How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Transmission Fluid

How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Transmission Fluid

One of the most crucial components of your automobile, truck, or SUV is the transmission. You can avoid spending hundreds of dollars on repairs over time by keeping it well-maintained and operational. The transition by automakers to low-maintenance transmission designs that make fluid replacement challenging is one factor that makes this more complicated. Owner’s manuals containing ambiguous language do little to clarify the situation.

So how much does it cost to change the transmission fluid? The average price is roughly $350, with costs typically falling between $200 and $700. The precise cost will depend on the make and model, but it will also depend on where you have the job done. Well, in this article we’ll be discussing how Much Does It Cost to Change Your Transmission Fluid.

How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Transmission Fluid

So, let’s dive in!


How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Transmission Fluid

If you get your transmission fluid changed at a nearby dealer or service, the cost ranges between $95 and $400 on average. However, if you have the necessary equipment and technical know-how, you can do it yourself for a far lower price—typically for well under $100.

Depending on the car model, it may be necessary to change the filter and clean the pan when changing the automatic gearbox fluid. Both of these components become contaminated with time, decreasing the efficacy of the new fluid. With the change, not all stores will provide these services, so you must be particular. These services may also be more expensive, but they are worthwhile.

What is a Transmission, and Why Do I Need To Service It?

Your car’s transmission aids in transferring the engine’s power and torque to the wheels and tires. It resides in an automatic transmission fluid (ATF) bath. Since the fluid is specifically made for its purpose, many manufacturers demand that their fluid alone be used if it needs to be changed. Like all automotive fluids, the price of transmission fluid has increased dramatically over the past ten years as “synthetic” formulas have become more common.

The phrase “change the fluid” is used in this story, but what we truly mean is “service the transmission.” Some transmissions have a filter that needs to be changed, cleaned, and replaced. Altering the fluid can maintain the internal components functioning properly.

Factors Affecting Transmission Fluid Change Cost

Service Center vs. DIY

You will be forced to take your car to a professional service shop if you are unable to perform your own vehicle maintenance. Compared to doing it yourself in your garage, this will cost more.

Furthermore, certain service centers will cost more than others. You will pay more at a dealership or a garage dedicated to a specific brand than you would at a neighborhood car repair business.

The time you spend without a car while it is being repaired is an additional expense. The downtime could cost you money whether you wait at the store or return for it, especially if it prevents you from working.

Make/Model of Vehicle

You wouldn’t imagine that the cost of changing your transmission fluid is influenced by the kind of car you drive. However, there are explanations for why specific brands cost more. First of all, some cars make the process of changing the transmission fluid more difficult and labor-intensive. Additionally, especially with luxury cars, the transmission fluid filter or fluid type could be more expensive.

Type of ATF

There are various fluid varieties and prices to choose from. For GM, Ford, and Chrysler, the most popular types are Dexron VI, Mercon V, and ATF+4.

However, your specific car might use a proprietary CVT fluid or a multi-vehicle synthetic fluid, both of which might affect how much it costs to change the transmission fluid. Additionally, Type F, which has no friction modifiers, is used in vintage Ford models.

Amount of Fluid

Depending on the kind of car you drive, you may need a certain amount of fluid. Between three and six quarts of transmission fluid are often required.

You will require far less if you drive a little, compact automobile than if you drive a large, powerful pickup truck. Your service handbook will have precise details.

Cost of Labor for Your Region

You could anticipate paying significantly more than residents of another state, depending on where you live. For instance, the labor costs for auto repair are among the highest in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, and California. On the other hand, if you reside in Ohio, Michigan, or Indiana, you may anticipate paying some of the lowest charges.

Where in the state you reside also affects how much it costs to change the transmission fluid. For instance, if you live in a city, you’ll probably pay more than someone who visits a rural vehicle repair business.

Transmission Fluid Change vs. Flush

How do you determine whether transmission fluid flush or change is best when the auto mechanic shop offers both options? The transmission flush enables the replacement of all the fluid in the transmission and related components. However, a routine transmission fluid change will only replace roughly 70% of the whole fluid, leaving some pollutants behind.

Even though it might not seem sensible, changing the transmission fluid is frequently a better option. First off, flushing fluid through an automatic transmission under high pressure runs the risk of damaging it. That’s exactly what may occur if you bring your car to a sketchy repair facility. Furthermore, during the trans fluid flush, the transmission fluid filter is typically not changed. Due to this error, tainted debris that has been sitting in the filter will mix with the fresh fluid. As a result, the fresh fluid may quickly become contaminated and unclean.

The majority of automakers advise against flushing and instead advise performing routine transmission fluid changes. The manufacturer recommends replacing both the filter and 70% of the fluid every time. Furthermore, you shouldn’t only clean the filter. Although you might save a little money by doing this, the transmission won’t stay clean. Spend a bit more money and complete the task properly. The condition of your transmission is worth the price, after all.

Should I Change My Transmission Fluid if the Manual Does Not Call For It?

Our advice is to never perform any maintenance that your owner’s manual does not expressly specify is required. You will overspend and possibly cause more harm than good if you depend on your dealership or a national chain of auto repair shops to pick what repairs to have done.

When we asked a Subaru dealer in the Boston area if it was a good idea to change the gearbox fluid earlier than the manual suggests, the dealer’s response completely caught us off guard. The dealer informed us that with the latest generation of CVTs (constantly variable gearboxes) used in the well-known Subarus, they no longer frequently change the transmission fluid.

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Is it worth doing a transmission fluid change?

Although changing the fluid in your gearbox won’t solve any mechanical issues, it will result in smoother shifts and may even help your transmission last longer. Additionally, even though manufacturers advise changing fluids every 150,000 miles under normal circumstances, it may be a good idea to do it more frequently.

Why is transmission fluid change so expensive?

The price to change the fluid in an automatic transmission is typically more than in a manual transmission. This is due to the possibility that the job will also necessitate replacing your oil filter and pan gasket. You can anticipate that this service will cost you between $300 and $500 in total.

How much does it cost to change transmission fluid by yourself?

Once more, the price of changing your transmission fluid will depend on the size of your car, who does the work, and the price of the filter and gasket. It will cost between $50 and $75 to do it yourself on a small vehicle. If you have your heavy-duty truck’s fluid changed by a dealership, expect to pay between $200 and $300, especially if you use OEM fluid.

How many years does transmission fluid last?

Most manufacturers advise changing your gearbox fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles if you drive a manual. The range can often be increased to 60,000 to 100,000 miles if you have an automatic. It is safe to change your fluid early.

What are the signs that you need a transmission flush?

Six indicators that your transmission fluid needs to be changed

  • transmission fluid that is dirty.
  • whining from the transmission.
  • Slipping gears.
  • Cannot shift into reverse.
  • slippage in the gears.
  • running a hot engine.
  • a grinding sound

What problems can happen after replacing transmission fluid?

If the fluid is changed after it has already been worn out. This may result in slippage. The previous fluid had been grittier to enable better gripping and contained particles that really assisted moving. Since new fluid lacks this component and may not grip as effectively, slippage may result.

How do you know if you need transmission fluid?

Low transmission fluid levels can also result in low pressure, which slows down the engagement of the gears when shifting, in addition to gear slipping. Low fluid levels may be the cause of your transmission’s slow engagement when put into drive or reverse.

Will my car drive better after the transmission fluid change?

Improve your fuel economy by changing your transmission fluid frequently, especially if it has become black. After you change the fluid, your transmission will function more smoothly, which will also result in a smoother operation of your engine.

What happens if you have too much transmission fluid?

If there is too much fluid present, the transmission fluid will start to foam. Similar to how flowing through water slows down the rotating crankshaft, too much fluid prevents adequate lubrication and cooling.

Does transmission fluid affect performance?

Unfortunately, not changing transmission fluid on a regular basis might have serious repercussions. Transmission fluid loses some of its ability to shield the clutches and gears as it ages. Over time, this could result in greater wear and friction and lower vehicle performance.

That’s all for this article where we discussed How much does It Cost to Change Your Transmission Fluid. Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.