Changing your transmission fluid is one of those things that often goes overlooked in most vehicles. Most of us usually remember to change our engine oil regularly, or at least within a few hundred miles of going over the mileage on the reminder sticker on your windshield. The reality is that there are more working fluids in your vehicle that require regular changing. Any oil or fluid that is being pumped through mechanical systems is bound to become full of wear products and usually some dirt and grime as well. All of these wear products and dirt floating around in your fluid, whether it’s in your power steering fluid or in your transmission fluid, will accelerate wear on that mechanical system. Oils and transmission fluids are designed to lubricate the components they are operating in and around, but if you suspend small particles or dirt and worn metal in the fluids they often can do more harm than lubrication.
Your transmission fluid should be changed every 15,000 miles. If you have a regular maintenance schedule with your dealership, then it will be taken care of during one of your major maintenance visits. If not, make plans to change your transmission fluid at the 15,000, 30,000, 45,000, 60,000 (and so on) milestones.
Just like your oil pan, your transmission also has its own dipstick that allows you to check fluid levels. Make sure the levels are good according to your owner's manual and look for discoloration. Know what color your transmission fluid is supposed to be and get your car checked out if the fluid is looking burnt or discolored. If you notice any transmission fluid leaks, bring it in to a reputable shop as soon as you can. Sometimes a simple seal replacement can fix it, or it could be a sign of bigger problems.
Your whole car is a fine-tuned machine with a lot of working parts. If your engine isn't performing correctly, then it will put more stress on the transmission (and vice versa). Make sure to keep both your engine and your transmission maintained in order to reduce the risk of major problems.