Is It Harmful to Delay Changing Your Transmission Fluid?

Transmission Fluid

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You might be aware that, similar to other fluids in a vehicle, transmission fluid needs to be replaced periodically. Only a few exceptions exist, like completely sealed units that can’t drain the fluid, while the majority still need maintenance.

Failure to timely replace your fluid, or worse, waiting until transmission problems arise to do so, can adversely affect the transmission and shorten its lifespan. If the fluid has never been changed, introducing new fluid may result in the transmission slipping, even if it wasn’t before.

This happens because the old fluid, which contains clutch material from long-term use, may have been assisting the transmission in gear shifting.

So, is it necessary to replace the transmission fluid? And how frequently should it be done?

The act of changing your fluid alone won’t cause any damage if the transmission is in good condition. Problems start to emerge when you change the fluid if your clutches are already worn or damaged due to usage. If you decide to change the fluid after the clutches have worn out, it might cause slipping.

The old fluid contained particles that assisted in shifting by making it more abrasive for better gripping. The new fluid lacks these materials and might not grip as effectively, leading to slippage.

Therefore, while new fluid might trigger transmission issues, in truth, those issues were already present. All you did was highlight them by changing the fluid.

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