Transmission fluid may not burn like oil does, but transmission fluid does get dirty. Dirty fluid has the potential to launch a tidal wave of problems leading to major repairs when the filthy fluid continually cycles through the transmission system. A myth does abound: because transmission fluid doesn't burn the fluid doesn't have to be changed. Car owners who let basic maintenance responsibilities slip may find their transmission, well, slipping once the car reaches the 100,000+ mileage mark with the original transmission fluid. Owners hoping to avoid a mechanical disaster now have to delicately address a difficult situation.
Avoid General Auto Service Centers
Hoping to quickly correct an oversight may lead a car owner to take a vehicle to a big name chain auto service center for standard service. These establishments are not transmission service centers and do not specialize in such work. Likely, the service center will perform a basic flush. Flushing may be a very bad idea with high mileage cars because the process may cause even more damage to the internal components. Rather than take chances, visit a garage that is primarily a transmission garage, such as B G & S Transmissions. This way, the appropriate decision on work can be performed.
Request a Report from the Manufacturer
Before visiting the transmission shop, it may be best to call the manufacturer's customer service number and explain the situation. Ask the manufacturer to provide any special recommendations for specific high-grade transmission fluid, transmission system manual parts cleanings, and so on. Calling—as opposed to emailing—speeds up the response time from the manufacturer. Too much time has already passed by, and making sure things move along quickly is highly advisable at this point. When the manufacturer's response arrives, presented the documentation to the transmission shop specialist. Upon reviewing the response, the specialist can make a better-informed decision about what steps to take.
Prepare for the Worst
Likely, the transmission specialist may suggest a way to change the fluid without causing any harm to the system. However, he/she may even suggest to leave the transmission alone. Damage to the transmission may have already occurred and changing the fluid could worsen things more quickly. Don't take this as bad news. Knowing the current condition of the transmission allows for better preparation for things to come.
Look for Rebuilt Transmissions
Serious problems with the transmission may not emerge for a year or even many years. Look for a provider for a rebuilt transmission long in advance in order to find the least expensive option. This way, a new—and less costly—transmission may be acquired without delay and without rushing to buy the first high-cost one available.