Your vehicle transmission plays an important role, but how much do you really know about caring for it? If you’re like most people, the answer is not a whole lot. Of course, you already understand that auto maintenance is essential, so here are a few tips on how to make sure your automatic transmission is reliable so that you can stay safer on the road.
What Does Your Vehicle Transmission Even Do?
Your auto transmission is a complex system with an important job to perform. Essentially, it’s responsible for sending power from the engine to the wheels. The engine generates power, but the transmission delivers it and helps to control your vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you’ll have a manual or an automatic transmission. Either way, your vehicle transmission is involved in the process of shifting gears when you speed up or slow down.
This topic could be its own blog post, but you get the gist. Let’s review some key ways to care for your transmission.
Use the Right Vehicle Transmission Fluid
Unfortunately, you can’t just use any transmission fluid in your vehicle, but the owner’s manual will have clear instructions on which products are compatible with your vehicle. You can always talk to a local mechanic for guidance as well. While this step is best left to a professional, do your “homework” if you decide to take a DIY approach.
Come to a Full Stop
Before transitioning from drive to reverse, come to a full stop. Changing gears while you’re still in motion is hard on your vehicle’s transmission, so it’s best to avoid getting into this habit.
Have the Transmission Flushed
From time to time, bring your car in to your local mechanic to have the transmission fluid flushed. Once a year can be a good rule of thumb, but it really depends on how many miles you put on your vehicle. Again, the owner’s manual will provide you with more specific mileage details, or an auto shop can help.
Limit Using Your Vehicle For Towing
Towing heavy loads puts a strain on your vehicle. This is especially true during extreme weather conditions, so try to limit how often you use your vehicle for towing and keep it to a minimum.
Warm Up Your Vehicle Before Driving
Most of us turn the key in the ignition and drive off, but it’s not a bad idea to let your vehicle warm up a little, especially during colder months. Of course, this isn’t relevant if you park in a garage, and you never want to leave your car running in an enclosed space because it can be fatal.
Auto Transmission Repairs
If it’s been a while since you last had your vehicle transmission looked at, be sure to bring it in for a professional inspection. At Lafayette German Car Repair, we want to save you money. Check out our specials by clicking this link, or give us a call at (925) 284-3390. We’re here to help!
Your auto transmission is a complicated machine within itself. It senses when you accelerate and immediately changes to the right gear. But what happens if your vehicle transmission begins to fail while you’re driving? Here are some warning signs to watch out for so you’ll have time to schedule an automotive repair before it’s too late.
1) Check Engine Light
If your check engine light comes on, it could be a number of issues, including your auto transmission. The best thing to do is have it taken care of right away. Of course, the check engine light can indicate minor concerns, but there’s no way to know without taking your vehicle in for automotive maintenance. For your peace of mind and safety, be sure to have a skilled professional troubleshoot that check engine light.
2) Shifting Feels Rough
Grinding or shaking is a sign that your vehicle transmission needs some TLC. A sudden jump or hard shift when the gears change is also a serious warning sign you should have checked out right away. This isn’t the kind of automotive repair you can put off for later.
3) Slipping Between Gears
Have you ever felt that your car just isn’t responding well when you speed up or slow down? This is when gears shift. It’s dangerous for gears to slip, especially on the freeway when you’re driving at faster speeds. This is one of the more obvious signs that your vehicle transmission is failing rapidly.
4) Fluid Leaking Under the Car
Have you begun to notice fluid leaking under your car? You might not notice this right away, but leaking transmission fluid is red and has a sweet smell. If you spot little drips like this you really should have your auto transmission looked at as soon as possible.
5) A Burning Smell
Strange smells that come from your car can mean more than once thing. When you smell anything burning while you’re driving, it can mean that your auto transmission is getting too hot. It’s also sometimes an indication that transmission fluid is burning and needs to be replaced.
6) Strange Noises
Do you hear humming or clunking when you drive, especially when your car is in neutral? Unusual sounds are a strong sign that you need an automotive repair. If any weird noises happen while you’re driving, it’s time to schedule a car service ASAP.
Auto Transmission Repairs
If you’ve noticed any of these troubling signs, be sure to bring your vehicle in for a professional inspection. At Lafayette German Car Repair, we want to save you money. Check out our specials by clicking this link, or give us a call at (925) 284-3390.
It’s important to stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance for a number of reasons. And, part of this care is recognizing the signs that something is wrong. For instance, how can you tell if your auto transmission is on the verge of a breakdown? Of course, no one likes to wait on the side of the road for assistance. Protect yourself from these mishaps and save money by learning the signs your auto transmission needs repair work.
Trouble with Gears
The alarm bells should ring if your vehicle develops issues switching gears, or if the gears sometimes slip in or out of position while driving. This problem can lead to dangerous situations, so it’s important to immediately address the issue.
Leaking Auto Transmission Fluid
Are you noticing a wet spot under your car after it’s been parked for a while? This can indicate an issue with your auto transmission. Transmission fluid has a red color and emits a sweet odor. A mechanic first needs to determine the cause of the leak, then replace or repair the broken part, and finally, refill your transmission fluid to the appropriate level.
A Grinding Sound
If you drive a manual and your car produces a grinding sound when switching gears, you probably have a worn-out clutch. In cars with an automatic transmission, you can recognize this problem by a shaking feeling when switching from one gear to the next.
A Burning Smell
Also, if you smell something burning when you get out of the car, it could very well be an auto transmission problem. The transmission fluid might be burning, or the gears could be overheated from too much friction. In any case, it’s a good time to call your auto repair shop.
On the Road Again
Since 1996, Lafayette German Car Repair has offered high-quality car repair services. If you’re in the Lafayette area, our specialized technicians are ASE certified and ready to help with all of your car maintenance and repair needs. Contact us at (925) 284-3390 and return to the road with the confidence we offer a warranty of 24,000 miles or a 24-month guarantee on parts and service.