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
After a catastrophic failure of...
David Thompson
After a catastrophic failure of the CVT in my 2013 Subaru Outback I was glad to find such Professionals. Chris, Janna and the Technicians went above and beyond to get my vehicle back in service. Due to Covid-19 restrictions I had to send the Outback to Moncton on a flat deck. All the time it was there I was kept up to date on their every move and diagnoses. From the first Phone Call until I picked it up there was no doubt "This was the right place". Thanks again Mister Transmission !!!
Date: April 19, 2021
Website: Google
Very profesional and effortable pricing
Sheri Clifford
Very profesional and effortable pricing
Date: April 19, 2021
Website: Google
Andrew was fantastic and provided...
Henry Martin
Andrew was fantastic and provided great insight on the actual issues with my vehicle. He was very informative and educated on what needs to be done on my vehicle. I highly recommend Andrew and Mister Transmission!!
Date: April 19, 2021
Website: Google
Stafford was very polite and...
Marco Allen
Stafford was very polite and professional through our exchange, the service we received was outstanding, the car has never run better.10/10
Date: April 19, 2021
Website: Google
Stafford and Crew were completely...
Richard Kelly
Stafford and Crew were completely professional during my repair. Calling regularly with updates. Work completed on time and at the initial quoted rate.Strongly recommend Mr. Transmission.
Date: April 18, 2021
Website: Google
These days, among all the...
Tony D
These days, among all the horror stories you hear about auto shops who either don't know what they're doing or flat out make things worse (and charge mightily either way), it's easy to overlook the real gems who deliver over and above. This shop came highly recommended to me by my son's auto shop class teacher - this on top of the numerous and overall excellent Google reviews. I had transmission shifting problems with an old Dodge pickup truck with which they were initially unfamiliar, and not only did they take on the challenge, research possible causes, and effect what appeared to be logical repairs (at a *very* reasonable price, I might add), when those repairs turned out not to be the root cause of the problem they took it upon themselves to further track down and fix the problem without additional charge (drawing upon their networks of other contacts in the industry to do so). All in a timely manner, keeping well-appraised of their progress every step of the way. As a small business owner myself, I can say that you simply can not expect better service than this. If I could give more than 5 stars I would. Although this is my first experience with them, I will not go anywhere else in the future for transmission work on any vehicle I own.
Date: April 17, 2021
Website: Google
They brought our Honda back...
Daniel Connolly
They brought our Honda back to life within hours for the best price in town! Awesome service, excellent staff!
Date: April 17, 2021
Website: Google
Mister Transmission saved us! We...
Natasha Mohammed
Mister Transmission saved us! We had a sudden car issue and were taken care of by Raman. He quickly let us know how to get our vehicle to the shop and was very transparent about the process. He was up front with all costs beforehand and was very responsive, putting us immediately at ease. The fix was completed quickly and even before the estimated time given! We were super pleased with his professionalism, knowledge and workmanship. Car issues suck, but this was an excellent, pain free, no hassle, process. Highly recommend!Thank you Raman & Mister Transmission team!
Date: April 16, 2021
Website: Google
The owner went above and...
Lillian Mason
The owner went above and beyond to fix my car. So much so he called one of his employees back after they were closed to check another issue for me that was unrelated to my original issue. Amazing is all I can say
Date: April 16, 2021
Website: Google
Paul was the gentleman who...
Michael James
Paul was the gentleman who was taking care of my appointment. He was very informative with the issues I was having with my transmission. He was honest in giving his opinion on what course of repair I should use to fix my issue. His customer service and personability were exemplar. The repair was done in a timely manner and he even did some cleaning of the engine bay of my car without mentioning it. For any transmission or drive system repairs I wouldn't recommend any shop other than this one.
Date: April 15, 2021
Website: Google
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