5 Tips To Prolong The Lifespan Of Your Transmission

To have your own personal transportation, you will have many expenses. From the actual purchase price and filling the vehicle with gas to automobile insurance, it is easy to see the overwhelming costs of owning and operating a vehicle. While these are obvious tasks, your car will also require periodic maintenance to keep it properly running. Oil changes and tire rotations are usually priorities, but your vehicle's transmission should also be an important part of maintenance. Considering the cost of a replacement transmission can run between $3,300 to $3,800, maintaining your transmission is imperative. With this guide, you will learn a few maintenance tips to prolong the lifespan of your transmission.

Drive Conservatively

Aggressive driving is not only dangerous to you and others on the road, but it can also negatively affect your vehicle's mechanics.

Fast driving and hard braking places a great deal of stress on your vehicle, causing friction that can cause the transmission to overheat. Consider accelerating and braking slowly to reduce friction and protect your vehicle's transmission. Driving conservatively will not only protect you and your vehicle, but it will also help save gas.

Check the Fluid Regularly

The most common cause of a transmission problem is low fluid levels. The low levels may cause your transmission to slip, but it could also be a sign of a leak caused by a leak in the pan, fluid lines, or gasket. These issues will require efficient repair to prevent a costly and overwhelming transmission replacement.

To determine if your transmission is in distress, check the fluids regularly. Use the dipstick to determine if levels are low. Also, document the color of your transmission fluid. Over time, excessive heat and contaminants will cause the fluid to darken. If your fluid is dark brown, grey, or black or if you are noticing a foul, burnt-smelling odor, it is time to replace it.

Flush the Fluid

Each vehicle manufacturer recommends flushing transmission fluid at a specific mileage. However, if your fluid is dirty or low, it is time for a flush or fluid change.

During a flush, the old fluid is removed while also ridding the transmission of sludge, heavy residue, and contaminants before replacing it with new fluid. New transmission oil and a clean filter are also added during this service.

Maintain Cooling System

Heat is extremely damaging to your transmission, so focusing on your vehicle's cooling system is also beneficial. Your radiator's function is essential to cooling down the vehicle when it begins to overheat due to stress. If the radiator is not capable of cooling down the vehicle, your engine and transmission will begin to fail.

Be sure to check coolant levels regularly, inspecting for leaks or damage in the radiator. Ensure the thermostat is working properly as well. If you use your vehicle for work, stopping and going repeatedly, or hauling a trailer, consider installing an external cooler to the transmission. This will reduce the extra heat caused by aggressive driving.

Know the Signs of Failure

Maintenance is essential, but you should also learn the signs that your transmission is failing. This will ensure you are able to bring your vehicle in for a rebuild or replacement of the transmission. If you are noticing one or more of the following signs, your transmission is in distress:

  • Rough shifting
  • Slipping, or skipping gears when shifting
  • Loud noises in engine while vehicle is running

It is important to remember that these signs do not always mean you need a completely new transmission. However, the signs could be giving you an early warning that the transmission requires a full service.

Your transmission is an imperative part of your vehicle's operation. Using this guide and the help of a professional automotive technician, you can prolong the lifespan of your transmission. Contact a company like Huntington Beach Transmissions for additional information.