you are certainly going to want to tackle ASAP – especially if you’ve already hit 100,000 miles on your vehicle or haven’t had the transmission fluid changed in the past!
You’ll have a couple of different options available to you when it comes time to swap these fluids out for brand-new ones, and these options will decide exactly how much a transmission fluid change is going to cost you. We’ll break down all of the details that you will need to focus on, below, in this quick guide.
Let’s dive right in.
Why do I have to change my transmission fluid in the first place?
Regardless of how much or how often you drive, every single time that you put your vehicle in gear you are going to be doing a little bit of extra damage to the transmission through normal wear and tear.
Like any other mechanical component in your vehicle, you need to make sure that there are plenty of fluids – clear and clean fluids – that are interacting with metal parts that are going to be rubbing up against one another. These liquids act as safeguards to reduce friction, and heat, and to make sure that everything runs just as buttery smooth as it should be. This is also why many fuel injector cleaners contain lubricants that help coat the fuel system which protects it from wear and tear.
Your transmission may not be the heartbeat of your vehicle (that’s the engine), but the transmission is responsible for moving your vehicle forwards or backwards. You need to be sure that your vehicles transmission is always in picture-perfect shape, and that’s only going to be possible if you swap out the transmission fluid as necessary.
How often should I go about changing my transmission fluid?
As a general rule you’re going to want to think about having to pay the transmission fluid change cost – not just in money but also in time – every 30,000 miles to 100,000 miles, depending on the “style” of driving that you do.
If you are commuting daily in stop and go traffic, you’re going to put a lot more stress on your transmission than someone who’s just a Sunday driver. And if so, you will want to get that fluid change a lot more frequently. If, on the other hand, most of your driving is done only occasionally and on the highway in high gear, you won’t have to swap out your transmission fluid anywhere near as often.
What do I need to go about changing my transmission fluid all on my own?
If you are going to go about changing your transmission fluid all on your own there are a couple of different things you want to gather, most of which you can easily pick up at any local car shop.
- A reliable maintenance guide for the specific make, model, and year of your vehicle
- A set of heavy-duty jack stands or automotive maintenance ramps
- Blocks to go behind your wheels so that your vehicle doesn’t slide off the ramps or jacks
- Hand tools that will allow you access to the transmission fluid pan and help you open it up to empty/refill the fluid
- Brand-new high quality transmission fluid to replace the old fluid that you are going to be pulling out
- A container where you’re going to be able to store all of the old transmission fluid in, before you dispose of it properly
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
As you can see, the average transmission fluid change cost when you decide to tackle the project all on your own is going to be pretty expensive – especially when it comes to the time cost, the first few attempts you make. You need a whole bunch of tools, and a fair bit of effort.
That’s why so many people bring their vehicles to the shop and have experts knock it out of the park for them!
About how much does a transmission fluid change cost if I have someone else do it for me?
According to information published by the automotive repair industry, the average cost of having automatic transmission fluids and filters changed is right between $152 and $211.
Most of that is labor (parts and oil will really only set you back between $25 and $50), but you’ll be able to save a tremendous amount of time, headache, and hassle if you decide to go in this direction. It’s really up to how comfortable you feel about sliding underneath your vehicle and swapping out such an important component, and whether or not you are willing to fork over a little bit of extra cash to have professionals do it for you!
What about the transmission filter change cost?
Unfortunately that’s even more expensive, with the average change cost ranging between $250-350. About half of that price is the labor cost, while the other half the cost of the parts. So if you can find the correct filter for an affordable price on your own, you might be able to save some money.
Hopefully you now have a better idea what changing the transmission fluid is all about, why and when you should do it, how difficult it is to tackle the problem by yourself, and whether or not you’re being ripped off in the local shop.
Save money and bring your own choice of Transmission Fluid to the shop!