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Transmission Filter Maintenance Tips: All You Need to Know!

Transmission Filter Maintenance Tips: All You Need to Know!

Some of the transmission filter maintenance tips include:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

  1. Understand that the transmission filter will get clogged partially or completely overtime
  2. Replace the transmission filter once every 30,000 to 100,000 miles
  3. Learn about symptoms indicating that your vehicle is due for transmission filter replacement before hitting the 30,000 miles
  4. Understand that to replace the transmission fluid filter; you need to pay somewhere between $250 and $340

Your vehicle's transmission is one of the very expensive components that you need to protect over time. The transmission is equipped with a small filter responsible for preventing contaminants and debris from getting to the transmission. Unfortunately, this filter gets clogged over time and requires replacement.

Understanding simple transmission filter maintenance tips can help you eliminate major breakdowns that could happen prematurely. This article lists some useful information that helps you maintain the transmission filter and extend the lifetime of your transmission. It lists the purpose of the transmission filter, the frequency of changing the transmission filter, the symptoms indicating that your transmission is due for replacement, and other relevant details!

What is the transmission filter, and what does it do?

Before we get into the details about some of the common transmission filter maintenance tips, it's critical to understand what this filter is and what it does in your vehicle transmission.

As the name suggests, the filter is responsible for preventing any contaminants or debris from messing up the transmission fluid and getting to the sensitive component within your transmission system. There are many debris or other metal shavings foreign objects that could be picked up with fluid as it runs around the transmission, and to prevent these components from causing significant issues in the core components of your transmission, it's critical to keep these foreign objects out and away from the major components.

The transmission filter typically sits somewhere between the tube regulating the transmission fluid and the transmission pan, which collects any access transmission fluid as it runs around the transmission. The transmission filter is not a complicated object, and it consists of very simple components, including the metal plate and mesh.

Transmission filter maintenance tips

Now you know the purpose of that transmission fluid filter; the next step is to familiarize yourself with a common transmission filter at maintenance tips. Some of these tips have to do with understanding when to replace the transmission filter, some common signs indicating that your transmission filter is due for replacement, and transmission filter replacement costs.

  1. When to replace the transmission filter?

Typically, when your vehicle transmission filter is clogged, you'll need to replace it, which happens around 30,000 to 100,000 miles. In other words, transmission filter replacement is not something you have to do every oil change, and it takes a while for the Transmission filter to get fully clogged.

This doesn't suggest that you should ignore a clogged transmission filter. On the contrary, you must keep an eye for any symptoms indicating that your vehicle is due for transmission filter replacement even before you hit the 30,000 miles.

  1. Signs indicating that your vehicle is due for transmission filter replacement

While we indicated clearly that the answer transmission filter is expected to clog somewhere between 30,000 miles and 100,000 miles, that should not be the rule you should go with. In other words, it's critical to keep an eye for symptoms indicating that your transmission filter is due for replacement. Let's take a closer look below:

Weird rattling noises

One of the first symptoms that might indicate your transmission filter is due for replacement is hearing weird rattling noises coming from the transmission location. While these noises might be related to other problems, a clogged transmission filter might be the culprit.

The rattling noises typically happen because of insufficient lubrication. When the transmission filter is clogged, very few amounts of transmission fluid can pass through. Therefore, the transmission components will not receive enough transmission fluid to get lubricated. Thus, ignoring a clogged transmission filter might lead to major complications that could cost you the entire transmission.

Strange whining noises

Along with the rattling noises, you might hear some whining noises, especially if you're driving a vehicle with a manual transmission. When that happens, it indicates that the filter is not allowing enough fluid to get to the different components, which is why the noise will get louder, especially whenever you try to shift gears.

Transmission fluid leaks

When the transmission filter is completely clogged and written in very serious situations, you might deal with transmission fluid leaks which is extremely critical. Your transmission requires enough fluid to run properly, and it gets more complicated if you're driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission where the fluid is a major part of how your transmission is functioning.

With a clogged transmission filter, a lot of pressure is put on the location where the filter is, and that's why fluid might leak somewhere close to these locations of the transmission filter. So, therefore, her former visual inspection and look underneath your vehicle to see for any signs of transmission fluid drops on the floor or probably on the connections.

Burning smells

If your transmission doesn't receive enough lubrication, the internal components might get very hot, and some of the rubber elements might burn out, causing a weird burning smell. Unfortunately, when your transmission gets to this point, it indicates something critical going on. It means that you should take immediate action to resolve the issue before it gets complicated and that which is the entire engine.

Issues shifting gears

If you're driving a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission, a clogged transmission filter might prevent you from switching gears properly. Therefore, whenever you try to switch gears and find that the vehicle hesitates to switch, you must inspect the transmission filter and have your mechanic recommend what needs to be done before dealing with other issues.

Loud noises when neutral

When your car is neutral, you shouldn't hear any weird noises. Instead, the loud noises might be related to a long list of elements, including the clogged transmission filter. Therefore, before you assume it's the filter, you must perform a thorough inspection and confirm that the issue is not related to a bad brake, axle, suspension, etc.

  1. Transmission filter replacement costs

While it's common that most filters replacements are not very expensive in our vehicles, transmission fluid filter replacement costs are slightly higher than what you expect. According to experts, replacing the transmission fluid filter should cost somewhere between $250 and $340. In addition, the parts cost between $150 and $215, while labor costs are about $100 to $125.

Some people might think of saving labor costs and do the jobs themselves to replace their transmission filter. However, most automotive experts recommend getting the job done by a professional because it must deal with as instead of your transmission component. Otherwise, if you have the right level of your mechanical skill sets to change the filter, you can go ahead and do it.

Keep in mind that most DIYs do not work the first time, and there is a very high chance that you will introduce some mistakes. These mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars on maintenance. Thus, if you're driving a luxury car or having a valuable vehicle, it's recommended that you leave it to professionals when it comes to replacing the transmission filter.

Is it OK to change transmission fluid without changing the filter?

The short answer is yes. Many people think that changing the transmission fluid is something like the oil change where you must change the oil filter every time you perform an oil change or at least every other time. However, when it comes to transmission fluid, the story is different.

Most automotive experts indicate that the transmission fluid will break down over time, and you must replace it frequently. However, the transmission fluid filter is more durable and is not expected to break down as frequently as the transmission fluid itself. Therefore, you don't necessarily have to replace the transmission filter every time you change the transmission fluid. In addition, some manufacturers clearly state that it's not recommended to change the transmission filter every time you change the transmission fluid.

Why do I need to change my transmission filter?

As we highlighted before, the transmission filter collects all contaminants or debris and other elements from the transmission fluid and prevents these elements from getting to the core components. Allowing foreign objects to get to the core components of your transmission leads to leisure complications that could cost you thousands of dollars on repairs.

By the time you hit the 30,000 miles or probably close to the 100,000 miles, the transmission filter gets partially or completely clogged, which means that fluids cannot run smoothly to the internal components of your transmission system, and that's why the transmission will start having major complications and, in some scenarios, you won't be able to change gears.

Thus, transmission filter replacement is critical, requires maintenance in your vehicle's owner’s manual.

Can you clean the transmission filter?

It depends. Some mechanics might recommend you clean up the transmission filter, which you can do if the particles or contaminants are very few. However, once the transmission filter gets completely clogged or when it breaks down as you hit the 30,000 miles, you should replace it rather than dealing with major complications that could damage you or transmission.

Although transmission filter replacement is not very cheap, if you think about it long-term, it is not something required every time you perform an oil change or tire rotation. Therefore, if it's asked to replace the transmission filter once every 30,000 miles, that's not a lot of repairs, and that's not a lot of costs. Therefore, before you rely on cleaning the transmission filter as a substitute for replacing goods, you should think twice about all possible complications, including those related to damaging the entire transmission.

How hard is it to change a transmission filter?

Transmission filter replacement is not a very complicated job, but it's a little messy because it involves draining the tense of fluid and replacing the filter. Some experts never recommend doing it yourself because it has to do with us sensitive components in your vehicle, which they challenge him. As we highlighted before, simple DIY mistakes might lead to major complications you a lot of money.


Since the transmission is a core component in your vehicle and maintaining it can be a little costly, it's critical to take all precautions and maintain anything that could cause transmission damage is.

The transmission filter is responsible for eliminating any debris or contaminants from getting to the transmission. Therefore, it's very important for you as a driver to understand transmission filter maintenance tips, so you don't have to deal with major complications in the filter and the transmission itself.

This article explained to you the main role of the transmission filter, highlighted when you have to replace this filter, explains what symptoms indicate your vehicle is due for replacement before the common frequency.

While learning about transmission filter maintenance is essential, sometimes your vehicle might be dealing with major complications beyond taking care of a minor element like the filter. Therefore, if you realize that repair costs are close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, you recommend selling your car and using its money towards a better vehicle that doesn't have major problems.

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