Proper Transmission Maintenance: Filter Care and Replacement

by | Dec 8, 2017 | Automotive

The transmission plays a vital role in your vehicle’s function. It helps regulate and distribute the power produced by the engine. It is important, therefore, to keep it in prime condition. Proper care and maintenance can help keep your transmission running smoothly, which in turn keeps your vehicle running smoothly. Various components become worn and damaged, and automatic transmission filters eventually need to be replaced. Knowing what your filter does and when to get a new one is a key part of proper maintenance.

What Does a Transmission Filter Do?

When parts are under the extreme heat and stress that occurs in a vehicle’s transmission, they are likely to wear down over time. The filter acts as a gatekeeper for the debris that is cast off from the different plates and disks around the transmission shaft as they push and grind into one another. Metal shavings are filtered out and kept away from sensitive parts. The filter also serves to keep out dust or other particles that find their way into the transmission fluid. It helps keep the system clean and running well.

When Does the Filter Need to be Replaced?

As a general rule, automatic transmission filters should be replaced every 30,000 miles or every two years. It is a good idea to change the transmission fluid and pan at the same time because they wear out at approximately the same rate as the filter. Many vehicles have a computerized sensor that lets you know when your fluid needs to be replaced, so you can also go by that warning and replace the filter at the same time.

There are other signs that a filter change might be necessary. If a burnt odor starts to emanate from your transmission fluid, or if it turns dark in color, that could be a sign that it needs to be changed. It is a good idea to change the filter as well in this situation because it has probably soaked up a lot of the dark and dirty fluid. If you hear a high-pitched squeal, particularly if it gets worse when the vehicle is in reverse, it could be a sign that your transmission filter is clogged. Strange noises are usually an indication that something is wrong. It is important to take care of a problem as soon as you suspect it so that further damage does not occur.

Your vehicle cannot go anywhere without a working transmission. If you maintain it properly, inspecting it frequently and changing the automatic transmission filters when necessary, it can keep your vehicle on the road.

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