How-to Know When Your Transmission Service Is Due

What Is a Transmission service?

Every modern internal-combustion powered automobile is equipped with a transmission. The transmission is responsible for transmitting the power generated by the engine to the wheels. This is done by a variety of moving and interchanging gears with specific gear ratios for specific speed ranges. To allow the gears to move seamlessly with no friction and avoid damage to the gears, gear oil is required within the system to provide lubrication. Furthermore the transmission fluid is responsible for cooling the transmission as well. This is very similar to how the oil is utilized within the engine.

Overtime with normal use the gear oil begins to degrade in their ability to provide sufficient lubrication and cooling for the transmission. Much like the oil in your engine, the oil in your transmission and its filter are maintenance items that need to be replaced at dealer-specified service intervals. This is known as a transmission service.

Understanding what type of transmission your vehicle is equipped with and knowing when the next transmission service is due is critical to maintaining your vehicles reliability and dependability.

The Different Transmission Types

Over the years automotive manufacturers have created a variety of transmission designs that are built for their own particular purposes.  Here is an outline of the three most common designs that you will see in vehicle’s sold today.

Manual Transmission

The manual transmission is the oldest and simplest in design. In order to change gears it must be done manually by the driver via the operation of the clutch and the shifter. The most common service items for a manual transmission is a transmission service and a clutch replacement service.

Torque Converter Automatic Transmission

The most common transmission utilized in vehicles today is a torque converter automatic transmission. Instead of the gears being changed manually with a gear lever, they are changed automatically with the use of a torque converter and a TCU, Transmission control unit.

Much like your engine’s ECU, Engine control Unit, the TCU is a computer module which monitors the various systems such as the speed sensor and throttle position sensor to dictate which gear is best suited for that given situation. While the TCU is automatically changing gears within the transmission the Torque Converter momentarily separates the engine from the transmission to allow for a much smoother gear change.

The most common service and repair items for a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission is the Torque converter, mechatronics unit, transmission fluid and transmission filter.

Dual-Clutch Transmission 

A dual-clutch transmission is very similar to an automatic transmission in that they’re both operated automatically with a TCU. However instead of utilizing a torque converter, a dual clutch operates with two sets clutches that operate their respective half of the gear set.

The advantage of a dual-clutch transmission is that it offers a quicker and more direct gear change than you could have in a traditional automatic or manual transmission. This is thanks to the addition of that second clutch that gets the next gear ready for use at the press of a paddle.

As you are currently engaged in a gear the second clutch already has the next available gears spinning and ready to be engaged. A dual-clutch transmission is more commonly found in performance models such as Volkswagen’s DSG transmissionPorsche’s PDK Transmission and Audi’s S-tronic Transmission. 

The most common service and repair items on a dual-clutch transmission equipped vehicle is the transmission fluid, clutches, clutch basket and transmission fluid filter.

When is my transmission service due?

Every manufacturer designs their transmissions with a particular service interval. However there are general service interval ranges that we recommend for each of the main 3 transmission designs.

  • Manual transmission fluid service: Every 70,000-80,000 miles
  • Automatic transmission service: Every 60,000-70,000 miles
  • Dual-Clutch Transmission Service: Every 30,000 – 40,000 miles

If you are not sure which design transmission your vehicle was equipped with or when it is due for a transmission service, you can have your vehicle inspected by an experienced automotive technician.

At Eurofed automotive we offer courtesy inspections with every service to provide full transparency to our customers about the condition of their vehicle and how to best maintain the vehicle’s reliability and dependability.

Click here to learn more about Factory scheduled maintenance.

Where can I have a transmission service performed at a shop near me?

You can have a transmission service performed by a dealer-certified technician at any of our 13 Eurofed locations across the southeast. All transmission services are backed by a 2 year/ 24,000 mile warranty.

Contact your local Eurofed today to learn more about our affordable auto repair services.

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