How to Extend the Life of Your Car’s Transmission

The transmission is a vital system in every car, and replacing it is quite expensive. You can, however, do many things to avoid repairs or replacements. These preventative measures can save you a lot of money, and allow you to get much more mileage out of your transmission system.

Low fluid is one of the most common problems. Even dirty fluid can be bad, but fortunately it is easy to maintain transmission fluid, especially if you bring your car in for regular service at the mechanic. An absence of fluid can be caused by an unseen leak, which can often be repaired for less than overhauling the entire system. Low fluid means heat will build up, reducing the life of parts and ultimately destroying the transmission.

Synthetic fluids that are available now are more effective at resisting heat and cold. They’re also resistant to shearing and oxidation. Although synthetics cost a little more, manufacturers are using them because they last longer than previous formulations and can extend the life of a vehicle’s transmission.

Regular Transmission ServiceKeeps Your Ride Going

A transmission system should be serviced every 30,000 miles, or about every two years. Most of the time, a working system needs a fluid and filter changed. A mechanic will drain out the old fluid, clean the pan, and put in a new, fresh filter and add new fluid. This procedure is one of the best things you can do to maintain a transmission system. Sometimes, a transmission flush is done to ensure any dirt or contaminants aren’t left behind, which can cause premature wear and tear.

Tune ups are important as well. If there are engine problems, the transmission may have to work harder and it can become strained. Alignments are another way to keep things in top shape. A misalignment can wear out the tires, make it hard to steer, and put mechanical stress on the transmission.

Watch Your Gear

Gear-shifting is controlled by the transmission system. If you’re driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, make sure you drive in the proper gear for the speed you’re riding. Driving in the wrong gear can put a significant strain on the system. Also, always remember to be at a complete stop when shifting gears. The transmission gears can become stripped or weak if you repeatedly attempt to shift between gears while moving.

Be Cautious When Operating the Vehicle

The vehicle should be given some time to warm up. In both cold and warm weather, wait five minutes to shift the car out of idle. Letting the system get warm before you change gears avoids putting excess strain on the transmission. Hauling heavy loads and towing other vehicles can strain it as well, unless the vehicle is designed for heavy-duty use.

Pulling additional weight and driving on rough terrain generates heat, which is a known enemy to a transmission. An auxiliary cooling system or fan can be installed to keep the system and its parts cool. However, if you regularly maintain your car and its transmission, it will ride more efficiently, reliably, and longer with fewer problems.

 

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