Canadians know that winter driving is different. We all know about basic service and winter care: winter tires, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, etc. But what about transmissions? What is proper transmission service winter care?
First, let’s start with your transmission fluid. Automatic and continuously variable transmissions use automatic transmission fluid. Manual transmissions can also use automatic transmission fluid, or they can use something called transmission oil, or just standard motor oil. Whatever you drive, you should check your transmission fluid regularly. If you tell somebody that you check it every month, they might look at you and say, “Really? Every month?”. A lot of people don’t check it that often, but they should. Monthly checks give you the best chance at noticing small problems before they become big problems. This is good practice regardless of the season, but winter puts more stress on your vehicle than other seasons, so transmission fluid checks are an important part of transmission service winter care.
At lower temperatures, transmission fluid becomes more viscous, reducing its ability to lubricate. It’s good practice to drive slowly for the first few kilometres in winter. If you live in a particularly cold place, consider investing in an engine heater. It’s essentially a space heater for your engine; you simply plug it into an outlet in your garage and let it warm up your engine before you begin to drive.
Idling your engine is bad. It’s bad for your fuel consumption, bad for the environment, Furthermore, if you find yourself stuck in the snow, do not spin your wheels excessively. Apart from not getting you free, you have a good chance of overheating the transmission and possibly damaging internal components.
At Mister Transmission, we can provide all the transmission service, winter care, and any other transmission work you need. To learn more about transmission service and winter care, please contact us. You can search for a location near you or call our customer service line at 1-800-373-8432.