Transmissions have changed pretty dramatically in recent years. In the late 90s, a quarter of cars sold had manual transmissions, and now they only make up 1.6% of transmissions sold today. However, just because transmissions are considered “automatic” certainly doesn’t mean that it repairs itself. Let’s talk about the benefits of transmission services for your car or truck and why you need them now.
1. Transmission Services Save Money
The number one benefit of routine transmission fluid service is that you save money in the long run. If you’re not a car junky, or if you’ve never had transmission problems, you may not know exactly how expensive transmissions are to replace.
Let’s take a regular sedan. One of the most popular models on the road is a Toyota Corolla. They’re reliable, they last a long time, and most importantly, the parts are easily accessible. How much do you think a used transmission would cost for a Corolla?
If you said $1,500, then you’re in the ballpark. You could pay anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 for a used transmission on a small and popular vehicle like that if your transmission breaks down. Most people simply buy a new car when their transmission goes, as it simply isn’t worth it.
Well, most vehicles recommend transmission services every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, meaning that if you’re planning to keep the car for 200,000 miles and you spend $125 on each transmission fluid service, you’d be spending a maximum of $600 over the course of ownership, less than half of what you would pay for a new transmission.
Some will suggest as low as 30,000 miles, so it’s important to check your car manual, which you can find online if you don’t have the hard copy.
2. Keep Your Car Longer
Contrary to mainstream opinion, it absolutely pays off to keep your car. There are plenty of people who buy new cars and sell them after 80,000 or 120,000 miles. However, this is not a smart fiscal decision.
A vehicle loses the most value in the first 2 to 4 years after it is manufactured. If you only keep your car for 3 years and sell it, you may not even make enough on the return to pay off your loan. If you do, do you really want to take out another one so soon?
Since the transmission is often the most expensive component of a car, along with the engine, keeping it in good shape allows you to hold onto your car for longer. When you hit 120,000 miles and you need to do some routine maintenance like your brakes and tires, adding a transmission into that could be the difference between scrapping the car or driving it for another 150,000.
If you have a 5-year loan, drive 15,000 miles a year, and keep your transmission running smoothly, you could have that car for more than 10 years after the loan is paid off, which will save you a fortune.
3. Keeps Your Transmission Running Smoothly
When you drive for a long period of time, your transmission fluid gets old and begins to clump. The only way to fix that is to bleed out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid, which prevents clogging and other issues.
Old fluid gets burned or clogged with particulate matter, which will harm your transmission over time. Much like your engine needs new oil, your transmission needs new fluid.
4. Waiting Too Long Will Kill Your Transmission
Sometimes, if you wait too long for a transmission service, the thicker, older fluid will be more difficult to bleed out from the transmission. Because of this, when new fluid is introduced, it can force bunched-up fluid to become loose and clog parts of your transmission, leading to transmission failure.
Many people reach 100,000 miles and think they are overdue for a transmission fluid change, so they go to the mechanic and get it done. A week later, they’re at the dealership buying a new car.
That means that if you don’t do your routine services on time, a transmission fluid change will likely only speed up the process of destroying your transmission. That’s why it’s so critical to get transmission services done on time.
5. Improve Engine Efficiency
Your engine and transmission have to work in tandem to move your car at optimal rates. When your transmission is running optimally, you’ll see similar results in your engine, which can help you save money on fuel and keep your oil in good shape between changes.
6. Increase Safety
If your battery dies, somebody can jump you. If your engine stalls, there are often plenty of ways to fix it right there. However, if your transmission goes, you’re going to need a tow.
This isn’t ideal for those who live in remote areas where cell services and tow trucks are few and far between. Stalling in precarious locations can also be a major safety issue. The best way to prevent this is by keeping your transmission in good shape over the long term and making routine services a habit for every car you own.
Change It Today!
Like your oil, transmission services should be done early rather than on time or late. If your manual says to change it every 60,000 miles and you’re only at 50,000, there’s no harm in getting it done early. The sooner you get it done, the sooner it will be off your plate, and the smoother of a ride you’ll have. Stay up to date with our latest auto news and contact us with any questions today!