Should You Change Transmission Fluid on High Mileage Cars? Everything in Detail with the Experts’ Opinion

Suppose you’ve recently bought a car with high mileage and are thinking of changing the fluid to get better engine performance. Apparently, this thinking of yours has no deficiency. But in most cases, the engine performance reduces after changing the fluid in high-mileage cars. So, what should you do? Should you change transmission fluid on high-mileage cars?

The answer differs according to your car’s engine performance, features, fluid lifespan, and manufacturer’s recommendation. If the car is running nicely, there’s no need to change the fluid. But this is only limited to 200k miles. In some cases, you should instantly change the fluid, as the old fluid is most likely to cause overheating and engine failure.

So, the question arises, when should you change the fluid and when not. The following texts will make you an expert in this topic. Just keep on reading and know what is best for your high-mileage car.

Should You Change Transmission Fluid On High Mileage Cars

On high-mileage cars, transmission fluid changing issues appear to be a bit sensitive. You can’t change the fluid as you wish. You have to wait until anything goes wrong or the automatic transmission comes to an end.

When you put new transmission fluid on a high-mileage car, it takes time to make an adaption. And thus, lots of engine problems appear. Now, as your primary job is to wait, how long should you wait to change transmission fluid on high-mileage cars? And should you change the fluid on high-mileage cars?

Specialists say you should wait for the 200k mile. Even though you notice no defect in the car’s performance, you should change the transmission fluid at 200k miles.

However, there are a few issues to consider regarding this number.

If your car’s fluid has a 150k or 100k miles lifespan, you must change it before this mileage. No matter how well your car runs, you shouldn’t exceed this lifespan. In this case, you have to have a proper understanding of the fluid that you are using. Choosing quality fluid is also your concern.

[Note: Change the fluid without concerning the mileage if it gets black and affects the engine performance.]

At What Mileage It’s Not Ideal to Change the Transmission Fluid?

You shouldn’t change the fluid until your vehicle’s automatic transmission is finished. Most of the cars have the feature of a 100k miles automatic transmission. This feature doesn’t expect new fluid as it has a special fluid that resists oxidation and degradation.

The automatic transmission schedule differs between 100k to 150k miles. Manufacturers don’t recommend changing the fluid at this period. However, for some modern-age cars, it’s too long. Mechanics refers to changing the fluid after 50k miles in these vehicles. But if your car has an automatic transmission feature and high mileage, you shouldn’t change the fluid until it affects its performance and ends the automatic transmission.

[Note: Automatic transmission is not a recommended feature for high-mileage or old cars]

Should You Change The Transmission Fluid In An Older Car

Yes, changing transmission fluid is highly recommended with old cars. You should be doing it regularly to avoid fluid starvation and plugging up. Less than 50k miles is considered the standard mark for old vehicles.

Some American models especially require only 5000 to 7500 miles to change the transmission fluid. But when changing the fluid in old vehicles, you should also perform a transmission flush. Thus, the new fluid will provide better engine performance.

Old cars usually retain old transmission fluids. It doesn’t help with the moving parts of your vehicle sometimes. That’s why most specialists recommend performing the transmission flush in old vehicles. The fluids retained by the old cars remain in the caller lines, pan, and the crevices of the transmission. It causes overheating frequently, and the engine may lose power, bringing some expensive problems overnight. Transmission flush will help remove these oils and can give your vehicle a new lifespan.

How Much  Should A Transmission Fluid Change Cost

To change the transmission fluid, you may have to spend $80 to $250. The price varies depending on the dealer, service center, or mechanic. The expected price of the parts is around $80.

It also varies depending on your fluid type and quarts. If the manufacturers change the transmission fluid, it will cost you only $100 on average. Doing it yourself may save you from spending a good amount of money.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should you change transmission fluid after 150k miles?

A: According to some manufacturers, changing fluid after 150k miles is okay. But in the case of high-mileage cars, you should wait until anything goes wrong. Though a few modern-age vehicles need to change the fluid after 50k miles, things are different with high mileage. In this case, manufacturers recommend waiting until the fluids turn black or affect the engine performance.

Is it OK to change fluid after 100k miles?

Most manufacturers recommend changing the transmission fluid every 100 miles. Because the more the vehicle gets old, the more it overheats. But if you hadn’t changed the fluids when your vehicle was new, it’s better to wait a few times more. High-mileage cars get set with the same fluid and don’t require new fluids instantly.

Is it OK to change the fluid after 200k miles?

Though 100k to 150k miles is considered the average lifespan for most transmission fluids, changing it before 200k miles is okay with the high mileage cars. However, it’s not recommended for brand-new cars. Some manufacturers say you should change fluids every 50k to 70k miles. But if you have a car with high mileage and provide good services with the old fluids, don’t bother yourself while replacing the fluid.


Should you change the transmission fluid on high mileage cars? We hope you know the answer now. Though 150k or 200k mileage is the recommended number to change the fluid, you shouldn’t wait this long, if you see any problem.

In most cases, you may see the fluid’s color turning black or spreading any burning smell. Noticing any of these issues, replacing the fluid should be your priority.

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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