In a previous blog post, we looked at the question of whether you should attempt your own transmission repair. If you missed it, you should also visit that post—you’ll love our fun quiz that’ll tell you whether you’re ready to tackle that job! However, what about your transmission service? Should you do that yourself? After all, servicing your transmission is not nearly as difficult or involved as repairing it. You might be thinking, “Hey, I know how to change my oil but not how to repair an engine. Is it the same thing with my transmission?” Here’s our input on whether it’s a good idea for you to try a DIY transmission service.

Transmission Service is Not Like Changing Your Oil

There are some vehicle maintenance tasks, like oil changes or replacing windshield wipers, that almost anyone can perform effectively. However, transmission service is a lot more involved and comes with much more potential for making a mistake that could result in damage to your vehicle. You’ll need a bigger knowledge base and a better familiarity with the parts of your car in order to tackle your own transmission service.

Supplies You Need To Do Your Own Automatic Transmission Service:

  • Time and Patience
  • Willingness to get dirty
  • A way to raise your vehicle (ramps, a jack, or a lift)
  • Basic shop tools (e.g. a torque wrench that fits your transmission pan bolts)
  • A pan to catch the transmission fluid that drains out (best if the diameter of the drain pan is larger than the transmission pan, because when you loosen the bolts, fluid can leak from any side)
  • Tarp, cardboard, or newspaper for underneath your drain pan
  • The right automatic transmission filter kit for your vehicle with a gasket for the pan, transmission filter, and O-ring
  • RTV sealant for the new gasket
  • Solvent to clean your transmission pan
  • The right type of transmission fluid for your vehicle
  • A funnel for when you refill your transmission with fluid
  • Vehicle service manual

Don’t Try to Do Your Own Transmission Service If Any Of These Things Are True About You

  • You don’t have time. Even if you do have all the skills and supplies necessary to do your transmission service yourself, is it really worth your time? Sure, you’ll save a few bucks for the labor, but are those few bucks worth the time you could have had back in your day to do the things you really want to be doing?
  • You don’t have the knowledge base. If you don’t know where your transmission pan is, don’t try to service your own transmission. However, there has to be a first time for everything. If you’re serious about wanting to know how to service your transmission yourself, but you don’t have the knowledge, look for a friend who can work with you and walk you through it the first time you try it.
  • You don’t have the supplies. If you have looked at the list of supplies and don’t have them or aren’t set up for doing this level of service to your car, it’ll cost you time and money to get set up for it.

If you do decide to go ahead with your own transmission service, hats off to you! If you don’t, there’s always the friendly, fast, and competent transmission service from MC’s Transmission in Northville, MI. Schedule your appointment today.