The automatic transmission is a huge improvement in terms of convenience and ease of use over its manual counterpart. With an automatic, you just put the gear selector in “drive” and go. Unfortunately, this ease of use causes a lot of people to neglect their transmissions. It doesn’t cost much or take a lot of time to care for your automatic transmission, but it can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in transmission repair costs over the life of your vehicle. Here are some tips to keep your transmission in great shape. Even if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, bring your vehicle to a transmission repair shop for maintenance every couple of years to let a professional check the condition of your transmission.
Check Transmission Fluid Often
Fluid is the lifeblood of your transmission. Without the proper amount of clean fluid, your transmission will experience all sorts of problems that can greatly reduce its longevity. Develop a regular routine in which you check the level and condition of the transmission fluid. Low fluid could be a sign of a leak, and dirty, burnt-smelling fluid could mean trouble.
Change Fluid on Regular Basis
Fluid plays a critical role in how your transmission functions, so be sure to follow the transmission fluid change schedule in your owner’s manual. However, the interval is dependent on other factors. For example, you may need to change the fluid more often than the manufacturer recommends if more than half of your driving takes place in heavy city traffic with ambient temperatures above 90 degrees.
Don’t Ignore Transmission Problems
If you notice anything unusual pertaining to the transmission, such as how your clutch engages or how responsive your vehicle is, let a transmission repair professional have a look. Ignoring transmission problems won’t make the trouble go away, but will almost certainly make things worse over time.