A transmission fluid change is probably the most common service people get on their cars. In fact, a transmission fluid change is often referred to as a transmission service. There’s also the transmission flush though which some consider more effective. You can read more about the cost of a transmission flush here.
But back to the topic at hand, it’s suggested that you get a fluid change every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, or once every 2 years. What is most important when getting a fluid change is to make sure the pan is cleaned and the filter is replaced. That’s because the pan and filter can collect contaminants over time and if left alone it can mix with the new fluid rendering the fluid change pointless. So make sure the service includes replacing the filter and that the pan is thoroughly cleaned. The point of all this is to replace the old fluid with new fluid, so that the transmission can work more efficiently and last longer. But you are probably wondering how much does a transmission service cost, but don’t worry, we will go over that in a moment.
What is a Transmission Fluid Change?
Before we go over the transmission fluid change cost let’s learn a little about what it actually consists of. Normally a fluid change will require the car to be elevated, at which the car is turned on to warm up the fluids to normal operating temperatures. The fluid is then drained by removing a plug on the side of the pan or the pan entirely. If the entire pan is removed it is then inspected for any signs of trouble and the gasket is then replaced, the pan cleaned, the filter replaced, and finally the pan re-installed. The car is then lowered and the correct amount of new fluid is added through the transmission reservoir.
It’s a pretty simple process that you can even do yourself, which we will explain here. Well now that you understand what it is, we will go over the transmission fluid change cost.
How Much Does a Transmission Fluid Change Cost?
The transmission fluid change cost will depend on what you will want to get done. As we have suggested, the filter should be replaced and the pan inspected. It is not absolutely necessary but we like to think in terms of the long haul. It might cost a bit extra but you will be saving money down the line with a transmission that lasts longer.
Normally it will cost you anywhere from $60 to $250 if you choose to bring it into a shop or a dealership. This will vary depending on where you live, the value of the car, the make and model, the type of transmission fluid used, how much fluid is used, and the cost of labor which will be different depending on where you go.
If you drive an average car, like a sedan, the average transmission fluid change cost will be around $60 to $100. Not too shabby. Normally shops are less expensive than dealerships (dealers are know to pad bills), but be wary of what kind of shop you bring it to. Research shops beforehand and make sure the one you choose is honest and trustworthy.
But taking it to a repair shop or dealership aren’t your only options. If you have some knowledge with cars and the patience to learn the process effectively, you can do it yourself and save a lot of money. You would never have to bring it into the shop again! Most of the time, over half the transmission fluid change cost from auto shops and dealerships results from cost of labor alone. Once you learn how to do it yourself, you won’t ever have to waste extra money getting your car serviced at a shop again!
On average you will be spending around $40 to $75 for the transmission fluid change cost if you do it yourself. This accounts for the fluid, gasket, and filter, although it doesn’t include the cost of tools. That’s okay though because you’ll most likely have everything you need already, such as a pan large enough to catch the fluid, socket wrenches, screwdrivers, a mallet, clean towels, and safety glasses. So if you’re feeling a little bold you can check out our tutorial here.