Protecting Your Transmission from Winter Hazards

By Mister Transmission

Winter conditions vary geographically, but there are a few conditions that are common to most of Canada during the winter months. How you deal with those conditions can have a dramatic effect on your transmission.

So What Happens?

  • As temperatures drop, fluids thicken, reducing their ability to lubricate.

Solutions:

  • Driving slowly for the first few miles, until your engine and transmission reach normal operating temperature.
  • Invest in an engine heater that plugs into a wall outlet and warms the engine before you come out in the morning. A timer will let the engine warm up a few hours before you’re ready to leave, saving you money on gas, and reducing engine wear.

Did you know for many transmissions, you may be damaging the internal components with excessive engine idle? That’s because some transmissions don’t lubricate the internal components with the shifter in park. Oil doesn’t start moving in park so internal transmission components are spinning — ice cold — with no lube flow. Not good.

Snow and Ice — for much of the country, driving on snow and ice is part of a normal winter. But there are specific hazards to your transmission on those frozen roadways.

So What Happens?

  • When stuck, too often, drivers spin their wheels in the hope of freeing themselves from a snow drift or icy patch.
  • The transmission in today’s cars use a computer to control transmission operation. When you spin the wheels, when the speedometer registers 40-or-so MPH, the computer identifies driving conditions as being right to engage the converter clutch. Now the engine is locked directly to the drive wheels.
  • If the wheels regain traction, all that force is applied directly to the drive line components.

Solution:

  • The best way to get out of a drift or icy patch is to rock the car back and forth… forward and reverse… until you can get moving again. Or, better yet, get someone to push or pull you out of the snow. Avoid spinning the wheels excessively or make sure there is not excessive wheel spin when you contact a surface with better traction as you could end up damaging the transmission.

Water in the Transmission — No major component of your car can survive indefinitely with water in its internal components. But no other component can be damaged as quickly by water as your transmission. Even a small amount of water in an automatic transmission almost always results in serious failure and major repair bills.

So What Happens?

  • The reason is the band and clutch linings absorb water, even if they have to push transmission fluid out to do it.
  • This water quickly finds its way down to the metal backings, causing them to rust and lift the linings off. The result is metal-to-metal contact, which always means serious damage to the transmission.

Solution:

  • Steer clear of deep puddles, should you find your car submerged, don’t start the engine. Your only chance of avoiding a big repair bill is to have your car towed into a transmission shop and have the oil drained out and replaced immediately. If not, your auto insurance may cover part or all of the damage. Mister Transmission will be happy to supply the necessary technical information to your insurance company.

So whether its snow and ice, water, or just plain cold out, winter delivers a whole new set of conditions just waiting to damage your transmission. Whether it succeeds or not depends on how you deal with those conditions.

Mister transmission specializes in transmission and drivetrain repairs and service. Mister Transmission is a member of ATRA — the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association — and adheres to its requirements for honest, reliable, quality service.

Want to know more?
Visit one of our locations

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Customer Reviews
Dave and his team went...
David Lowe
Dave and his team went way above the call of duty and helped us solve a complex problem in an old Volvo. They have been beyond fair, open and honest and competent. Amazing team.
Date: June 13, 2024
Website: Google
I'd recommend this shop to...
Chantelle Kaiser
I'd recommend this shop to anyone looking for quality service, through evaluating, and timely responses! Upon calling for an concern reguarding my 2006 Yaris. Janice was exceptionally kind and informative, allowing my car to be taken in within a time frame that was excellent. She informed me about what their technicians would be doing upon given a diagnosis. Whilst having their technicians test drive my car and doing an inspection of my area of concern. As a first-time car owner, they reassured me throughout the entire process. Explaining everything along the way, I knew I could trust them given their transparency and willingness to answer questions. Upon picking my car up today, they allowed me to take a test drive with their technician Rob! He was amazing at answering many questions in a way that educated me ! Thank you Rob for giving that extra reassurance for my car! The owners Shawna and Dave are exceptionally personable and evidently passionate about their business. I'm exceptionally greatful for the time everyone took to help me in a stressful time. 100% recommended giving your business to this wonderful team!
Date: June 13, 2024
Website: Google
We had a true emergency...
Eli-Kristin Ward
We had a true emergency and this shop saved our home and livelihood, literally. The car is also in an excellent mood after the visit!
Date: June 13, 2024
Website: Google
Steve impressed me with his...
Patrick Murray
Steve impressed me with his honesty and I would definitely recommend him for transmission repairs.
Date: June 13, 2024
Website: Google
Mr. Transmission is always quick...
Jill Silk
Mr. Transmission is always quick and responsive. They go the extra mile to help resolve what is happening with you vehicle and providing possible outcomes and costs.
Date: June 12, 2024
Website: Google
Very happy with the work...
Amanda Cummings
Very happy with the work done by Kyle and his team. They took great care of my Dodge Journey - did a necessary overhaul of its transmission, stayed true to the quote provided, and had it ready when they said it would be. Glad to have it back again, and will highly recommend this business to others.
Date: June 12, 2024
Website: Google
I’ve got my Honda Transmission...
Shamil Ranaweera
I’ve got my Honda Transmission serviced at Mister Transmission Waterloo. The team was professional, knowledgeable and efficient. Price was reasonable and highly recommend these guys for your transmission repairs.
Date: June 12, 2024
Website: Google
Went there last Friday with...
KING
Went there last Friday with my wife's Saturn Outlook. Brian was the technician that I spoke to. Brian was very honest and told me that I don't need to spend money for a transmission, he has made a few suggestions to me on the issue. Just want to say thank you Brian and the rest of your team for being honest tradesmen. Keep up the good work.
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
Went there last Friday with...
KING
Went there last Friday with my wife's Saturn Outlook. Brian was the technician that I spoke to. Brian was very honest and told me that I don't need to spend money for a transmission, he has made a few suggestions to me on the issue. Just want to say thank you Brian and the rest of your team for being honest tradesmen. Keep up the good work.
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
Great customer service and technicians…...
Catherine Evagelacopoulos
Great customer service and technicians… glad that I decided to bring my truck to them
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
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