Everyone knows that the transmission can be one of the most expensive components in your vehicle to repair or replace. That’s why it’s best to maintain it properly on a routine basis. Avoid expensive transmission repair costs by following some of these car maintenance tips so you can keep your vehicle on the road longer without breaking down when you least expect.
Check the Fluids
You do it with all of the other important parts of the car from your engine oil to your windshield wiper fluid. Next time you’re under the hood don’t forget to give the transmission fluid some attention as well. It’s as easy as checking your oil, you leave the car running, pull out the dipstick, clean and reinsert. Pull it back out and look at it closely. If it’s low, you may be leaking fluid, and be sure to check the color too. The fluid should be clear with a reddish tint. Anything that looks muddy or smells bad means you need to have your transmission looked at by a mechanic.
Flush the Transmission
If you’re one of those do-it-yourselfers who likes to change their own oil that’s great, but don’t try to do the same with your transmission unless you really know what you’re doing. But whether it’s you doing the job or a mechanic at the garage, you need to have your transmission system flushed at least once a year. This can vary based on how often you drive the car but getting this done annually will keep the car in good working order.
Warm it Up
Anytime you’re ready to hit the road, give the transmission a few minutes to warm up properly. This is particularly important during the cold winter season as it allows the transmission and the engine to get to their normal operating temperatures. It will help to preserve the life of these vital components of your vehicle.
Careful When You Shift
Nothing damages a transmission quicker than shifting it abruptly. But you drive an automatic; there is no shifting, right? Well you do have those lower gears in addition to “Drive” and “Reverse”. Any time you shift gears in an automatic, be sure the car has come to a full stop first. This is especially important when going from Drive to Reverse.
Check the Tires
Be sure all of your tires are correctly matched size-wise. Don’t drive on a spare for too long and check that they are all properly inflated. Otherwise, this can put undue strain on your transmission as it works harder to keep the car moving. This can lead to excessive wear and tear, reducing the life of your transmission and increasing the likelihood of expensive repair bills sooner than later.
Change the Filter
Yes, your transmission has a filter inside of it. Just like your engine. This is more prevalent in older automobiles so if you’re not 100% sure if your transmission has one or not, it’s best to find out now so you can replace it. Most newer models don’t have transmission filters inside of them. But if yours does, be sure to change it out from time to time to keep the car running smoothly at all times.