As a car owner, it’s of particular importance for you to take care of your automatic transmission. This component has a direct impact on your vehicle’s drivability. With the cost of a replacement likely being thousands of dollars, you can’t afford to take any chances. Here are some of the easiest ways to take care of your transmission on a regular basis.
Allow Your Transmission to Warm Up
Before you hit the road, be sure to allow your transmission to warm up properly. Cold components are more prone to experiencing premature wear and tear. A good rule of thumb is to let the engine idle for about a minute during the winter, which gives the fluid a chance to heat up. Also, try to drive casually for the first few miles. This simple step helps put less stress on your transmission. After your vehicle reaches normal operating temperature, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Don’t Forget About Maintenance
When comes to extending the life of your transmission, routine maintenance is especially important. Many car owners overlook the importance of changing their transmission’s filter. This critical component helps prevent dirt and debris from collecting in the gears. A clogged filter puts your transmission at a greater risk of being damaged. You also need to keep your cooling system in good condition. Aside from helping to regulate engine temperature, it also helps to keep the transmission from getting too hot. In fact, excessive heat is one of the biggest causes of transmission failure.
Check the Transmission Fluid
Develop a habit of checking the condition of your transmission fluid. While the engine is still running, simply pull the dipstick to inspect the fluid. A low level of transmission fluid indicates a leak. You also need to observe the color of the fluid. If the fluid has a burnt or milky appearance, there’s a definite problem. Fresh transmission fluid looks clean and reddish. In the event your particular vehicle doesn’t feature a dipstick, the best approach is to visit a transmission shop.
Be Careful When Towing
Truck owners should be especially careful when towing. Attempting to move a load that’s too heavy can cause an automatic transmission to overheat. To prevent this problem, never go beyond your truck’s maximum towing capacity. This information can be found in the owner’s manual. You can also upgrade your truck with a heavy-duty transmission cooler.
As you can see, maintaining your transmission’s health isn’t a hard job. However, you must treat it with care. Regular maintenance and sensible driving will ensure a smooth performance for years to come.