Costly fluid change

After one of our customers recently experienced an automatic gear change fault, WMM removed the sump and cleaned the filter.







We advised the owner that the gearbox would need a professional overhaul as while we were cleaning the sump, swarf was spotted.

Cleaning the sump did help, but the gear change was still poor. The customer took the car to a garage in Kidderminster which had an automatic gearbox fluid changing machine. After serious money was spent, it was returned to the customer.

Unfortunately, the car still had drivability problems and in the end we delivered the car to a specialist gearbox company in Birmingham.

The gearbox was reconditioned at considerable cost, in fact 12 times more than the average cost of an automatic gear oil change at WMM.

There are conflicting views as to how often should you change the oil in the auto box.

In automatic transmissions/transaxles, the recommended service interval is about every 30,000 miles or 30 months - check your owner's manual or service manual for your car's specifics.

The automatic transmission fluid (ATF) should be changed sooner if the dipstick reveals dark or burnt-smelling fluid.

Generally speaking, you should change your automatic transmission fluid about every two years. Alternately, consider changing it every 30,000 miles. Depending on how many miles you drive each year, it might take over two years to put on that many miles.

Manufacturers of most automatic cars will tell you that you should change the transmission fluid every 100,000 to 150,000 miles. But if you were to ask a mechanic, they would likely tell you that this is too long to wait.

Automatic transmission fluid should be changed every 60,000 to 75,000 miles instead. But again, check your owner’s manual for the proper change and flush interval and use that as a guideline. In the grand scheme of things, the cost to change transmission fluid is small compared to possible damage to your transmission.

WMM would advise changing automatic transmission fluid at a minimum of every five years. This work is preventative maintenance at its best! We now have an automatic gearbox fluid changing machine.

If you have a concern about your vehicle, call us on 01905 358217 or email

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us via our online contact form.

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