How long does it take to change transmission fluid?

Many fluids run through the car, and one of them is transmission fluid. It is an essential fluid that lubricates gearboxes and moving metal parts. Thus, you should check and change the ATF as requires. Now a question can come to your mind how long does it take to change transmission fluid?

Changing old fluid, slush, and dirt from the car and replacing it with new fluid is known as a transmission flush. This process is as essential as changing engine oil. So, you should do it on a regular basis. Generally, CVT oil with time gathers dirt and doesn’t function properly.

In this article, I will guide you on changing old automatic transmission fluid. Before starting, let us discuss why ATF change is necessary?

Automatic transmission fluid loses its effectiveness with time. The lubricant is responsible for lubricating and shifting gears without friction. Generally, extreme temperature (hot and cold), driving techniques, and dirt and sludge inside the ATF is the cause of losing its effective qualities. If you are not changing this liquid, you can damage the Gear. Another effective quality of this lube is that it dissipates heat. If heat is not dissipating effectively, it leads to wear and tear of the clutches and gear. Too much transmission fluid is also harmful for your system, you need to drain extra transmission oil.

time to change transmission fluid

How long does it take to change transmission fluid?

Generally, by looking at the transmission fluid, you can judge that it needs to be changed.

Bright pink color fluid: It indicates the fluid is new, and there is no need to change it.

 Light brown: It means oil needs to be changed.

 Dark brown: it is an indication that oil is not changed for a long time and can lead to transmission damage.

 Time requires for a transmission flush

Generally, it takes 3-4 hours to change the transmission fluid. The transmission oil change time includes vacuuming the old liquid out of the system. The Fluid is a vacuum and drained out again and again until all sticky dirt and filth are removed from the gears and inside the system is cleaned. After the cleaning new oil is filled by the transmission fluid flush.

 Transmission fluid circulating time

Generally, if the vacuum is unnecessary and the car is new, it takes one hour for a transmission oil change. Older vehicles require frequent fluid changes. It is required to discuss the car situation with the mechanic for professional advice. The most asked question is how much time is required to circulate oil in transmission before shifting into drive? The answer is 5-10 seconds; it takes 10 seconds to fill tubes and channels of the system.

 Duration for fixing a transmission

Transmission fix or repair is a time-consuming process. Additionally, it takes 3-4 days to fix, repair, and rebuild the transmission system again. The repair process includes changing pan bolts, seals, gaskets, fluid lines, and other vital components. The repair time depends upon where the leak is in the system. If there is a leak on the front seal, it will take more time because other parts need to be removed.

 Time needs to replace a transmission

Transmission replacement depends upon the car and type of the system (Manual, Automatic, CVT, and semi-automatic). Generally, it takes 1-2 days for rear-wheel vehicles, and it takes 3-4 days for front-wheel cars. Old model cars require more time and labor for replacement. Gearbox replacement requires a professional mechanic and the necessary tools to replace the parts.

 What is CVT transmission fluid?

The CVT fluid reduces friction, improves protection, and increases performance. Generally, CVT systems have special liquids that are different from manual and automatic transmission fluids. The CVT Fluid are different from ATF as they work on their respective gearboxes.

On the other hand, automatic fluid is using in the cars which have automatic gears. It lubricates the automatic gear and helps in smooth gear shifting.

What is the cost of ATF change?

The transmission oil change cost is different for automatic and manual transmission. The average cost for a transmission oil change is 100$. However, if you hire a professional mechanic or transmission service provider cost of fluid change is around 80-250 $.

What does transmission flush cost?

Generally, car manufacturers recommend transmission oil every 30,000 miles. It extends the gear life and protects the car from expensive repairs and replacement. The price for transmission flush ranges from 125 to 250$. Moreover, the transmission flush requires additional fluid because all the old oil is replaced with new fluid in flush.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

1. Is changing transmission fluid easy?

Manufacturers of automobiles recommend transmission fluid change after 30,000 or 100,000 miles because fluid change increases the life of the gear. This liquid change is not an easy task, and it requires a professional mechanic or transmission, service provider. Draining out old fluid or transmission flush is a messy job and requires professional help.

old transmission fluid change

2. How much does a transmission fluid change cost?

 If you perform the change by yourself, it cost $40 to $90. However, fluid change through a professional mechanic or dealer cost about $80 to $250. Moreover, automatic and manual items costs are different and it depends on the dealer to determine the cost.

3. Is it wrong to transmission flush on high mileage?

Yes, it is risky to transmission fluid flush on high performance. Usually, car manufacturers recommend changing of oil on 100,000 miles. If the lube is not okay, it can cause gearbox failure.

4. Is it OK to replace transmission fluid after 100k miles?

Yes, most manufacturers recommend changing transmission fluid after 100k miles. Moreover, the transmission service intervals for brand new vehicles are over 100,000 miles because old cars need the lubricant change on a regular basis.


Transmission fluid is an essential part of a gearbox. Generally, people ask how long does it take to change transmission fluid. The answer to this question is, it depends upon the car and type of the liquid, whether automatic or manual. Generally, it takes 1 hour to change the fluid. However, in case of leakage or repair, it can take 3-4 days.


Mr. Rubel is an Engine Mechanic. He has more than 15 years’ experience on repair and maintenance of different kinds of vehicles. He is also providing training to mechanics and works as a Senior Mechanic of a well-known organization. He is sharing his knowledge to support the car lovers to solve the vehicle issues.

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