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
Good and friendly and reliable...
Albert Wilton
Good and friendly and reliable people and they work hard to get your vehicle doneService: Transmission
Date: July 25, 2021
Website: Google
Thank you, Mister Transmission! After...
Christy McMurray
Thank you, Mister Transmission! After taking my vehicle to the dealership where I bought it, and paying $150 for them to tell me what I already told them was wrong, the Dealer gave me a quote of $6,500 to replace my 9 year old transmission with a factory rebuilt one, because it couldn't be fixed or rebuilt by them. Thankfully I called Mister Transmission and Chris knew exactly what the issue was, how to fix it, and it only cost me $385 for everything and it was fixed in a day. I am so grateful that Chris and Dawn run an honest operation and provide genuinely great service. Thanks again!
Date: July 25, 2021
Website: Google
Cambridge Mister Transmission was awesome....
Sarah MacArthur
Cambridge Mister Transmission was awesome. We ended up having a small issue but they still took the time to show me where on my vehicle the problems were and fully explain the possible issues. They were prompt in getting back to me the following day and I had my vehicle back in no time. Chris and Nick were amazing and the office is so clean and pleasant. Great customer service!
Date: July 24, 2021
Website: Google
Great service , friendly and...
John Neven
Great service , friendly and very knowledgeable.Excellent work
Date: July 23, 2021
Website: Google
Mazda 3 AT light came...
Chris Elmquist
Mazda 3 AT light came on one with some bad noises and clunking. Dealer said need a new transmission for only $4400. Took it to this and a quick check they determined it needed new TCM which is very common on the mazdas. They took care of it and even did a bunch of extra work fixing a wiring harness all for the cost of the TCM . cannot say enough about how we were treated by Chris and Dawn. Would recommend them. FIRST CLASS!!!!!
Date: July 23, 2021
Website: Google
Workers are very nice and...
Ely Bolivar
Workers are very nice and explain thing clearly. Also they have an option to finance your repairs.
Date: July 22, 2021
Website: Google
They assessed the problem quickly,...
Colleen H
They assessed the problem quickly, quoted a good price, provided fast service, in a no-pressure, friendly manner. I've been telling everybodyService: Transmission
Date: July 20, 2021
Website: Google
I took my differentials down...
Kieran Massicotte
I took my differentials down to get rebuilt and Steve was very professional and the total was 200 bucks cheaper than the quoted price and there was a few things during the whole process that didn’t go as planned as I had brought all the bearings parts and some bearings were the wrong ones and I had brought 4.88s to put in end they would not work and before continuing with anything Steve would call and double check to let you know what needs to be done and get the ok from me first before they would continue overall amazing place Steve and the guys were awesome and the work was done perfect and the diffs have never been more smooth highly recommend.
Date: July 20, 2021
Website: Google
Excellent customer service.Service: Transmission
Eduardo Vieira
Excellent customer service.Service: Transmission
Date: July 20, 2021
Website: Google
Thank you Kyle and the...
Roman Danko
Thank you Kyle and the Mr. Transmission team for very professional and friendly customer service and repair. I definitelly recommend their services.Service: Transmission
Date: July 19, 2021
Website: Google
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