The national cost for a manual transmission fluid change in 2023 is between $22 and $141 with an average of $67​

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POPULAR VEHICLES

National average cost of a a Manual Transmission Fluid Change
for popular vehicles:

Car Model

Avg. cost

$50

What is a manual transmission fluid change?

The transmission in your vehicle serves to transmit engine power from the engine to the wheels across a wide range of conditions and vehicle speeds. It does so through a system of gears and other moving parts inside. Most cars, trucks, and SUVs on the road today feature automatic transmissions that shift gears on their own when directed to do so by a computer. But some vehicles have manual transmissions, where the driver manually shifts between gears while driving.

In either case, automatic or manual, the components inside your transmission are lubricated and cooled with a special oil. A manual transmission fluid change is a service aimed at replacing the old fluid inside your manual transmission with fresh fluid.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

How do I know if my vehicle needs a manual transmission fluid change?

Manual transmission fluid should be changed periodically to ensure that it cools and lubricates your transmission as it should. Over time, the fluid breaks down and becomes contaminated. It becomes dark brown or black in color. Other signs that manual transmission fluid needs to be changed are:

Your transmission gets hot or overheats

You have difficulty shifting gears

You notice a grinding or growling noise coming from the transmission

Your transmission slips out of gear

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HOW IS THIS SERVICE PERFORMED?

How is a a Manual Transmission Fluid Change done?

Changing the fluid in a manual transmission is more like changing the oil in an engine than changing automatic transmission fluid. It is closer yet to changing the fluid in an axle differential or transfer case. The process is fairly straightforward. A technician removes a drain plug at the bottom of the transmission casing, collects the old lubricant for proper disposal or recycling, and adds fresh fluid with a pump.

While the service might be simple, it is worth noting that your vehicle needs to be safely lifted and supported in the air for access. The correct type and amount of manual transmission fluid is essential. And some manual transmissions require a special pressure pump to install the new fluid.



Other questions customers ask

What happens if you don't change manual transmission fluid?
If you avoid changing your manual transmission fluid at the recommended service intervals, the fluid will continually degrade and break down from heat cycling, moisture dilution, and pressure. Increased wear inside of your transmission will be the result. Lack of maintenance will ultimately shorten the lifespan of your transmission as well as reduce efficiency of the engine due to increased friction.
How do you know if your manual transmission fluid is low?
Unlike many automatic transmissions, manual transmissions usually do not have a dipstick or other quick way to check the level. Manual transmissions instead require the vehicle to be raised and supported off the ground so that a technician can remove an inspection plug at the bottom of the transmission. That is the only way to determine if the fluid is at the proper level inside of the transmission. The fluid level can be checked manually using this method. If the fluid level is severely low however, you might hear growling or grinding noises and have difficulty shifting gears.
Is manual transmission fluid the same as gear oil?
The type of manual transmission fluid needed for your vehicle depends on your specific make and model. Some manual transmissions do require 80w90 gear oil or similar product as a lubricant. Others require automatic transmission fluid instead. This is information that a qualified technician will be able to locate prior to servicing or checking the fluid level on your transmission.

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