I have a question about my automatic transmission in my 1998 Honda Accord. I would like to service the transmission because I feel it slightly slipping and it has 124,000 miles and I have not done anything to it. How much should a transmission fluid change cost me?
Hi there Ernie
First things first DO NOT SERVICE THIS TRANSMISSION! Too late, too bad. Sorry man, but changing the transmission fluid now at this mileage with a slipping problem…you are gonna be asking for big troubles.
Why? Good question, glad you asked. :) The old fluid is gritty, think of it like liquid sand paper inside that old transmission. That gritty fluid is giving the internal clutches some much needed friction to move those clutches and gears along..and pull your vehicle.
You replace that old gritty fluid with new SLICK and shiny fluid and you have removed that friction that your old worn out clutches need. I have had the unfortunate experience in my shop as well. Customer drove his car into my shop, changed the transmission fluid and a tow truck had to drag his car to our local transmission shop for a complete overhaul. That was tough to explain!!!
If you have not changed the transmission fluid in the last 60,000 miles you are taking a risk. If you are experiencing any slipping, jerking etc. you are taking a bigger risk by replacing or flushing out the transmission fluid.
Talk to your mechanic, and make sure they test drive your vehicle before doing this procedure and get his blessings first.
But, your question was how much does a transmission fluid change cost? That really depends on the vehicle and the shop but a good rule of thumb guesstimate is about $150.
Many shops use a machine that will suck out the old fluid and flush the transmission with new fluid which does seem to help remove any debris that is lodged inside. There will be debris, plastic and metal shavings and even pieces of metal can usually be seen inside the transmission pan.
Many cars have a magnet at the inside bottom of the transmission pan (cover) that will catch metal shavings and keep them from doing internal damage. Of course the metal is there because there IS internal wear.
I still prefer to remove the transmission pan and replace the internal filter, clean the magnet and install new fluid. Many cars do NOT have a replaceable filter though, so the flush will be a better option. Most Japanese transmissions have a metal screen and not a “filter” that you would normally replace. The metal screen just gets washed with solvent and reused.
Hope this helps