While you may not know a lot about how your transmission works, you’re probably aware that it’s one of the most expensive parts of your car. As a result, you doubtless want to take good care of your transmission so that you avoid transmission failure, repair, rebuilding or replacement as much as possible.
By driving responsibly and following a maintenance schedule, you can minimize your auto repair bills. Consider the following four things you can do to keep costs down.
Learn a Bit About Transmissions
Transmissions are complex systems, but you want to have a basic idea of what your transmission does and how it works. Once you know how your transmission works, you’ll know why your car needs certain maintenance tasks, and you will be more likely to take good care of your car.
You can start by learning what a transmission does. The transmission is the system that controls how much power is sent from the engine to the wheels, meaning that the transmission is what allows you to move forward or backward, accelerate and drive in the hills more efficiently.
The transmission has a number of gears, which are lubricated by transmission fluid. Because of the transmission fluid, the gears are able to move smoothly and quickly without overheating or wearing out too quickly.
Follow the Directions in Your Owner’s Manual
Different manufacturers have different recommendations for transmission care, and each vehicle is a little different, so check your owner’s manual for guidelines. Look for information such as what kind of transmission fluid you should use, how often you should check the fluid, how often you should change the fluid and so forth.
After you’ve check the owner’s manual, make sure to ask a trusted mechanic to recommend a maintenance schedule for your particular car. While a manufacturer can recommend general guidelines for your make and model, a mechanic can help you create a customized maintenance plan that also takes into account the age and condition of your vehicle.
Stick to a Maintenance Routine
The main maintenance you need to take care of with your transmission concerns the transmission fluid. Over time, grime and small bits of metal come off the gears and build up in the fluid, and the fluid breaks down. When this happens, the transmission fluid won’t be as effective, and it will need to be changed or flushed.
How often you change or flush your transmission fluid will depend on the instructions in your owner’s manual as well as your mechanic’s recommendations, but professionals often recommend every 30,000 miles as a good interval. For most drivers, that means having a mechanic get rid of old fluid and put in new fluid every two years or so.
While a fluid change merely removes the fluid that a mechanic can extract relatively easily, a transmission flush is more thorough. A large amount of transmission fluid will be in the cooling lines and the torque converter, and a flush will clear this liquid out. Professionals disagree about whether flushing the transmission is good for a car, but a flush definitely gets more fluid out than a fluid change does.
You can talk to your mechanic and read your owner’s manual to determine whether or not having a transmission flush is a good choice for your car.
Finally, your driving itself affects the condition your transmission stays in. For example, if you drive in a way that puts a lot of stress on the transmission, such as if you start and stop a lot, then the transmission will wear out faster.
To help your transmission stay in great shape for as long as possible, make sure that you stop completely before changing from Park to Reverse, from Reverse to Drive and so forth. You can also accelerate gradually, avoid sudden stops and allow your car to warm up before you begin driving.
To learn more about caring for your transmission, talk to a mechanic , such as one from Action Transmission Service & Total Car Care. We’ll be happy to help you understand your vehicle and make it last as long as possible.