What is inside your transmission?
All automatic transmissions use a combination of friction materials (similar to paper or cardboard) bonded to metal plates and bands, rubber or neoprene seals, and bushings. These parts are considered soft parts, and will eventually wear out from normal usage. When these seals lose their flexibility and the friction materials and bushings become worn, slippage and other malfunctions become apparent. If these conditions are not corrected, more serious wear then occurs to the hard parts (metal drums, gears, and pumps) of the transmission.
Tips for Automatic Transmission Care
Change your transmission fluid every year or every 15,000 miles.
Check your transmission fluid for level and color once a month or so. If any discrepancies are noted, take your vehicle to a reputable transmission repair center for a closer look.
Check your driveway or garage floor for signs of transmission fluid leakage. If you notice any leaks, have them repaired immediately. Driving your vehicle with low transmission fluid will shorten the life of your transmission.
As soon as you notice irregular transmission performance such as slipping between shifts, erratic shifting, no shifting, no reverse, hesitation in the morning when the transmission is cold, loss of power in forward gears, or unusual noises such as grinding or whining, have your transmission checked by a transmission specialist. The longer you drive your vehicle with a malfunction, the more you will damage your automatic transmission.
DO NOT – Shift into reverse until your vehicle has reached a complete stop.
DO NOT – Shift into park until your vehicle has reached a complete stop.
DO NOT – Rock your vehicle back and forth if you get stuck in mud, snow or sand.
DO NOT – Hot rod! Forcing gears to shift at maximum acceleration is just asking for trouble.
Consider a Transmission Fluid Cooler
A transmission fluid cooler helps prevent heat from destroying your automatic transmission. It can cost $1000 or more to repair an automatic transmission. And 90% of all automatic transmission failures are caused by heat. The hotter automatic transmission fluid becomes, the more quickly it breaks down. This allows increased friction on transmission parts and creates even higher operating temperatures inside your transmission. The end result is an expensive repair bill.
Today’s down-sized cars and trucks, with their smaller engine compartments and cooling systems, generate much higher engine and transmission operating temperatures. But a transmission fluid cooler reduces automatic transmission fluid temperatures by up to 20 degrees. That’s why many automobile manufactures have recently started installing auxiliary transmission fluid coolers on selected new models. If you don’t currently have an automatic transmission fluid cooler on your car, you may need one. It’s a relatively small investment that can help prolong the life of your transmission and avoid costly transmission repair bills.
You may wish to consider installing a transmission fluid cooler if:
• You own a front-wheel drive vehicle.
• You pull a trailer
• You do a lot of stop-and-go city driving.
• You drive in hot climates (temperatures reaching in excess of 90 degrees).
• You drive in hilly or mountainous terrain.
• You regularly carry loads in excess of 600 lbs.
Don’t ignore those dash warning lights!
If you see any warning lights or have red fluid dripping from your vehicle, be sure to contact us so we can diagnose the problem and catch any issues you may have early.