when to change transmission filter

When to Change Your Transmission Filter (Plus, How to Pick the Right Product)

Not sure when to change your transmission filter? This article will help you determine when it’s time to install a new one.

The transmission filter is a critical component of an automobile’s transmission system. Over time, the transmission filter needs to be replaced to prevent damage to the vehicle, which means your clients and their retail customers need to know the signs that it’s time for service.

To help ensure they have the information they need to make the right decision, we have written this post to lay everything out in an easy-to-understand fashion.

What is a transmission filter?

First things first, what is a transmission filter? As the name suggests, the transmission filter removes contaminants from the transmission fluid before they enter the transmission. Dirt and debris can prevent the transmission from working properly, which can result in symptoms like trouble shifting gears, transmission slipping, and grinding gears. The filter keeps the fluid clean, so the transmission can perform its function.

When to Change Your Transmission Filter

As time passes, the filter will collect as much debris as it can, at which point it is time to change the filter. Neglecting to change the filter can damage the transmission, so it is critical to know when to have a professional change the fluid and filter.

To check whether the filter needs to be swapped out requires opening the transmission, but you can also look for these signs:

  • Burning odor – If you notice a scorched smell when checking the transmission fluid dipstick, that could be a sign that the filter is clogged.
  • Transmission fluid color – Compare the color of your vehicle’s transmission fluid with new transmission fluid. If the fluid in your vehicle is significantly darker than the new stuff, you might need to change the filter.
  • Shifting problems – Have you noticed that your vehicle no longer shifts as smoothly as it once did? Shifting problems could indicate that the transmission is not getting enough lubrication due to all the debris in the fluid.
  • Strange noises when shifting – Likewise, if you hear odd sounds when your vehicle shifts gears, it could mean the transmission is having trouble functioning because it is too dirty.

Your vehicle’s manual should also tell you how often to change your fluid and filter. Some models even have computers that let you know when your fluid is in need of a change.

What to Consider When Choosing a Product


When choosing which transmission filter is right for you—whether you are a consumer or are deciding what to stock in your auto-supply store—one of the most important factors to consider is the price. Some brands of transmission filters can cost twice as much as the alternative, so if you are interested in saving yourself money or want to offer your customers a range of choices, you should think about price.

Kit vs. Individual Parts

Some transmission filters come on their own, and others come as part of a kit. For instance, most kits come with a gasket, which is an essential piece when changing your filter.

Get the Parts You and Your Customers Need

Want to know when to change your transmission filter? We’re here to help! Are you also looking for the best available transmission filter for your needs? GFX is here to help. Call our office at +1(305) 499-9789. We are available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5:30 PM EST.