The transmission fluid does a simple but very important job of cooling and lubricating the internal components of your transmission. If the data from the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) is anything to go by, then about 90% of transmission failure happens as a result of overheating. On many occasions, this overheating is  caused by a deteriorated transmission fluid that should have been replaced long ago. But then, how much does transmission fluid change cost if you have to do it regularly?

The average cost of transmission fluid change

It would interest you that transmission fluid also deteriorates in quality over time, much like most other fluids running through your vehicle. Replacing this as and when due should be part of your routine maintenance, considering the important preventative and functional benefits.

This can set you back a hundred bucks if you go the DIY route or a little more if you decide to get professional assistance. However, having a generalized view does not explain the whole picture. There are a lot of factors that may tilt your costs either upwards or downwards.

Factors that influence transmission fluid change costs

Some of the factors that determine how much you may have to bear as expenses for transmission fluid change include;

  • Whether it’s a DIY job or one done by a professional
  • Differences in the vehicle make and models
  • The volume of fluid your vehicle needs to be filled
  • The type of ATF your manufacturer recommends
  • Slight differences in different locations and neighborhoods, and
  • Need for additional services like filter replacement or pan removal

So, you can expect the transmission fluid change cost of a Honda car of the older series to be significantly different from that of a high-end Toyota model. The same goes for how the job is done, whether by a mechanic, a dealership, or by you, at home.

When Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid?

Ordinarily, you’ll want to do this once every two years or once every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. The transmission fluid change may also involve changing the filter for smooth performance. That said, you should consider transmission fluid change when;

  • The transmission seems to be making some noise
  • The vehicle seems like it’s finding it hard to run
  • The vehicle struggles to move up or down a steep slope

You can also refer to your manufacturer’s manual for specific guidelines on transmission fluid change.

How to Check If Your Transmission Fluid Needs Changing

  • Start your vehicle and let it run for about five minutes
  • Pull out and clean the transmission fluid dip stick with a rag
  • Put it back in and pull it out again

The appearance of the dip stick after these steps will reveal a lot. If the fluid appears dark and smells burnt, a change is recommended as soon as possible. If it, however, appears clear and new, then there’s no need for a change at the moment. You may want to check out the level instead and then top it off if it’s around the ‘Low’ mark.


We’ve managed to give you an overview of the transmission fluid change cost as well as why and when this is needed. You have the option of either doing this by yourself or seeking the service of a professional. While DIY seems a little bit cheaper, should you always go this route? Well, it depends!

Some people can handle this just fine but not everyone will feel comfortable changing their car’s transmission fluid at home. On the other hand, getting an expert to do a fast and professional transmission fluid change won’t cost an arm and leg. The little difference, in this case, is well worth the time and effort.

If you ever need transmission fluid change, repairs, rebuild, and more in Honolulu, HI, you can trust All Trans to help you address the issue effectively. You can easily contact All Trans Hawaii at (808) 839-9191 to schedule a visit or to find answers to any question you may have. 

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