Posted under Car Fluids

It pays to take care of your car’s transmission. Literally. When the transmission performs optimally, your fuel economy is improved, transmission trouble can turn into expensive repairs So, it’s wise to give your transmission consistent, routine attention. 

Aging Fluid Can Accelerate Transmission Wear.

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) lubricates, cools, and cleans the internal components to help the transmission run efficiently.

  • Over time, dirt, metal shavings, and contaminants accumulate in the fluid. As the ATF moves through the transmission, these particles can burn and overheat the internal components, resulting in system failure.

  • When the transmission begins to overheat, the ATF breaks down, clogging internal passageways and making shifting difficult.

When to Replace Transmission Fluid?

For the recommended service interval for your vehicle, refer to your owner’s manual. If you can’t locate your manual, just contact Jiffy Lube as the trained technicians can access the manufacturer recommendations for your vehicle. 

While you may be curious about when to replace transmission fluid you may also wonder if you need a transmission fluid change or flush. Let’s take a look at these two services.

What is a Transmission Fluid Change?

Here’s a quick overview of what happens when a technician performs a fluid change:

  1. The transmission pan is lowered and drained
  2. The filter is replaced (if necessary)
  3. The technician reinstalls the pan 
  4. Then the transmission is refilled with fresh ATF

It’s important to note that a fluid change only drains 20% to 40% of the total ATF volume. But since much of the old, dirty fluid is replaced, the transmission will operate more efficiently than before.

Now, what is a transmission fluid flush?

During a flush:

  1. All the old, dirty fluid is removed 
  2. A special solution is run through the cooler lines
  3. The filter is replaced (if necessary)
  4. Then the transmission is refilled with fresh ATF

Some of the benefits of a transmission flush are:

  • The transmission runs cooler and receives the maximum protection against wear to clutches, gears, and bearings
  • More consistent shifting, since the new fluid provides more effective frictional properties
  • Performing a flush allows for the use of a flush additive to help clean the transmission and more effectively remove accumulated sludge and other contaminants

Transmission Fluid Change vs. Flush — Which to Choose?

It’s been said that a transmission flush is more effective than a change because:

  • With a flush, all the old fluid is removed by a flush machine and replaced with new fluid, allowing for optimal transmission performance
  • A fluid change is a drain-and-refill, with some old fluid remains in the transmission after the change, which can contaminate the new fluid — and diminish performance

When considering a transmission fluid change vs. flush, you may want to consider price. Because of the special equipment and labor involved, a transmission flush usually costs significantly more than the less complicated fluid change. 

Whether you decide on a transmission fluid change or flush, be sure you have one of these services performed regularly. Ignoring it can result in diminished performance, accelerated transmission wear, and reduced gas mileage.

Just refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine how often to replace the transmission fluid in your car as well as which ATF should be used. If you can’t locate your owner’s manual, the team at Jiffy Lube can access the manufacturer recommendations for your vehicle.
With more than 2,000 Jiffy Lube® locations across the country, there is a service center near you. 

Please note: With some vehicles, transmission fluid change vs. flush is irrelevant, as they may have a sealed transmission. Again, check your owner’s manual or ask a Jiffy Lube® technician to verify.

Regular Transmission Maintenance Can Help Keep Your Vehicle on the Road 

Caring for your transmission is an important part of preventive maintenance and can help keep your vehicle rolling. 

Here’s an example of what you can expect when you bring your car to Jiffy Lube® for transmission service.

  • You’ll be asked about your driving style, which can help the technician troubleshoot
  • The current mileage will be verified and compared to mileage specified by the manufacturer for transmission maintenance
  • Service options will be presented, and your questions are encouraged
  • With this information, you’ll decide to get a transmission fluid change, flush or, you may simply choose to have your ATF topped off
Jiffy Lube service member using tablet to show customer what vehicle maintenance is needed for their car

Did You Know?

You can receive complimentary fluid top off service on vital fluids — including ATF — within 3,000 miles of your last Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change.

Read More About It.

ATF is not your vehicle’s only essential fluid. Radiator Fluid is important, too. Find out why here.

Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center or visit for specific services offered.