The transmission is one of the most important components in your car, but too often, drivers overlook this essential element.
If you own a vehicle and want to practice good maintenance, it's important to understand transmission repair and how to take care of it.
This helpful guide will explain the inner workings of transmission and some things you can do to keep yours well maintained.
What Exactly is Transmission?
The transmission is what uses the power generated by your car's engine to rotate the wheels. As the system begins to work, it uses several gears that begin to turn, keeping your car rolling along.
If your transmission needs to be fixed, you likely will either have difficulty driving or may not be able to get the car to drive at all. This essential component works in synergy with your engine to keep things moving.
A healthy transmission makes it easy to drive over rugged terrain and up steep hills. Without a good transmission, you might find yourself stuck or stranded.
Perform Regular Maintenance to Avoid Transmission Repair
If you want to avoid costly repairs, you'll need to ensure that your transmission is properly and regularly maintained. Check your vehicle owner's manual to find out when it's recommended that you change the fluids.
Most vehicles need a transmission fluid change every 30,000-60,000 miles. The manual will tell you what is specifically recommended for your make and model.
When you go to check or change the fluid, make sure you're using the correct type for your car. This information should also be in the owner's manual.
When you keep the fluid levels maintained and clean, your car will run much more smoothly. If you're not confident about changing the transmission fluid yourself, consult with a professional mechanic.
The transmission fluid should be bright red in color and have a slightly sweet smell. Use the dipstick and a white cloth to take a closer look at it so you can determine if it's in good condition.
Over time, small debris and pieces of metal can build up in the transmission fluid. If you don't change it regularly, it can cause your engine to overheat.
Practice Good Driving Habits
Transmission repair can be expensive, especially if the entire thing needs a complete overhaul. While wear and tear are natural, there are a few things you can do as a driver to keep your transmission in good condition.
When you come to a stoplight, do not shift or switch gears. You may think it's better to shift to neutral to save on gas, but it's actually creating unnecessary wear and tear on your transmission.
Every time you switch gears, you're creating friction in the system. Too much friction can cause debris to build up in the fluid and can also contribute to engine overheating.
When you drive downhill, don't shift into neutral. This won't do anything for your vehicle, and it's also not as safe as simply letting off the gas pedal and allowing your vehicle to naturally slow down on its own.
When you come to a complete stop, avoid switching gears, too. Doing this will put a lot of strain on the transmission and can potentially break the locking pin.
Always come to a complete stop before you switch gears. Keep your fuel tank at a good level, and never let it go close to empty.
When your fuel tank level is low, it can cause the fuel pump to struggle and even break. The pump will need to work harder and can cause debris and grime to get backlogged into your transmission filter.
A clogged or dirty transmission is the main reason the system fails. Keep it clean and practice good driving habits for good maintenance.
Know Your Car
There are a few things you should know about your car so you can be aware of any potential transmission problems. The transmission fluid should be a light red color with a light, semi-sweet smell.
Fluid levels need to be kept at the recommendations set forth by your owner's manual. Pay attention to any unusual sounds or smells, as this is a common indicator of a transmission problem.
Grinding noises or burning smells are red flags that your transmission could be in trouble. If the engine stalls or you feel the gears slipping, it's likely related to the transmission.
These simple symptoms can help you identify the problem before it gets out of control. A complete transmission rebuild is time-consuming and costly, so you want to get any issues rectified sooner rather than later.
Find a mechanic you trust who specialized in transmission repair. This will give you a good, reliable resource whenever you run into trouble or just need some maintenance for your vehicle.
A combination of regularly scheduled maintenance and smart driving habits will extend the life of your transmission. Stick to the recommended fluid change schedule as closely as possible so you can drive in confidence.
Take Good Care of Your Vehicle
With these simple tips, you can practice good maintenance and avoid expensive transmission repair. Check your fluid regularly and avoid changing gears if you don't need to.
When in doubt, consult a qualified mechanic who can diagnose your transmission problems and help you determine the best route for repair.
AAMCO has more than 50 years of experience servicing and repairing transmissions and has worked on more than 20 million vehicles. Customers rely on us for:
- Quality workmanship
- Superior service
- Best warranty coverage available
- Trustworthy, honest service
AAMCO Centers of the Atlanta metro and surrounding areas represents trust, quality and value.