If you own an older model car, and you can't remember the last time you had your transmission serviced, you may be looking at a breakdown in the near future. Like every other moving part in your car, your transmission needs regular maintenance for it to operate properly. In most cases, your owner's manual will provide you with the specific maintenance schedule you should follow. If you don't have the owner's manual to your vehicle, you should speak to the dealership about purchasing a replacement. Here are four steps you can take to keep your transmission in tip top shape and avoid an unexpected transmission repair job.
Change The Transmission Fluid
You might not know this, but your transmission fluid needs to be changed from time-to-time. While it doesn't need to be changed nearly as often as your oil, it does need to be changed from time to time. The make and model of your car will determine how often the service should be performed. Running transmission fluid through your car that has outlived its usefulness can destroy your transmission. Old fluid can't lubricate your transmission properly, which means your engine will run too hot.
Go Slow On The Cold Starts
If you're used to starting the car and taking off on those cold mornings, you could be jeopardizing your transmission. When your engine is cold, so is your transmission fluid—which means that you're trying to lubricate your transmission with fluid that can't flow properly. Instead of turning your car on and taking off out of your driveway, give your engine a few minutes to warm up.
Don't Tow More Than Your Vehicle Can Handle
If you have a tow hitch on your vehicle, you need to be careful with what you tow. Each car and truck have specific weight limitations for what they can safely tow. In most cases, the towing restrictions will be listed in the owner's manual. Using your vehicle to tow something that is beyond its weight capabilities can burn up your engine and your transmission. Be sure you know the weight limits before you start towing.
Be Aware Of Changes
If you pay attention, your vehicle will let you know when the transmission is having trouble. You may notice that it jolts abruptly when switching gears, or the engine may rev for too long each time you switch from one gear to the next. Those are both signs that your transmission is in need of servicing.
You want to avoid costly breakdowns. One way to do that is to keep your transmission in good working order. Use the tips provided above to make sure your transmission doesn't fail you. Be sure to have your transmission inspected at least once a year to make sure there aren't any problems that you're not aware of.