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Want to learn more about Gearbox Oil changes?

Read our short guide with information on costs, symptoms and more.

What does Gearbox Fluid do?

The gearbox fluid is a fluid that lubricates the internal components of the gearbox, vital for keeping the internals running smoothly. If your car has an automatic gearbox, the fluid has an extra function in that it is also the fluid powering the hydraulic system, vital for moving the internal parts of the gearbox. Additionally, a steady supply of fluid cools the automatic gearbox.

What does a gearbox oil change involve?

  • The mechanic will inspect the fluid.
  • If necessary, the mechanic will replace the fluid.
  • The mechanic will test drive the car and inspect the gearbox.

Can I do a gearbox oil change myself?

Unless you are a qualified mechanic with the required skills, training and equipment to do the job, we strongly recommend a gearbox oil change is only carried out by a professional mechanic. ClickMechanic can help get you a vetted and local mechanic to carry out the work. Just enter your postcode and your car's registration number at the top of this page and select the work needed to get an instant fixed price up front.

What are the symptoms of bad gearbox fluid?

  • When the gearbox's fluid has discoloured.
  • When you have trouble changing gear.
  • When the gearbox temperature light on the car's dashboard is on.
  • When there is a grinding noise coming from the gearbox.

How long does it take to change gearbox oil?

A gearbox oil change usually takes around 1 hour, but can take less or more time. Ultimately, the time that the job will take will depend on a number of factors, like your vehicle's make and model, year, as well as other factors. Select your car at the top of this page for information on job time and cost for your vehicle through ClickMechanic.

How often should you change your gearbox oil?

Most manufacturers recommend that you change gearbox oil at between 30,000 and 60,000 miles and at regular intervals after that. If you do a lot of driving in urban areas, where you’re often changing up and down through your gears, you drive your car for a living so the gearbox gets plenty of use, it’s sometimes advisable to change your gearbox oil as often as every 15,000 miles.

Always service the gearbox fluid as and when stipulated in the guidelines set out by your car's manufacturer. It is essential that the fluid is kept in superb condition to ensure the gearbox does not suffer from excessive wear or damage. This should contribute to a prolonged and unproblematic gearbox lifespan.

Should you experience problems prior to the next scheduled service as stipulated by the manufacturer it is important to have the gearbox inspected and, if necessary, have the gearbox fluid replaced.

How to extend the life of your gearbox oil?

Like any kind of greasy substance that you put inside the workings of your car, gearbox oil will lose its effectiveness over time. It can also leak, and if you spot such a problem, you should always get it investigated, and the oil topped up if necessary.

If you change gears gently, you will be giving yourself a good chance of extending the time between two gearbox fluid changes.

Using a more heat resistant synthetic oil can also contribute to a longer timespan.

Does changing gearbox oil make a difference?

Yes, the gearbox oil protects a variety of moving parts, and these can be damaged if the oil isn’t up to the job. The fluid in your gearbox can become contaminated with other liquids and if you even occasionally change gears roughly, this can deposit tiny pieces of metal shavings into your gearbox oil. These stop it from working as effectively as it should, and shorten the life of your whole gearbox and in the worst case, cause serious damage.

Does gearbox oil need to be changed?

Yes, it is important to replace the gearbox oil as per the guidelines set out by your car's manufacturer. As the gearbox oil protects a gearbox's moving parts it's worth making sure the gearbox oil is in good condition to prevent damage and improve performance.

Can I still drive with bad gearbox oil?

Manual gearboxes are closed units and their operation is dependent on the quality of the oil contained within them, much like an engine requires good oil. Unfortunately, before issues become apparent to the driver, the damage is already done. If you suspect there is any issue with the gearbox oil or there are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with a professional mechanic with immediate effect. Driving the vehicle with bad gearbox oil may lead to further complications or damage to your gearbox.

Is dirty gearbox oil an MOT failure?

No, dirty gearbox oil will not lead to an MOT failure. The inner workings and hence fluid are not assessed during an MOT as only safety-critical and structural issues are checked for (for example transmission joints or bearings are checked).

How much is a gearbox service?

A gearbox service for an automatic car can cost from £150 to over £250, depending on the type of gearbox and the parts required.

What is a gearbox service?

A gearbox or transmission service on an automatic car differs from a simple gearbox oil drain & refill in that it involves the replacement of a filter as well as a gasket or sealant. During a gearbox service the mechanic would lift the car and drain any fluid before the sump is removed to clean transmission parts and replace the filter. Once the sump is refitted with the new gasket or sealant the transmission unit is filled with new ATF again. Manufacturer procedures are followed during this process, which may involve plugging in a diagnostic tool to run the transmission through the process. Eventually the gearbox is run through the selection routine to ensure it runs smoothly.

When should a gearbox be serviced?

A gearbox should be serviced according to the recommended manufacturer service schedule or if an issue with the gearbox has been identified. For example, if the gearbox fails to change gears, there is a jerky gear shift or the transmission overheats a gearbox service may help remedy these issues.

How do I know if my gearbox oil is low?

There's a number of tell-tale signs that can indicate that the gearbox oil level is low:

  • Trouble shifting gears
  • Gearbox overheats
  • Noises from the gearbox
  • Delayed engagement of gears
  • Vibrations from the gearbox

Where can I check gearbox oil level?

You can usually check the gearbox oil level via a gearbox oil dipstick in the engine bay of your car. Some cars may not have one, then check the owner's manual for instructions on where and how to check the oil level. Often it will mean that you will need to lift the vehicle and check directly on the transmission by removing the oil fill cap and inserting a manufacturer advised tool to check the level and condition.

What is gearbox fluid flush?

An automatic transmission fluid flush or gearbox fluid flush is a process in which all of the old, dirty fluid is flushed out of the transmission and replaced with new, clean fluid. This helps to keep the transmission running smoothly and helps to prevent more complex and expensive problems with the transmission

Can I add gearbox oil without flushing the old oil?

Technically you can do it but is not recommended as not carrying out a flush means the transmission system will still have old fluid, debris, particles and deposits that can cause a transmission failure.

What happens if you put too much transmission fluid or gearbox oil in your car?

Overfilling with transmission fluid can lead to the leakage of the fluid from the gearbox. In some cases, it can cause the transmission to overheat and fail.

What is the difference between transmission fluid and gearbox oil?

Transmission fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that is used to power automatic transmissions (in an automatic car). Gearbox oil is a type of lubricant that is used to protect and lubricate the moving parts in a gearbox (in a manual car).

What happens if I don’t change the automatic transmission fluid at it's recommended time?

If you don't change the gearbox oil when recommended, it can become contaminated. It may slip or may not shift gears properly and can also cause damage to the clutch system.

How much does a gearbox oil replacement cost?

A gearbox oil change generally costs between £70 and £120 with an average price of £85. Ultimately, the cost of a gearbox fluid replacement depends on your car and what parts your car's manufacturer recommends using for the replacement. Find out what you could save by having your gearbox fluid replaced by ClickMechanic by selecting your car at the top of this page!

Check out the ClickMechanic price for a gearbox oil change, and find out what you would pay at a franchise dealer. We use industry standard data & millions of data points so you know what you should be paying. These estimates may include Exhaust - front/downpipe and Manual transmission oil. We have gearbox oil change prices for 43 different manufacturers.

Name ClickMechanic Click Mechanic average Franchise dealer estimate

Alfa Romeo

£71 £95 - £139 Get exact price


£101 £103 - £200 Get exact price


£80 £106 - £139 Get exact price


£75 £94 - £105 Get exact price


£98 £152 - £152 Get exact price


£74 £73 - £143 Get exact price


£78 £105 - £105 Get exact price


£90 £139 - £139 Get exact price


£77 £110 - £110 Get exact price


£71 £84 - £139 Get exact price


£89 £101 - £196 Get exact price


£75 £79 - £159 Get exact price


£69 £77 - £139 Get exact price


£50 £74 - £74 Get exact price


£81 £139 - £139 Get exact price


£79 £69 - £139 Get exact price


£67 £73 - £125 Get exact price


£72 £73 - £139 Get exact price

Land Rover

£125 £106 - £323 Get exact price


£66 £95 - £96 Get exact price


£77 £95 - £128 Get exact price


£82 £139 - £139 Get exact price


£89 £84 - £179 Get exact price


£92 £117 - £159 Get exact price


£67 £94 - £139 Get exact price


£67 £73 - £139 Get exact price


£75 £85 - £139 Get exact price


£82 £82 - £159 Get exact price


£81 £93 - £159 Get exact price


£64 £92 - £101 Get exact price


£85 £84 - £159 Get exact price


£72 £117 - £139 Get exact price


£60 £63 - £112 Get exact price


£93 £139 - £170 Get exact price


£92 £139 - £162 Get exact price


£80 £139 - £139 Get exact price


£79 £139 - £139 Get exact price


£123 £167 - £167 Get exact price


£79 £89 - £139 Get exact price


£77 £85 - £159 Get exact price


£78 £84 - £159 Get exact price


£90 £119 - £161 Get exact price


£65 £73 - £139 Get exact price

Prices could not be created for 37 models. Show ∨

  • Microcar
  • Metrocab
  • Hummer
  • Reva
  • Asia
  • TVR
  • Ferrari
  • Morgan
  • Buick
  • Lamborghini
  • Pontiac
  • Carbodies
  • DS
  • Mitsubishi Fuso
  • Moskvich
  • Bentley
  • Cadillac
  • Ford US
  • Aixam
  • Austin
  • Daimler
  • Dodge
  • FSO
  • Maybach
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Santana
  • Tata
  • Great Wall
  • Piaggio
  • Perodua
  • Infiniti
  • Aston Martin
  • Lada
  • Lancia
  • Lotus
  • Proton
  • London Taxi's International

Estimates on repair costs, such as the above results for a gearbox oil change, are created by combining data from multiple third-party sources. The actual cost of using your local repair providers may be outside of the estimated range. We provide estimates on repair costs for information only and accept no liability for any inaccuracies or errors. If you think an estimate is incorrect, please contact us to let us know.

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Recent Gearbox Oil change quotes

These recent quotes were taken from our quote engine which uses third-party industry standard data on repair times, along with a live parts retailer, and a regional labour rate to build an accurate free quote. We are constantly improving our quote engine, so please let us know if a price seems incorrect.


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