Apart from a home, a vehicle is usually the most expensive thing a person will buy in his or her life. And we often rely on our vehicles to complete our daily activities, such as going to work and running errands. All of this is say that our vehicles are important and we have to take care of them. And one of the most intricate, expensive, and crucial components of our vehicles is the transmission.
To ensure a long, efficient life for your vehicle, you must properly care for it. Most people know enough to keep their tires pumped, and not to leave their headlights on, etc. But you should also know how to take care of your transmission, too. But just how do you care for an automatic transmission?
Here are some tips of things you can do to lengthen the life of your automatic transmission and keep it operating at peak efficiency:
Take care of your fluid – Insufficient levels of transmission fluid are bound to cause a whole host of problems, so make sure to check it regularly. How? Well, with the engine idling, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, insert it again, wait, then pull it out to get an accurate reading. If the fluid level is low, you may have a leak. The fluid itself should be a bright red, translucent colour, and it should smell faintly sweet. If it’s murky, dark coloured, or smells like rotten, take it to a shop that specializes in transmission services. Also, make sure to use the right type of fluid. Look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what type of transmission fluid you should use.
Get your cooling system serviced – The cooling system helps prevent your engine from overheating, but it also ensures that the transmission fluid pumping through the gearbox is cooled, as well. That’s why you want your cooling system running properly and should get it serviced regularly.
Transmission flushings – Changing your transmission fluid is important and is is best to leave it to the transmission shop that offers automatic transmission services. How often depends, but in general, get your vehicle’s transmission flushed once a year.
Don’t change gears while your car is moving – This is an offence of which many of us are guilty, but we really ought not to do it. You should always bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Otherwise, you will strain your transmission.
Regularly change your transmission filter – Some automobile’s automatic transmissions have a filter that need to be changed from time to time. Many newer vehicles don’t have a transmission filter but those that do should be changed each time you get your transmission flushed.
Avoid towing – Towing heavy loads with a vehicle that was not specifically designed to tow can cause transmission fluid to oxidize and burn, which can in turn damage your transmission.
Annual inspections – Just as with your own body, annual inspections of your transmission are important to make sure there are no burgeoning problems. If you’ve not yet had your annual inspection, bring your vehicle into a shop that provides automatic transmission services
If you have any more questions about how to care for your automatic (or manual) transmission or would like to avail yourself of some automatic transmission services, please contact our transmission shop.