When you get in your vehicle, put it in gear and drive off, we know the last thing passing through your mind is the condition of the transmission. We all take an automatic transmission for granted; that is until there is a problem.
Taking care of your transmission when you first buy a vehicle, regardless if it is new or used, is a good option to extend the life of the transmission as long as possible. However, as with any part of a vehicle from the tires to the engine, it is going to wear out at some point in time.
To keep our automatic running in top shape for as long as possible, there are some regular service issues to consider. These are simple and easy, and your transmission specialists can do them for you at your scheduled maintenance appointments.
Check the Fluid
It is very easy to check the automatic transmission fluid in any vehicle. Just check the owner’s manual for the location of the dipstick and check it just like you check oil levels. The fluid in the transmission is not used up like oil, and this is a sealed system.
Any decrease in the level of the fluid indicates a leak if the fluid on the dipstick is red and doesn’t smell burnt. If the fluid is low do not drive the vehicle, call a shop first to see if they recommend moving the vehicle or if it should be towed.
Burn or dark looking fluid is a very serious issue and should be an immediate trip to your automatic transmission service location.
Keep the Vehicle in Good Repair
The transmission requires cooling from the cooling system in the vehicle to be working properly to maintain the correct temperature. The engine’s vacuum system may also be used by the transmission to shift and maintain pressure.
If other components of the vehicle’s engine are not working correctly, it can lead to an increase in the risk of transmission problems.
Drive the Vehicle Responsibly
Driving the vehicle too fast, loading a vehicle down when pulling or hauling, or incorrectly changing gears, even with an automatic, can put serious stress on the automatic transmission.
Other issues include the old practice of rocking a vehicle when stuck, something we often see people still doing today. This is very damaging to new transmissions and can create the early issues leading to much bigger problems to come.