10 Ways to Maintain Your Automatic Transmission
There are several steps you can take to avoid costly transmission repairs. In our newest blog read our 10 tips for maintaining your automatic transmission, and helping to keep it in good condition.
Depending on the kind of vehicle you drive and its age, transmission repairs can be pretty costly. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to avoid having a transmission repair service do work your vehicle. This is especially true if you’re subjected to a total breakdown and in the harsh New England environment, it is sometimes unavoidable.
The good news is there are some things you can do to extend the life of your automatic transmission, and prevent complete transmission failure. Read our checklist right here of the top 10 transmission maintenance tips.1.
Check your transmission fluid regularly, and even periodically. On many trucks, SUV's and cars, checking the transmission fluid is as easy as checking the oil. There really isn't any excuse to not check it regularly. To check your fluid levels in the transmission, with the engine idling, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, insert it again, wait, then pull it out to get an accurate reading. This is a pretty easy procedure and one that you should get good at. If the fluid level is low, you may have a leak. The fluid itself should be a bright red color, clear, and it should smell sweet. If it’s murky, dark colored, or smells like fish take it to a transmission repair specialist to look things over right away.2.
Use the right type of transmission fluid for your vehicle. Just like people vehicles are unique and each vehicle can require a different type of transmission fluid depending on what materials were used in the transmission. Always make sure to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what type of transmission fluid your vehicle should use. If after doing so you’re still not sure stop by Limerick Transmission Co, and ask a professional.3.
Have your engine’s cooling system serviced regularly. They may not seem connected, but they really are and they are important. Your vehicle’s cooling system helps prevent the engine from overheating, but did you know that it also ensures the transmission fluid is pumping through the gearbox and staying cooled too ? It’s much more likely that you’ll need a transmission repair before your engine completely overheats. Make sure your cooling system is repaired and in optimal condition.4.
Get your transmission flushed regularly is costs a little bit, but saves a lot of money in the long run. Changing the transmission fluid in your car is best left to a professional so schedule a service appointment to get one done. Consult your car’s owner’s manual, but in general you want to get your vehicle’s transmission flushed at least once a year or sooner depending on your mileage. The standard is about every 30,000 miles. How long the transmission fluid in your car will last depends on the vehicle’s operating temperature and how much driving you do but this is a good guide on when to expect a service.5.
.Don’t ever change gears while your car is moving if your using an automatic transmission. Never go from drive to reverse while moving. Bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Failing to do so simply puts strain on your transmission and after awhile it can lead to a serious problem.Sometimes is can lead to complete transmission failure.6.
Let your car warm up before you drive it. Especially here is Maine with our harsh weather, you want to give your vehicle some time to warm up and get running smoothly before putting the strain of driving on it. Who among us has hopped into the driver’s seat, started the engine, put the car in drive and motored right away? (Full disclosure: I’m as guilty as you are from time to time.) Always allow your engine a few minutes to warm up before you begin to drive, especially during the winter months because during the winter you are adding a lot more stress to the vehicle and transmission when you do this.7.
Don’t drive on a spare tire for an extended period of time, ever. It can do damage to the vehicle. Mismatched tire sizes, or driving with a small spare tire over a long period of time is a definite no-no. It can also ruin your alignment. Not only will it do damage to other parts of your vehicle, such as ruin the wheel alignment, but after a while it puts unnecessary strain on the transmission as well.8.
Regularly change the transmission filter. Most people don't even know the transmission has a filter, but that’s right: your car’s automatic transmission may have a filter too, and it needs to be changed from time to time. Whether or not you’re driving a car that has a transmission filter depends entirely on the year, make and model. Most often most newer vehicles don’t have a transmission filter, but those that do, should be changed each time you get your transmission flushed.This is a good rule of thumb.
,b>9. Avoid using your vehicle for towing. It may go without saying, but putting extra load on vehicle always is harder on a car, truck or SUV. Using your car to tow heavy loads, particularly in hot temperatures, can cause the transmission fluid to oxidize or burn, and in turn, do a lot of damage to the transmission so if your towing something heavy make sure to check your transmission fluid much more then regularly.10.
Have your transmission inspected annually. It may go without saying, but having a transmission repair specialist conduct a diagnostic check of your transmission for leaks and other abnormalities at least once a year can save you quite a lot of money in the long run. Small repairs can be much cheaper then big ones. Checking the transmission fluid’s level, color, and smell periodically is smart preventative maintenance and everyone should do this to help extend their transmission life.If you are in Maine and are experiencing transmission troubles or suspect you are, give us a call us now at (207) 793-2147
We do transmission service on many makes & models. We work on cars, trucks, and SUV's for transmission service & repair. Give us a call to schedule a transmission service or repair for your vehicle today. We have customers from Gorham, Maine, Bangor, Maine, Standish, Maine, all the way down to York, Maine and even in Nashua, New Hampshire and beyond. If you need local transmission repair service, give us a call. If you are having transmission problems and live in Maine, New Hampshire or beyond get in touch with us. We are conveniently located in Limerick, Maine.