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.
How do you know there is something wrong with the 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.
When should you consider a Gearbox Fluid replacement?
Always service the gearbox fluid as and when stipulated in the guidelines set out by your car's manufacturer. Usually, as the gearbox' internal components wear metallic particles and debris contaminate the fluid. It is therefore 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.
What happens during a Gearbox Fluid replacement?
- 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.
What happens if I don't replace the gearbox oil?
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.
Can I do a gearbox oil change myself?
Changing the gearbox oil is a job suited to a professional mechanic because it is best done with the car suspended on a hoist. This allows the old oil to be drained out to flow out easily. In addition, you will need a suitable container to collect the used oil and be able to dispose of it in the most environmentally responsible way.
To fully clean and remove the old fluid, the gearbox oil pipes should also be flushed through with a suitable transmission flushing product.
An easy maintenance task you can do on your own is to check the level of your gearbox fluid and you will find instructions for this in your car’s manual.
How common is a gearbox oil change?
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.
What are common gearbox oil brands on the market?
Gearbox oil is made by most of the companies which also manufacture the regular oil which is used in your car’s engine.
You can find it carrying names such as Comma, Shell and Wynn’s, while established motor accessories retailers often also stock own-brand versions.
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.
How much does a Gearbox Fluid Replacement cost?
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!