Use these transmission tips to get the most out of your vehicle
Everyone wants their vehicle to be in tiptop shape for as long as possible. Properly maintaining your car, truck or SUV keeps resale values high and the chance of a sudden breakdown low. Beyond the tried and tested procedures of oil changes, tire rotations and filter replacements most people aren’t sure what else they could be doing to get more miles from their automobile. One way is through transmission optimization.
Perform Regular Transmission Fluid Checks: Having adequate fluid levels allows your vehicle to operate properly while increasing the longevity of transmission components. Top up your transmission fluid when necessary, checking levels regularly, especially for automobiles with transmission dipsticks. For those vehicles with out transmission dipsticks, have the level checked by a transmission professional and check for leaks at the same time.
Maintain Proper Tire Pressure: It may sound like an unrelated system but tires with low air pressure can actually put extra stress on your transmission system. When tires are adequately filled your car’s engine and transmission have to work that much harder to maintain desired road speeds. Over time this extra strain can damage your systems to the point of needing replacement. Check your tire pressure monthly to ensure better transmission performance and gas mileage.
Check Related Systems: If you strain your leg, inevitably you end up walking off of center, which can lead to back issues. Similarly in cars one malfunctioning system can lead to issues in connected components. Driveshafts, driveaxles, their respective joints, computer systems, radiators, cooling lines, mounts, sensors, flexplates and flywheels can all cause problems for the transmission assembly. Conduct or contract a full systems check to ensure connected components don’t adversely affect your transmission optimization efforts.
Schedule Regular Service: Everyone knows the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This applies particularly well for transmission systems. Conducting regular maintenance services to your transmission system, or having it done by a licensed professional, keeps everything in fine working order, identifying issues with various internal components as they arise. Change out fluids and swap aging filters for new ones for the best transmission optimization results.
Inspect Cooling System: The cooling system is integral to the proper operation of your vehicle. As your engine and transmission operate they heat up. Without proper cooling these systems can suffer heat damage that can affect their long-term performance. Check coolant levels regularly and perform a coolant system check at least twice a year to ensure everything is in proper working order.
Install an External Filter to Cooling Lines: While the existing filter inside your transmission tends to do an adequate job of removing stray particles and dirt from your system it’s far from a flawless process. Adding an additional filter externally creates an extra layer of defense that could mean the difference between replacing a used filter or your entire transmission.
Install an External Transmission Cooler: In some cases your automobile will have some extra work to do, such as hauling a trailer or heavy loads. As the work load of your engine and transmission goes up the ability of your cooling system to maintain acceptable temperatures goes down. One solution is to install an external cooling system to help with overall transmission optimization.
Fix Transmission Issues Promptly: Over a long enough time period you’ll inevitably have some issue with your transmission. Existing problems will only get worse if not fixed right away, possibly creating other malfunctions and broken components along the way. Make sure you repair or service your transmission system as soon as possible once an issue is identified so that a molehill doesn’t become a mountain.
Keep Engine Tuned: Many of the issues that occur in an un-tuned engine can seem similar to transmission issues. Not only will a well-maintained engine keep your car running smoothly but it won’t add any stress to your transmission system while allowing you to easily identify the actual source of any issues in your car or truck.