A Car Owner’s Guide to Selecting Automatic Transmission Fluid

If you take your car to a transmission service shop in Bethesda for routine maintenance, you can leave it up to the professionals to select the best fluid for your automatic transmission. However, if you’re the do-it-yourself type you will need to choose your own transmission fluid when changing out the old fluid. It’s recommended that you leave this maintenance service to the professionals, but if you insist on changing your own transmission fluid make sure you choose the right fluid to prevent damaging your car’s transmission. Here are some important things to know about selecting automatic transmission fluid for your vehicle.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

When to Change Transmission Fluid

First and foremost, when talking about transmission fluid it’s important that you know when you need to change the fluid inside your transmission. Generally, transmission fluid should be changed every 24,000 to 36,000 miles, or approximately every two to three years. Refer to your car’s owner’s manual for more specific transmission fluid change interval information related to your make and model. You can also ask your transmission technician for a recommended fluid change interval based on the condition of your transmission.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Types

There are two main types of transmission fluid, Dextron and Mercon. Your owner’s manual will tell you which type of transmission fluid your vehicle uses. You will also need to decide between synthetic and conventional transmission fluid . Synthetic fluid is more expensive than conventional oil, but it performs better at higher temperatures and provides better overall protection. However, if you drive an older vehicle the transmission might not be designed with synthetic fluid in mind.

Transmission Fluid Brands

When it comes to brands, there’s little difference between the major transmission fluid brands. If you want a specific brand recommendation, check with a transmission repair shop in your area or ask for a recommendation at the auto parts store you frequent to purchase fluid.

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