How do I keep my transmission good?
Keeping your transmission running properly and getting the maximum life out of it is simple. The transmission is one of the most crucial pieces of your vehicle. It is also one of the priciest to replace, and no one wants to have to do that. Here are some tips on how to take good care of your transmission.
Scheduling routine maintenance is imperative if you want your vehicle to perform well down the road. If you feel like something is off with your vehicle, do not put off getting it checked out. You should always address any concerns you have promptly. Some things to look out for are burnt smells, strange sounds, and any shaking, vibrating, or banging coming from your vehicle. These are common indictors that something is not working as smoothly as it should be. Any hesitation or grinding when shifting gears, slow acceleration, fluid leaks, slipping gears, reduced fuel mileage, check engine light, or a dragging clutch (in manual transmissions) are all signs that you should have your car taken in to get looked at by a professional.
The best way to ensure a healthy transmission is to keep up with your transmission fluid. Make sure you are putting the right fluid in your transmission. Different fluids have contrasting heat tolerances, so it is important to get one that matches your transmission properly. The amount, or deficiency of fluid can assist the mechanic when it comes to indicating where possible issues lie. Be prompt when tending to fluid when it is running low, low fluids when not maintained will just cause problems later on. Avoid driving your vehicle if the fluid level shows it is under the recommended mark. Be cautious to not over-fill your transmission, doing so can also cause an array of problems. There is loads of easy problem solving like catching leaks in time, or seal replacements that can be done to possibly save your transmission and save you money as long as you are periodically keeping an eye on them.
Stop before you shift
Make sure you are always completely stopping prior to shifting when going from reverse to drive. When reversing out of parking spots, take the time to stop before switching straightaway into drive. It is very important that you are completely stopped before switching gears, or else it can cause some unnecessary stress on your vehicle and potentially destroy the gears in your transmission. If you’re stuck in traffic, in the drive through lane, or at a long light, when you know you will be stopped for a minute anyway, put your car in park. This is a simple one that does not affect you too much and will give your transmission a bit of a break.
Go easy on the brakes
Your transmission is forced to work harder when your foot is kept on the brake pedal, and that can and will cause issues over time. Be wary of how often you brake, and when possible consider down shifting.
Engine problems can occasionally show similar symptoms to that of transmission issues, in addition to straining the transmission as well. Keeping up with your transmission will better ensure a longer life span of your vehicle overall.
Be patient and make sure you take the time to let your vehicle warm up before switching it into gear and driving off. This is especially crucial during days with bad weather. The fluids in your car are thicker at colder temperatures, making it more of a challenge for the fluid to get to the transmission immediately. Stay mindful that, though this is important during the colder days, to keep it going year round. Particularly hot days require the extra care too. To keep a healthy transmission, always try to let your car run idle for about five minutes before you take off.
Get in gear
Stay mindful of what gear you are in. Consistently driving in the incorrect gear can cause issues with your vehicle. If your car has a manual transmission, make sure that if you are letting someone else go for a spin that they are educated on what they are doing. If your gears are operated incorrectly, a lot of damage can be done to them.
Think before you haul
Before towing or hauling large loads, or other vehicles consider other arrangements. If your vehicle was not made for this sort of more heavy-duty task, steer clear. Added weight on your vehicle can cause some hardcore wear and potentially major transmission issues.
There are some great products you can buy that are made to restore and improve the overall performance of your car, and some specifically made to increase your transmission’s life span. Investtments like this can save you plenty of money in the long run, as opposed to having to repair or replace the entire transmission itself.