Jun 10 2014

How to Extend the Life of Your Transmission

Transmission repairs can be pricey. While it’s not totally unavoidable, keeping your car in check and practicing a few good habits can extend the life of your transmission. Here’s a list of a few things you should make a habit of in order to keep your transmission in check.

Check Your Transmission Fluid Frequently

When it comes to checking your transmission fluid, the process varies from vehicle to vehicle. Make sure you know how it’s done by reading your owner’s manual. Check the transmission regularly and whenever the weather is hot, you’re stuck in constant stop-and-go traffic, or hilly terrain. These can all cause the transmission to overheat.

If you’re ever in a situation where your transmission is overheated, drive your car to the side of the road or somewhere where you can park for a while, legally, to allow your car to cool down.

Install an External Cooler and Change Transmission Fluid Whenever Necessary

External coolers are needed as an extra component to make sure your transmission doesn’t overheat. While not needed all the time, a few instances where it’s needed include:

• Towing

• Extreme Heat

• Stop-and-Go Traffic

Unlike car oil, you don’t necessarily go by car mileage to change transmission fluid. The average car needs transmission fluid changed twice and year. Feel free to do so more often if your car is exposed to any of the strenuous conditions listed above.

Have Your Engine Tuned, Cooling System Checked, and a Complete Checkup Once a Year

Sometimes engine problems can be confused for transmission problems. To prevent confusion, make sure your engine is properly tuned. Knowing your engine is properly tuned will help you better discern whether your issue is truly a transmission problem.

Your transmission and cooling system should be checked at least twice a year for leakage and have the proper coolant changed. Regular checkups help catch vehicle issues while they’re still young, rather than when the problem becomes bigger and more expensive to repair.

Drive Your Vehicle Properly!

This means no to drag racing, leaving the shift lever in P without the park break on, placing the shift in drive or reverse while the engine is at “Fast Idle”, and using your shift level instead of your break (even at traffic lights!).

Break as smoothly as possible. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t speed to prevent the need to slam on the breaks.

In Conclusion

Practicing proper driving habits, safety and regular checkups can help prolong your transmission’s life and keep it in check. While it may seem like a lot to look out for and do to keep it in check, it’s much better than shelling out thousands of dollars to repair transmission damage that you could’ve prevented.