The answer to this question is, "It depends." On what? Several factors affect the time between transmission fluid changes, and the first determining factor is what kind of car you drive.
First, check to see if your car is a model with a measuring dipstick under the hood. Some newer models will not have this old-fashioned tool. Mechanic shops will keep a shop dipstick or use a similar oiling plug to check the levels on cars without a built-in dipstick. In this situation, consult your owner's manual or our experts for recommended mileage checkpoints at which transmission fluid changes are recommended. These checkpoints will vary depending on how much and how often you tow heavy loads.
Sometimes, newer maintenance schedules will leave off transmission fluid changes, so owners may be left in the dark about when to change their fluid. Even in this case, for more recent car models, it is still likely a good idea to have a professional check the fluid at a certain checkpoint, like 50,000 miles. For older models with very high mileage, a lot of dirt and grime may have built up in the fluid, and a professional may recommend skipping the fluid change as these particles will have adhered to the seal, and removing them may damage the vehicle.
When you do decide to change the fluid, opt for a drain and refill rather than a fluid change via machine. Most automotive shops only have one fluid changing machine, so cross-contamination from other types of fuels could lead to long-term engine damage.
If you believe you may be due for a transmission fluid service, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at our shop or stop by for service today!