In order to keep your car running smoothly, you need to keep the transmission in good working order. Transmission fluid change cost can vary depending on a number of factors including whether you have an automatic or standard transmission, and whether you do the job yourself or have it done in at a shop.
The transmission system is responsible for changing gears to ensure the transfer of power from the engine to the wheels is as efficient as possible. The main factors influencing the costs are:
- The make and model of your car
- Whether or not you do the transmission fluid flush yourself
- Whether you have the job done by a professional or non-professional
- If you choose a professional, then the change price will depend on the business you select
- Your geographic location
Prices for a transmission oil change can vary quite widely from one garage to another, so it really pays to shop around and compare quotes. Remember that you get what you pay for, so you need to consider more than the base price when comparing deals.
For example, is the shop a reputable one known for reliable service? Is the work guaranteed in any way?
When do I need a fluid change?
The standard or automatic transmission must be in good shape for a vehicle to run properly or even to run at all. If you wait too long on changing your transmission fluid, you could end up with major damage to the system.
Repairing or replacing a broken transmission is expensive compared to fluid change price. Therefore, you should not mind the flush cost so much as it is rather trivial as compared to the alternative.
Just how often you should change transmission fluid will depend on the make and model of the car along with the driving conditions in which your vehicle normally operates. Most drivers can expect an oil change around once every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, you should check the vehicle’s owner’s manual to find the correct fluid change intervals.
Since some vehicles require more frequent transmission fluid changes than others, the overall transmission fluid change cost can vary significantly depending on the make and model.
Changing the transmission fluid yourself
One way to save money is to change the transmission fluid yourself. However, generally you should only do this if you know have at least some experience working with cars. If you do the job wrong, you could potentially end up damaging the transmission system.
One of the most important things to watch when changing the oil yourself is the fluid level. The transmission fluid level must not exceed the maximum indicated on the dipstick. If you use too much fluid, you risk serious damage to the vehicle and major repair expenses.
In addition to flushing out the old fluid, you will also need to replace the transmission filter and the transmission pan seal.
How much does it cost at a shop?
As mentioned, prices can vary depending on a number of factors. Generally, the flush price for an automatic transmission will range from about $80 to $300. The change price for a standard transmission vehicle is significantly lower at around $30 to $60.
Some shops, though, will add on other services in addition to the flush as part of their regular package. For example, they may also check other fluids along with belts and hoses. Since you generally pay for all the labor expended, this increases the final cost. In some cases, shops will even inspect your windshield wipers when you get a flush. Make sure you know what you are getting when you ask for a transmission fluid change.
How to Reduce Transmission Fluid Change Cost
The best way to reduce costs when you are looking for a professional to do the job is shopping around and comparing prices. The Internet offers the most convenient way to scan around for businesses in your area that offer such services.
Ask what is included in the price of a flush. If you find that many other services are bundled together with the package, you can ask whether they can lower the price if they only perform the transmission oil change. However, if you also need other work done on your car, sometimes it is cheapest to find a package deal that includes different services at a bundled discount price.
You may be able to get the change price down by bargaining. Tell the shop owner that another business you contacted is offering the same service but at a lower price. They might be willing to beat that price in order to get your business.
Sometimes shops will also offer discounts or incentives when they are looking to promote their business. Check for coupons on websites, in your local newspaper, and in other local publications.
Another way to find discounts and deals is by asking family, friends, co-workers and others in your personal network if they have had a flush done recently. Many people learn of the best deals through word-of-mouth.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, there are many factors that can impact transmission fluid change. By doing a bit of research, you can lower costs for this service. Optionally, if you are mechanically-inclined you can save by doing the work yourself, but remember that you need to change the fluid properly or you risk serious vehicle damage.