Your car’s transmission is a complex system that allows your vehicle to change gears at different speeds. It is a critical component in your car and needs care, both when driving and maintaining your vehicle. There are some things you can do to preserve the state of your car’s transmission, keep it in good condition longer, and extend its lifespan.
Here are 8 tips to achieve this goal, whether you have a vehicle with automatic or manual transmission.
Good Driving Habits
There are a number of things you can do to keep the condition of your vehicle’s transmission intact when you are behind the wheel. Good driving habits can prevent your transmission from getting damaged. This includes:
1. Not Changing Gears When Moving
You should not switch from reverse to drive or vice versa unless and until your car has come to a complete stop. It is damaging to the transmission and other systems when you change gears when the car is in motion. It will put excessive strain on the transmission and cause the gears to grind.
2. Using the Parking Brake Properly
When you don’t use parking brakes, it puts a lot of stress on the transmission. The stress is even more when your car is parked on an incline. When you engage parking brakes, it prevents unnecessary pressure and wear on the transmission.
3. Towing Excess Weight
Towing causes strain on a car’s transmission. Besides, not all vehicles are made to tow. If your vehicle is designed for towing, it will have a maximum capacity. Always try to stay within this limit to prevent the transmission from getting damaged.
4. Avoid Hard Acceleration
When a vehicle is driven hard, the transmission shifts harder. This increases the chances of slippage and wear. Even when the system is at operating temperature, driving hard increases wear and reduces the life of your transmission.
5. Avoid Riding the Brake
If you drive with the foot on the brake pedal, the transmission will have to work harder. It is also recommended to use the emergency brake when parking on an incline. This will help reduce stress on the parking linkage.
Transmission & Car Care Tips
Besides following proper driving habits, it is important to take mechanical and timely care of the transmission system. This includes:
6. Regularly Check the Transmission Fluid
Depending on your vehicle and driving style, the transmission fluid can last for anything from 30,000 miles to 60,000 miles. This fluid is there to reduce friction and ensure proper functioning of the gearbox. Use the instructions in the owner’s manual to check the transmission fluid level every 6 months. If you notice murky or dark fluid or if the fluid is giving off a rotten smell, the transmission should get a professional check.
Old transmission fluid causes heat transmission, which increases wear and tear. If your car is being used in extreme conditions, it is important to check the fluid more often. Examples of such conditions include:
- Driving excessively in city traffic
- Towing trailers or heavy loads regularly
7. Schedule Regular Inspection & Maintenance
Regular inspection and maintenance are important for the long-term performance and longevity of your car.
- Get a complete car inspection from a reputable repair shop once a year
- A transmission check should be an integral part of this inspection
- The inspection should involve checking and replacing/topping-up the transmission fluid
8. Keep the Engine Properly Tuned
Sometimes, certain issues with the engine can show symptoms similar to those for transmission problems. These engine problems can also cause a lot of strain on the transmission. It is recommended to keep your engine properly tuned so that it works at its optimal levels. A well-tuned engine contributes to a well-running transmission.
So, it is recommended to follow these tips to preserve the state of your car’s transmission. These tips should add more years to the transmission and even other associated systems in your vehicle.