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To service or not to service your transmission?

Should I service my transmission? This is the number one most frequently asked question on the Bumper To Bumper Radio Show as well as through the emails we receive every day. The questions surrounding transmission service exist because of the plethora of bad information in our industry in regards to Transmissions. Whether from overzealous oil suppliers, an automotive manufacturer in the business of selling cars, a well-intentioned industry expert who doesn’t know any better or some old school wives tales that no longer apply, most are misinformed about transmission service.

So where does the bad information come from? Transmissions are very much a specialty that frequently changes every half-decade or so with new technologies and those who truly understand the intricacies of transmissions are a very small minority. Most generalist automotive technicians who are happy to give advice on transmissions have barely seen the inside of a transmission and don’t know how and why transmissions work. If they have seen the inside of a transmission, it was decades ago on one they dissected in trade school. This would offer no practical experience for their basis of transmission recommendations.

Although misguided, I believe the public consensus has become not to service transmissions even though transmissions fail 4 to 1 over engines. Most vehicle owners have never bought a complete engine, but the average person buys a transmission every 7.5 years. Ironically, we service our engines 4 – 1 over our transmissions. With these statistics in mind, this seams backwards doesn’t it?

Its true, a bad transmission service is worse than not servicing your transmission at all. However, a properly performed regular transmission service is your best defense against ever having to buy the unwelcomed transmission. Regardless of the manufacturers questionable recommendations, someone qualified to do so should service your transmission every 2-3 years at minimum. With the changes in technologies, this recommendation will again change at some point, but as a guide it works for now letting you know it shouldn’t be ignored.

With this being said, each vehicle and transmission are unique and there is not a one size fits all way about doing things. The specifics of your transmission service need to be understood. For more information about the specifics for your transmission, email us at and a seasoned transmission technician will identify your needs, but also someone qualified to perform your next transmission service.

Join co-hosts, Matt Allen and Dave Riccio on Bumper to Bumper Radio, Arizona’s top automotive show heard every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. right here on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR. Call in with your questions at (602) 277-5827. You can also reach us 24/7 at for the best partners, products and advice!