Your transmission is, with the exception of the engine itself, the most important and expensive system on your car. It’s what allows the power from the engine to be transferred into the wheels – and it’s extremely complex.
If your transmission is damaged due to neglect or improper repairs, it can easily cost $2,000-$4,000 for a full rebuild or replacement. It means that, to ensure that your car remains operational for the longest possible time, you should be doing everything you can to preserve your transmission.
Wondering how you can keep your car in great shape? Here are our top 5 tips that can help you preserve your transmission.
1. Check Your Transmission Fluid Regularly
Just like most of the systems in your car, your transmission uses a specialized fluid to minimize friction and ensure the proper operation of the delicate gearbox – and though it usually lasts between 50,000-100,000 km, this fluid does not last forever.
However, it’s quite easy to check your transmission fluid on most cars. Simple pull out your owner’s manual and locate the transmission fluid receptacle under the hood. While your engine is idling, pull out the dipstick.
Then, wipe off the dipstick, insert it again, and pull it out after a few moments. You should see a bright red, clear fluid that smells slightly sweet. Dark or murky transmission fluid, or transmission fluid with a “rotten” smell should be replaced. See a transmission repair specialist right away to have your car fluid changed.
2. Avoid Heat Damage By Following The “Severe Use” Replacement Schedule
Heat transmission due to old transmission fluid is responsible for most wear and tear on transmissions. If you are using your car in extreme conditions, you should check your transmission fluid more often. Extreme conditions are usually defined as:
- Driving heavily in city traffic
- Regularly driving in temperatures of 33C or higher (50% or more of driving time)
- Towing heavy loads and trailers regularly
If your driving habits conform to these factors, consider having your fluid and filter changes about every 30,000 kilometers.
3. Keep Your Engine’s Cooling System In Good Shape
You probably already know that your radiator and cooling systems prevent your engine from overheating. But did you know that your cooling system also helps cool the transmission fluid that pumps through your gearbox?
Your transmission is delicate, and you must avoid overheating it. Make sure that you have enough coolant, and that your cooling system is in good overall shape – both to preserve your engine and your transmission.
4. Be Careful About Changing Gears (And Use That Parking Brake)
Your car’s transmission is quite delicate, and the gearbox can be damaged if you change gears improperly – for example, if you accidentally shift the car into reverse while driving, or you tend to put your car into park before it comes to a complete stop.
Over time, these kinds of behaviors can put additional wear and tear onto your transmission, which could lead to a mechanical failure. Don’t ever shift into park or reverse when your car is moving – wait for it to come to a complete stop.
In addition, you should use your parking brake when parked on any kind of incline. While most automatic transmission cars have a “pawl” (a type of pin) that prevents them from moving backward when parked on an inclined surface, this pin is not extremely sturdy – and if you do not use your parking brake, it could become worn and eventually fail.
So make sure you use your parking brake whenever you are on an incline. It’ll save your transmission quite a bit of wear!
5. Invest In An Annual Inspection And Transmission Check
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! You should have a comprehensive car inspection performed at a reputable car repair shop every year, and this should include a transmission check.
Regular inspections let you catch any potential problems with your transmission early, allowing you to save money and ensure your car is in good condition.
Need A Transmission Check? Come To Ride Time!
If you’re in Winnipeg, and you need your transmission to be serviced or checked, come to Ride Time right away! At our service centre, we offer professional repairs and inspections at great rates. Schedule online now, and come in today!