Ever had your transmission replaced and thought to yourself, "I could buy another car with the money I'm spending on getting this fixed?" or "Why is my transmission having a problem, it only has 100k miles on it?"
Most of the time a transmission replacement is needed when changing the fluid and filter is neglected. Transmission fluid is an essential lubricant that keeps the vehicle's transmission shifting smoothly, even after extended miles of service. The additives that are combined in the fluid are what keep all the moving parts working in unison.
Due to heat and slight metal corrosion in the trans over time the fluid loses its lubricity. But, unlike motor oil, transmission fluid will last much longer before having to be changed. This is due to the trans fluid not being exposed to the combustion events the way motor oil is, such as carbon, extreme heat, fuel, etc. Exposure to these conditions degrades the quality of the oil at a much faster rate. As a result it's easy to forget to check the trans fluid before it's too late. Once the damage is done there is not much you can do to reverse the process. Eventually the transmission will fail.
Check the fluid and don't neglect your transmission. Checking your transmission fluid should be done during your yearly inspection, although, some states don't have one every year such as PA. If that's the case ask your mechanic to check it out every so often. If you're the do it yourself type, once the fluid starts to turn a darker color it's a good time to change it. Or a good rule of thumb to keeping it clean is to replace the fluid and filter is every 30k miles or sooner.