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Transmission Fluid Change

Is it necessary to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles or is it a means for car dealer service departments to make money?

If you look at the cost of replacing a transmission, spending the money on transmission service every three years/30,000 miles is pretty cheap insurance in the overall cost of owning a vehicle.


first read you maintenance schedule
second changing fluid/filter every 30K will prolong the life of the transmission
The dealership makes more money repairing your transmission

Most people here will say to absolutely drop the trans pan and change the filter every 30K if you want your transmission to last - not to flush it - just drop the pan & change the filter. This doesn’t change all of the fluid, but enough of it.

You don’t need to use a dealer, however. You can use any good, reputable, local, and independent mechanic.

Thanks, Tester - this is the direction that I needed!

In this case the dealer pushes more frequent changes than specified in the owner’s manual. We have a situation where the manufacturer tries to sell a "low maintenance " car while the dealer wants volume in his shop.

As mentioned, every 30,000 miles for a fluid cange and filter replacement will let your transmission last the life of the car. If you tow a trailer, this service needs to be done every 12,000-15,000 miles.

I do apologize for the last part of my question regarding dealership service departments; I didn’t stop to think about how it read until after I had posted it.

And I do appreciate the immediate replies I have received.

Yes they make money. If you are the drive and forget kind of person with a car then have an independent shop of good quality do the change. If you check all the fluids and notice changes in color like me, drive until it does not seem like it was last fillup. The folks here all have great suggestions but it really comes down to how you take care of your own car.

Not sure why you feel a need to apologize - its a perfectly valid question, esp. re: dealer service departments. There are lots of other things you might have asked about (e.g. like “fuel injector cleaning service” or something) where the answer would have been that it is normally just to make a place money.