The transmission is an integral part of your vehicle owing to the fact that it delivers power to the wheels and allows movement forward and backward. Keeping the transmission in good working condition is fairly simple and inexpensive, while a total rebuild could cost between $3,000-$5,000. It pays to treat your tranny with regular care and service. It's challenging to find signs of when your automatic transmission or manual transmission is due for a check or flushing and the obvious tell-tale signs will leave your car in need of costly repairs, so it's best to stick to the yearly or mileage markers that manufacturers recommend for your specific machine.
Most experts suggest that an automatic transmission should be serviced at least every 15 months or 15,500 miles. If it's well looked after, and you don't live in an area of extreme year-long heat, your automatic transmission can last in excess of 124,000 miles. However, transmissions that aren't checked and serviced can potentially fail not having gone half that distance.
The typical maintenance service for vehicles does not include an automatic transmission servicing. It would be best for you then to keep track of the last service and ask for a fluid change about every 30,000 miles, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. That mileage shrinks if you are driving it in a way that causes you to accelerate and decelerate often or if your towing heavy items, such as a boat or trailer. Some vehicle manufacturers have created a "fill-for-life" automatic transmission fluid that they claim never requires a fluid change. But experts still contest that these fluids should be changed periodically to ensure maximum transmission life and performance.
If you haven't kept a maintenance schedule, an easy hack is to ask for a fluid check each time you get the engine oil changed.
Your vehicle's manual transmission gives you direct control of engine RPMs, which means power when you want it. It also often means better fuel economy.
A manual transmission is trickier than an automatic and therefore it's best to always play by the rules of the manufacturer—they can vary greatly depending on the make and model. Checking the fluid level to see if it needs a top up or change is difficult but not impossible. Jack up the car and get underneath so you can remove the fill plug. On most manual transmissions, the fluid should meet the bottom of the plug hole. When in doubt, ask your trusted technician for guidance.
Ask your trusted technician to mark the date of the fluid change and give you a reminder when the next change is due.