When to Change a Car's Transmission Fluid

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Subject: maybe tranny

04, canyon 3.5L, first my truck was whinning, now slips out of gear. checked my fluids ok, tranny fluid is red, underhood hear new sound light thumping/knocking noise? obd readings emissions truck has had trouble w/light since new., once emission area is cleaned light goes off or with other type of gas. need help asap only transportation not safe w/my grandbaby. thanks
Should i change out my tranny oil first???


Subject: Transmission shifting hard and stuttering

Rule of thumb is to always do the least expensive things first. A transmission fluid exchange is vital to the longevity and performance of your transmission. Refer to your vehicle's maintenance guide for recommended intervals for maintenance.

First...check your level (per your maintenance manual). Pay close attention to the color and smell. It is supposed to be a clear red. If it's cloudy, brown, or smells burned then the first thing to do is get the filter changed and the fluid exchanged. Usually be less than $200 for this. If that doesn't improve shifting then by what you have said...more than likely there is a clutch pack that is bad and the transmission needs to be removed/opened/inspected/repaired. Usually one thing internal goes bad it causes other things to go bad. A transmission rebuild is costly: $1500-$2000. Parts alone to do a proper rebuild will run $800-$1000, labor is intensive, and specialized tools are required. You have the option of buying a certified rebuilt, a new one, or one from a salvage yard.

Good luck!

Michael Bush

Subject: harsh shifting

The first thing to do it check your transmission fluid level. Also see what color it is as well as smell it. Does it look black or smell burnt? Next look under the car for trans. fluid leaks. If you have leaked more than one quart it will cause the symptoms you have described. Take it to a reputable transmission repair facility and have it checked. If they tell you something is wrong make them show it to you and explain it. The only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask. Mike...AAMCO TRANSMISSION mechanic.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.