A number of vehicle owners operate with the out of sight, out of mind mantra. Don't make this mistake. Steering clear of this mistake is especially important when it comes to your transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is basically the heart of your transmission. It doesn't just ensure your transmission is operating correctly, but the condition of the fluid can also alert you of an underlying issue. Make sure you understand the importance of inspecting your transmission fluid.
Simply having an adequate level of transmission fluid in your system isn't enough. Poor quality fluid isn't any better than too little fluid. Regular inspections can help you verify the quality of the fluid. Just from simple operation, dirt and other debris may get introduced into the fluid compartment. When this buildup is excessive, this transforms the fluid from a liquid consistency to more of a thick sludge.
The color of the fluid also changes based on its quality. Fluid that is new or in excellent condition is bright red. As it gets dirty and ages, it starts to change in color to a burgundy-like hue. Once the fluid gets dark, it's best to have it inspected to see if a flush is necessary.
Regular transmission fluid inspections can also alert you of an underlying issue within the transmission. First, consider a transmission fluid that is of a pinkish hue. Since transmission fluid starts off red, a pink color would indicate that the fluid is mixing with some other substance. In many instances this substance is water. Water contamination is a serious concern because it causes the fluid to stick to the clutches, where it causes permanent damage.
The solution for water contamination is generally a transmission replacement. The condition of the fluid can also alert you of problems like a bad solenoid, malfunctioning torque converter or clutch slipping. All of these problems result in burnt transmission fluid that is black in color. In addition to the underlying issue, burnt fluid can introduce more problems and cause failure if left unaddressed for an extended period.
Understand that the frequency at which you need to check your fluid is independent of the frequency at which you need to change it. You should be checking the fluid far more frequently than you're changing it for optimal performance. Since the type of vehicle you own, your mileage and the conditions in which you drive all determine how often you need to check the fluid, it's best to ask an auto professional for specific advice for your vehicle.
For more information and advice, contact an auto repair shop, such as Performance Parts Classic Chevrolet.