Most drivers don’t do much to maintain or prevent problems with their vehicle’s transmission. Sometimes, car maintenance may seem like you’re spending money needlessly. But preventive maintenance is key to prevent future expensive repairs. The expenses for transmission maintenance is much less than the cost of transmission repair or replacement.
Here are 7 effective tips to prevent transmission problems and save your money and time.
1. Avoid transmission overheating
The worst culprit of the transmission that can decrease its service life is heat. About 90 percent of transmission failures happen because of transmission overheating. Reduce the heat back to normal operating temperatures, to increase the lifespan of your vehicle. To prevent overheating, you also need to maintain normal fluid levels in the transmission and avoid overloading your car.
2. Check the transmission fluid level, color, and smell
It is important to check the transmission fluid level, color, and smell regularly. The recommendation on how often and how you need to do this you can find in the car’s manual. In most cases, the car owners need to check the fluid level while the engine is running and the transmission in “park.” If the levels of transmission fluid are low, you need to add fluid.
The color of the fluid must be red. If you notice that fluid becomes dark brown and has a burning smell, get it checked by your mechanic.
3. Install an auxiliary cooler
An auxiliary cooler is a great way to increase the service life of your car. It can save your transmission from damage associated with overheating. With a properly installed auxiliary cooler, you can reduce the temperature of transmission by 30-50 percent when towing. This investment can help you avoid serious transmission problems and expensive repairs.
4. Use the correct fluid
There are many types of transmission fluid which vary from vehicle to vehicle. Some newer fluids may be more expensive but they can protect the transmission from possible problems. This makes it worth the expense. The recommendation regarding the type of fluid that needs to be used in your car, you can find in the car manual. Follow this instruction to prevent transmission problems and increase its service life.
5. Visit your mechanic regularly to prevent any potential trouble
If you notice sudden changes in the way your car drives or the way transmission works, it can be an early symptom of a transmission problem. Because of issues with the transmission, you may also have difficulty changing gears or a delay before the gear seems to shift. If you notice these issues, visit a transmission repair service to address this issue.
6. Replace transmission fluid and filter regularly
It is important to replace transmission fluid and filter regularly. It needs to be done every 25,000 to 30,000 miles. If you use your vehicle for carrying a heavy load, you might need to replace fluid and filter more often. If you have an old car with high mileage and you’ve never changed the fluid or filter, let your mechanic know about it. The change of fluid or filter in a car with an old transmission can cause serious problems.
7. Don’t overfill your transmission
When checking and adding fluid to the transmission, it is important to follow manufacturer recommendations mentioned in the car manual. If you overfill the transmission with the fluid, the fluid may foam. This can contribute to erratic gear shifting, loss of internal lubrication, and serious damage to your car.
The best way to maintain your vehicle’s transmission is to have it serviced on a regular schedule. But like your health, there is no universal way to prevent transmission problems altogether. These tips can help you decrease the risk of problems, but cannot eliminate them at all. If you suspect you have transmission breakage, visit your mechanic to get it checked.