National average cost of a Transmission Drain and Fill for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $76
Avg. cost $476
Avg. cost $100
What is a transmission fluid drain and fill?
Your vehicle’s automatic transmission transmits power from the engine, through the drivetrain, and to the wheels. Inside the transmission is a system of gears and other moving components that are lubricated and cooled by hydraulic oil called ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid). The ATF is also used to control some of the functions of the transmission through hydraulic pressure. So, the ATF serves several important roles in your transmission, therefore, it is important to replace the fluid on a regular basis.
How do I know if my vehicle needs a transmission fluid drain and fill?
The transmission fluid and filter in an automatic transmission should be changed at regular intervals, according to the recommendation of the vehicle manufacturer. But there are certain conditions that might suggest a fluid drain and fill is needed, such as
Abnormal shifting (too abrupt or excessively soft and "mushy" shifts)
Shifting into the next gear at the wrong time (too early or too late)
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To drain and fill the transmission fluid, a mechanic will first need to lift and support your vehicle off of the ground to access the transmission. The process is similar to an oil change, except that it is usually necessary to remove the transmission oil pan to drain out the old fluid. For most automatic transmissions, the mechanic will need to remove the bolts that secure the pan to the transmission and lower the pan from the vehicle. With the pan removed and the fluid drained, the magnet designed to trap metal debris must be manually cleaned. It is often recommended that the transmission filter be replaced as well, since it must be accessed by removing the pan. Still, transmission filter replacement is not necessary with a drain and fill service. Either way, the pan is reinstalled with a fresh gasket, and the transmission is refilled with fluid from either the dipstick tube or an access hole on top of the transmission, requiring a special pressure pump and adapter (an increasing element of late-model vehicles).
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