You've read the owner's manual for your car, take it in for regular oil changes and never let the tire pressure get below the recommended PSI. One thing wasn't mentioned too heavily in the manual though, and that's transmission fluid maintenance.
Why don't they talk about it?
Newer vehicles have started opting out of adding transmission fluid and filter changes to the recommended maintenance. The reason why is most likely a mix of the manufacturer's trying to showcase low maintenance requirements on their vehicles and advances in transmission fluid quality and transmission machining.
One other reason could be the change in fluids used. For the majority of vehicle history, the transmission fluid used was more or less universal amongst all passenger cars with specialty fluids only used in commercial applications. These days your car's manufacturer most likely uses a proprietary fluid that isn't compatible with others, and the company doesn't want customers using the wrong type.
Do I need to even worry about it then?
Absolutely! Even with the most perfectly machined transmission and precisely formulated transmission fluid you'll notice wear and tear over the years and miles. From owner experiences and the few manuals still suggesting fluid swaps, the consensus on mileage to swap is between 50k and 120k miles.
If you use your vehicle for heavy-duty projects such as towing or frequently have high mileage then you'll most likely lean closer to the 50k-60k range. It's always best to check with a professional if you have any concerns since the days of simply checking a dipstick are gone now that most vehicles only have one for oil.
Can I do it myself?
While you can perform a transmission fluid swap yourself, it's a question of whether or not you should. If you or someone you know has access to a shop and equipment that's another story, but the transmission fluid is difficult to measure without specialty tools, and draining typically takes 3-4 rounds to fully finish.
Taking care of your transmission is important not only for your car but for your wallet. If you need transmission service, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today! Let us take out the guesswork and get you back on the road confidently.