Second only to the engine, the most important system in your car is the transmission system. This is what offers the power from the car’s engine to its wheels, and what keeps the wheels spinning with a certain speed. As you can imagine, vehicle transmission systems are incredibly complex, and if the transmission accrues damage over time due to improper care, it can be expensive to rebuild or replace. In this article, we’ll outline the easiest preventative steps and driving habits you can do to keep your transmission healthy – saving you time, money, and headaches in the long run!
Check the vehicle transmission fluid level, color, and smell at regular intervals.
Fresh transmission fluid is transparent red with a sweet, slightly tart smell. If you smell burning or notice a color change in the fluid, flush and replace it with new fluid. It is generally recommended to check transmission fluid every 1,600 kilometers and perform a fluid change every other year or every 80,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.
Avoid allowing your vehicle transmission to overheat.
Heat poses a significant problem to your vehicle transmission – 90% of failures are caused by excess heat. An auxiliary cooler can offset some of this heat by 30% to 50% when properly installed. Avoiding overloading your car or towing too much weight – this can also cause overheating.
Don’t ride the brakes.
Resting your foot on the brake pedal while driving can cause the brakes to generate friction and heat. We already know that heat is bad for the transmission – riding the brakes makes your transmission work harder.
Use your parking brake
Speaking of brakes, make sure to take the pressure off of your parking pin and linkage by utilizing the parking brake. Especially if you park on an incline, this helps ease the pressure off of the transmission.
Change the vehicle transmission filter regularly.
Some cars, usually older models, have a transmission filter that needs to be changed from time to time. If your car has one, it should be changed every time you get your transmission fluid changed.
Take care when your car is just warming up
Whether or not you need to defrost the windshield, giving your car time to warm up in the morning can help prevent engine and transmission damage. It’s a myth that you need to let it idle – most modern vehicles are good to drive 30 seconds after turning on. Driving normally while avoiding hard acceleration and sudden brakes is the best way to ‘warm up’ your car in the morning.
Schedule routine maintenance to prevent sudden breakdowns.
The only trick to extending the performance and lifespan of a car is maintenance. Keeping your car clean and regularly serviced is easy when you schedule it in advance. Depending on the age, model and mileage of your vehicle, schedule standard vehicle transmission services every 80,000 miles or every year and a half.
Talk to Us
Whether your car needs vehicle transmission services, brake system repair, or general maintenance, you can rely on our professionals. Contact Lafayette German Car Repair by calling (925) 2284 – 3390. We offer great deals and excellent service that leads to long-lasting results!