Changing the oil in the gearbox is a relatively simple and inexpensive process. Timely car maintenance is a guarantee of long-term operation. When car owners hear about changing the oil, first of all, they think about the engine, forgetting about the need to change the oil in the car’s gearbox. This approach to car maintenance is fraught with serious and costly consequences.
How often do you need to change the oil in the box?
As a rule, the first oil change is prescribed in the vehicle operating and service manual. If we talk about numbers, then the oil in automatic transmissions is changed, as a rule, at a mileage of 60,000-100,000 miles, and for manual transmissions at 40,000-60,000 miles, but it all depends on the type of gearbox and its manufacturer. As a rule, ATF transmission oils are used for automatic transmissions and MTF for manual transmissions. When changing the oil, it is better not to mix fluids from different manufacturers. If the gearbox is used under increased load, it is better to reduce the oil change interval. There are three types of gearbox oils:
Mineral oil is one of the cheapest oils and needs to be changed every 20,000-30,000 miles.
Semi-synthetic type – has a number of additives to improve gearbox performance. The recommended replacement interval is 30,000-40,000 miles.
Synthetic type is one of the most expensive transmission oils with a lot of additives.
How often to change the oil in the automatic gearbox?
There is no universal mileage on which you need to change the oil in the automatic transmission. It should be noted that when changing the oil in automatic transmissions, it is worth considering their type (hydromechanical automatic gears, continuously variable transmission (CVT), DSG robotic gearboxes because this will affect not only the mileage at which it is necessary to change the oil, but also the type of the oil itself.
How often should the manual transmission oil be changed?
As a rule, the automakers themselves do not talk about the need to change the oil in the manual transmission. At the same time, many experts recommend changing the gear oils in the manual transmission every 40,000 miles to avoid increased wear.
How to understand that you need to change the oil in the gearbox?
In the case of the automatic transmission, it is worth paying attention to the following changes in the car’s behavior:
- Change in the color of the oil (used oil is usually darker in color);
- The smell of burning oil (this indicates a constant overheating of the gearbox, in which case it will be useful to spend some money on additional diagnostics);
- Bubbles or foam in the transmission oil (this can be a sign of an unsuitable oil for this transmission type or a sign of airing of the system);
- Automatic transmission problems (uneven gear shifting).
If we talk about the manual transmission, then there may be the following symptoms when there is a need to change the oil in the box:
- Noise while driving, which increases when changing gears;
- The inability to switch a gear;
- Problems with disabling gears;
- Unexpected shutdowns of gears;
- Leaks of transmission oil from the gearbox housing.
Such consequences can sadly surprise the car owners in the event that they do not change the oil in the gearbox.
What is the best way to change the oil in the gearbox: alone or with the help of professionals?
Some car owners change the oil in the gearbox of their car on their own, but practice shows that no one can cope with such work better than professionals. Car service professionals always have extensive experience in changing transmission oil and a number of tools that allow you to correctly and quickly cope with the task.
The complete oil replacement procedure includes flushing the automatic transmission with special cleaning compounds. This method is quite expensive and laborious, requires special equipment (provides an accurate dosage of ATF, automatically takes into account the volume of the drained transmission fluid to calculate the replacement volume).
As you can see, the reluctance to change the oil in the transmission leads to expensive consequences, both in the case of the automatic transmission and in the case of the manual transmission.
The selection of transmission fluid for the automatic transmission is an important factor. In the car service book, the manufacturer indicates the required type of transmission fluid for your car.