Most of us don’t think about getting our vehicle service done until there is something already wrong. A squeak or a clunk, or your car not starting is usually what starts the trip to the mechanic and when you arrive you get a laundry list of other vehicle service items that are due.
It can be easy to get upset with your mechanic for trying to charge you so much for a single visit, but at the end of the day, it’s not his fault. Your vehicle has a suggested maintenance schedule of items that should be performed at regular intervals. We all think of oil changes, but for many owners, that’s where vehicle services stop. Oil changes are some of the most regular maintenance items done on your car, but along with oil changes should come inspections of many components like your engine belts, suspension parts like bushings and ball joints, and the other filters on your car. There are also regular maintenance items that come at much longer service intervals like changing the oil in your differential or transfer case, replacing spark plugs and even flushing your coolant.
Replacing these fluids, filters and other components at regular intervals are important for the longevity of your car. For example, your spark plugs will last longer than the service interval listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. But the longer you leave old spark plugs installed the harder your ignition system has to work to create a spark. This not only reduces the efficiency of your engine, it also puts extra stress on the ignition components which can cause them to fail early which is a far more expensive maintenance item than replacing spark plugs. Besides vehicle maintenance, there are some other ways to get more miles out of your car. For more ideas, check out this article on how to make your car last 200,000 miles.
One of the most overlooked vehicle service items on cars today is changing the transmission fluid. Depending on the make and model car you drive, you may need to change your transmission fluid anywhere between 30,000 miles and 60,000 miles. Some newer transmission can go up to 100,000 miles without changing the fluid, and on the other hand, you may have to change your transmission fluid as often as every 15,000 miles if you use your vehicle for towing, or in high temperature or dusty environments.
Transmission fluid changes are so overlooked because the change interval is so long. Our recommendation would be to keep track of how many miles you drive in an average month and calculate about how long it will take to drive 30,000 miles in that vehicle. Then, simply set a reminder on your calendar around when you would have driven that far. During a normal transmission fluid change, you only replace about 30% of the fluid so it’s far better to change the fluid often.
Before you change your transmission fluid, it’s important to check the condition of the fluid installed to see if it will give you any clues to what’s going on inside your transmission. Pull out your dipstick and wipe the fluid onto a clean white cloth or paper towel. With the fluid on a white background, you can check for small shavings of metal in the fluid as well as check the color. If you’ve got lots of metal particles or your fluid or it’s brown or black then you’ve probably waited too long to change the transmission fluid.
The other thing to check for here is to make sure your fluid level is where it should be. The transmission fluid level is very important for lubrication and the proper operation of your transmission. If you find a low fluid level, it can only be due to a leak and should be corrected before you put new fluid in. If you’ve got a transmission fluid leak, add BlueDevil Transmission Sealer to your transmission fluid. You can add BlueDevil Transmission Sealer before or after you change your transmission fluid and leave it in until your next fluid change.
You can purchase BlueDevil Transmission Sealer at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:
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