A transmission can be easy to maintain, but terribly pricey to replace. It makes sense to take care of your automotive transmission now, rather than be caught off-guard by a huge repair bill later. The following strategies will help to keep your transmission working well and shifting seamlessly behind the wheel.
Ten tips to maintain your car or truck transmission include:
#1: Check your fluids.
It may sound simple but keeping an eye on your transmission fluid is one of the most effective ways to take care of your auto’s transmission that there is. This will also allow service techs and mechanics the opportunity to identify any potential issues, based on the level or absence of fluid. Often times leaks can cause problems so identifying a leak before it becomes and expensive repair is very important for your transmissions health.
#2: Give your transmission a boost.
There are some great products on the automotive market that can significantly increase the life of your transmission, and improve the performance of your vehicle. The most effective products and friction modifying additives are available at K&M Auto Service and we encourage our customers to take advantage of these transmission additives, as they can often extend the life of a transmission and save you a lot of money down the road.
#3: Give your brakes a break.
Riding the brakes of your car or truck can cause issues over time with your transmission. Pay attention to how often you apply your brake, and resolve to down-shift whenever possible. This isn’t always an option for folks with automatic transmissions, if you have questions about how K&K Auto Service can help out with your automatic transmission, give us a call at (503) 235-1485.
#4: Keep it in gear.
Be aware of what gear you are driving in. Repeatedly driving 45mph in first-gear will cause trouble for your transmission over time. Likewise, when driving an automatic, be sure that you are in the recommended “drive” mode before heading out. Most drivers who own a car with manual transmission know what their doing. But they often lend out their car to others who don’t exactly know how to drive a stick. A lot of damage can be done to the gears if driven improperly. Make sure before you let someone else drive, they know what their doing.
#5: Shift only after you stop.
When switching from first to reverse or vice versa make sure you come to a complete stop before shifting in and out of gear. Shifting between these gears while moving could weaken or strip the gears of the transmission if done consistently.
#6: Take time to tune-up.
Don’t miss your regular tune-up appointments. A faulty engine can wreak havoc on the transmission, and can make it work harder than it should have to when shifting. Everything is connected in a car. Check your alignment, get your tune ups, and take care of the overall health of the rest of your vehicle and your transmission will benefit.
#7: Let it get warm.
Take time to warm your vehicle up before dropping it in gear and driving. This applies to both cold-weather and warm-weather driving. Give the vehicle five minutes to idle before taking off. This is especially true during the cold snaps that we get in Portland, Oregon during winter. Let your vehicle warm up before changing gears and be safe when you’re out driving in bad weather this winter.
#8: Use caution when helping out others.
Think twice before offering to tow or haul vehicles or other heavy loads with your vehicle. The added weight can cause wear and potential issues for your transmission, unless you have a heavy-duty vehicle that is designed for such utility. Instead, be helpful by offering to call a tow-truck!
#9: Address repairs and concerns quickly.
Don’t delay in having your vehicle looked at when you notice signs of a transmission issue. This might include a strange smell, grinding when shifting gears, or an unusual sound. Failure to promptly address these concerns could result in a far more serious and costly problem.
#10: Keep things cool.
If you put your vehicle through its paces, the rough terrain, added weight, and heavy utility can generate heat, which wreaks havoc with a transmission. Cool down your transmission by installing an auxiliary cooling system or fan. Talk with automotive experts regarding the most practical options for your specific vehicle.
With a little care and cognizance, your transmission should serve you well. The benefits of putting a little effort into maintaining your transmission will pay off in reduced repair costs, increased reliability, and elimination of headaches later on! For more information about our Portland Transmission Center or for general tranmsission repair questions please feel free to give us a call at 503.473.8115 or visit any one of our Portland, Oregon locations and talk to an expert.
By Matt Stewart