Three Signs You Are Overdue For A Transmission Fluid Flush

Your vehicle relies on a significant number of fluids in order to function, each of which lubricates, powers, or is burned as energy for one of your car's systems. It can be hard to keep track of them all, especially for systems that you don't think about every day, like your transmission. Thankfully, there are several things that you can watch for to determine when your transmission fluid is no longer in good condition and should be flushed to prevent further problems with your vehicle from developing.

Jerky Acceleration

One of the clearest signs that there are dirt, grime, and other contaminants within your transmission fluid is if your vehicle is unable to speed up relatively smoothly. Dirty transmission fluid will mean that an inadequate amount of fluid is able to be used by the transmission at any time, leading to sudden surges forwards or reductions in speed as the amount of transmission fluid being sent to the transmission changes. This is a serious safety concern, as it drastically reduces how well you are able to control your vehicle and can make the risk of a collision much higher.

Grinding and Bumping

Another noticeable but often overlooked sign of dirty transmission fluid is any sort of grinding or bumping noise coming from under your hood while you are driving. While grinding can be caused by a whole host of systems from your air conditioner to the engine itself, dirty transmission fluid is one of the most common culprits. Dirt and grease in transmission fluid can reduce how well it is able to lubricate the moving parts of your transmission, increasing the amount of friction that it suffers from. This is more than an annoyance to deal with while driving: grinding points to increased wear and tear on the transmission itself and means that damage or a mechanical issue are much more likely to occur.

Discolored Fluid

The last sign that should be noted when checking the condition of your transmission fluid is the color of the fluid itself. You can check this easily by removing the dipstick from the reservoir under the hood — generally, this is located next to the engine block, but check your owner's manual. Dirty transmission fluid will be a dark red, brown, or even black color as it absorbs additional dirt and other materials, instead of the regular orange or red shade that it should have. Darkly discolored transmission fluid means that you should get a flush straight away to reduce the chances of your transmission itself becoming damaged.

Contact a transmission repair service for more information.