Avoid costly transmission repairs. Read our simple tips for keeping a car with a manual transmission running smoothly
Vehicles with manual transmissions aren’t as common on our roads as they once were. It’s estimated that about 5% of all new vehicles sold in Canada since 2013 have manual gearboxes, but if you’re driving one of them, it’s important to be mindful of manual transmission maintenance tips.
There is much to be said of the benefits of driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission nowadays, but stick-shift enthusiasts have their reasons for opting for a manual transmission. While most of the reasons cited are not rooted in fact – they’re more fuel efficient than automatics, you have more control of your car, or they’re a theft deterrent – there’s no denying cars with manual gearboxes are incredibly fun to drive.
In any event, here are five tips to help extend the life of your manual transmission and prevent a breakdown:
1. Completely lift your foot off of the clutch pedal with each gear shift. In other words, don’t ride the clutch. It’s a bad habit to get into when you’re driving and it puts undue strain on the clutch and the gearbox.
2. Have your engine’s cooling system serviced periodically. 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.
3. 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.
4. Don’t downshift when you need to slow down. Contrary to popular belief, downshifting when you’re slowing your vehicle down or coming to a complete stop is not good for your engine or your manual gearbox. In fact, downshifting puts more wear and tear on your transmission. Stick to using your brakes to slow down and stop.
5. 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 experienced team of transmission repair specialists will get your car back on the road again fast.