Dear Doctor: I have a 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo SS with 3.8L motor. I bought this car new and have just reached 50,000 miles. It runs great and gets about 28 mpg on the road. I’m planning to take a 1,500-mile trip and have not changed the transmission fluid. When should the tranny fluid get changed? Mike
Dear Mike: Some automakers recommend a transmission fluid change at 100,000 miles. Your car is 8-plus years old and the transmission fluid is also that old. It would be a great idea to replace the transmission fluid, spark plugs, gas and air filter, and cabin filter if equipped. Next, consider the engine coolant, too. All these fluids and parts do wear and lose their ability to do what they are designed to do.