10 Ways to Care for Your Automatic Transmission

By Mister Transmission

Avoid costly transmission repairs. Read Mister Transmission’s 10 tips for keeping a car with an automatic transmission in good condition

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive and its age, transmission repairs can be costly. Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid having a transmission repair specialist service your vehicle particularly if you’re subjected to a total breakdown.

But there are things you can do to extend the life of your automatic transmission and prevent transmission failure. Read our checklist of top 10 transmission maintenance tips:

1. Check your transmission fluid periodically. On many cars, light trucks, and SUVs, checking the transmission fluid is as easy as checking the oil: 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 colour, clear, and it should smell sweet. If it’s murky, dark coloured, or smells like rotting fish take it to a transmission repair specialist to look things over.

2. Use the right type of transmission fluid. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what type of transmission fluid you should use. If after doing so you’re still not sure, pop in to a Mister Transmission and ask a professional.

3. Have your engine’s cooling system serviced. Your vehicle’s cooling system helps prevent the engine from overheating. But did you know it also ensures the transmission fluid pumping through the gearbox is cooled too? It’s more likely you’ll need a transmission repair before your engine completely overheats. Make sure your cooling system is in optimal condition.

4. Get your transmission flushed regularly. Changing the transmission fluid in your car is best left to a professional. Consult your car’s owner’s manual, but in general, get your vehicle’s transmission flushed once a year. How long the transmission fluid in your car will last depends on the vehicle’s operating temperature and how much driving you do.

5. Don’t change gears while your car is moving. Bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Failing to do so simply puts strain on your transmission and after awhile it can lead to a serious problem.

6. Let your car warm up before you drive. Who among us has hopped into the driver’s seat, started the engine, put the car in drive and motored away? (Full disclosure: I’m as guilty as you are) Always allow your engine a few minutes to warm up before you begin to drive, especially during the winter months.

7. Don’t drive on a spare tire for an extended period of time. Mismatched tire sizes, or driving with a small spare tire over a long period of time is a no-no. Not only will it do damage to other parts of your vehicle such as ruin the wheel alignment, after a while it puts unnecessary strain on the transmission.

8. Regularly change the transmission filter. That’s right: your car’s automatic transmission may have a filter, and it needs to be changed from time to time. Whether or not you’re driving a car that has a transmission filter depends entirely on the make and model. Most newer vehicles don’t have a transmission filter but those that do should be changed each time you get your transmission flushed.

9. Avoid using your vehicle for towing. Using your car to tow heavy loads, particularly in hot temperatures, can cause the transmission fluid to oxidize or burn, and in turn, do a lot of damage to the transmission.

10. Have your transmission inspected annually. Having a certified transmission repair specialist conduct a diagnostic check of your transmission for leaks and other abnormalities at least once a year, as well as checking the transmission fluid’s level, colour, and smell periodically is smart preventative maintenance.

If you are in the Weston neighbourhood in northeast Toronto near the Humber River, or driving on Black Creek Drive south of Highway 401 and are experiencing transmission troubles or suspect you are, call us now at 416-249-1300, or visit us at 1677 Jane Street in North York. Stranded roadside because of a breakdown? Our tow truck is standing by. Our certified transmission repair specialists will get your car back on the road again quickly.

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Customer Reviews
Great people -- great service!
Rob Dagenais
Great people -- great service!
Date: May 13, 2024
Website: Google
Good people got my transmission...
Isidro Thiessen
Good people got my transmission repaired quickly. It was expensive tho.
Date: May 12, 2024
Website: Google
Knowledgeable, professional and good service.
Jacobo Pineda
Knowledgeable, professional and good service.
Date: May 12, 2024
Website: Google
I had my 2007 Toyota...
Theresa F
I had my 2007 Toyota Rav 4 transmission rebuilt almost 2 years ago. Decided to bring it back for a transmission fluid change and for another check before the warranty expires. What I didn’t tell them is that there’s already a leak (my neighbour told me). I’m giving this business a 5 star review because they are honest. They told me it had a leak and they had to replace the seal, and it was still under warranty. Wow! Thank you!!!
Date: May 11, 2024
Website: Google
I have a 2015 Mazda...
Jaimin Patel
I have a 2015 Mazda 3 with automatic transmission. It is having jerking issue at 2nd gear when the car is cold. One of my known mechanic suggested Ken for transmission issues. I went there and parked my car overnight to make sure it is cold. In morning, Ken drove it and figure out instantly it was a computer mechanism trying to save fuel by engaging clutch and gear differently, which is normal and I should not spend any money on it. I liked Ken's experience and knowledge and his guidance which saved me going broke.
Date: May 11, 2024
Website: Google
Great friendly, prompt and reasonably...
Dey Muller
Great friendly, prompt and reasonably price service!
Date: May 10, 2024
Website: Google
Excellent experience. Jason is the...
Phil Wall
Excellent experience. Jason is the frontman. Super professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Great service.
Date: May 10, 2024
Website: Google
Peter and his team did...
Peter Cadieux
Peter and his team did a great job! Very fair pricing and quick turnaround!
Date: May 10, 2024
Website: Google
Had a leak from the...
Bobros1944 Roz
Had a leak from the pan and front seal on my transmission. Despite being busy these guys were able to seal up the pan within one day. No leaks from the pan. I decided to hold off on the main seal as it is a slow leak and I'll deal with it in the winter when the cars in storage. Thanks
Date: May 9, 2024
Website: Google
Absolutely amazing service and help....
Tyrel &
Absolutely amazing service and help. Our shop was in a pickle with a customers vehicle. They got it remedied that day and gave us very valuable insight going forward. Thank you very much again! Greatly appreciated 🙏
Date: May 9, 2024
Website: Google
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