The purpose of a transmission fluid filter

The transmission in your vehicle is extremely important; in the event of transmission failure your car will quickly become immobile. Although it may sound insignificant, the transmission fluid filter is vital to the proper functioning of the transmission.

What does the transmission fluid filter do?

As time goes by and you continue to rack up miles on your car, microscopic bits of metal wear off due to elevated temperatures and stress as well as the contact of metal to metal components within the transmission. The filter sifts these metal bits out of the fluid so they will not eventually cause transmission failure. Although the majority of contamination in the transmission comes from internal wear, dirt can also enter through the dip stick hole and fluid filler hole.

When should a filter be changed?

Changing a transmission fluid filter is far more complicated than changing the engine oil filter which simply screws off during an oil change. The transmission fluid filter is accessed by removing the entire bottom pan. Rarely will you find an automatic transmission with a drain plug, to remove the pan you will be faced with quite a mess.

Rather than check the condition of the filter, vehicle owners will maintain a close watch over two things; the color of the transmission fluid and the number of miles on the odometer.

Most transmission fluid filters are part of a kit, the kit consist of other parts that might as well be replaced at the same time since the pan is off. A typical kit consists of:

  • The transmission filter
  • A gasket that is placed between the pan and the transmission body, the gaskets are made from cork or rubber.
  • Pickup tube that connects the filter to the transmission fluid pump
  • A seal that ensures a tight fit of the pickup tube.

Although replacing the transmission fluid filter can be done by the vehicle owner but to ensure it is done properly it is wise to let your mechanic do this work.

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