How to Care for Your Automatic Transmission

The automatic transmission is one of the most vital components of a vehicle. It is responsible for automatically shifting gears as a vehicle moves, which allows the driver to drive at different speeds without manually changing gears. Without a properly working transmission, a vehicle’s handling will be impaired in the form of slippage or incorrect shift patterns. In some cases, a faulty transmission can overheat and give out entirely, which poses a threat to both your safety and your wallet. As such, it is essential to maintain your transmission well. For tips on how to care for your automatic transmission, continue reading.

Get Your Cooling System Serviced

Your vehicle’s engine and transmission are interconnected. If there is an issue with one, there is a high likelihood that an issue with the other will ultimately arise. For example, if there is a problem with the engine’s cooling system, then transmission problems are likely just around the corner.

For example, while the cooling system is primarily viewed as a tool to prevent your vehicle’s engine from overheating, it is also responsible for ensuring that the transmission fluid is cooled as well. To prevent your transmission fluid from overheating, your cooling system must be working properly. As such, you should take the time to get your cooling system inspected and serviced periodically. After all, regular cooling system maintenance is far less expensive than replacing your entire transmission. If there is an issue with your cooling system, Transparts Warehouse offers an extensive selection of transmission coolers for sale for a variety of different models.

Go Easy on the Brake

Another tip on how to care for your automatic transmission is to avoid riding the brake. Whether you ride the brake because you’re a nervous driver or you’ve simply gotten into the habit, it’s time to stop. Riding the brake refers to when you put any pressure on the brake pedal while driving. Even just a small amount of pressure from resting your foot on the pedal can end up putting a lot of extra stress on your car’s transmission. As such, it is important to avoid riding the brake and hover your foot over the pedal instead.

In addition to breaking your habit of riding the brake, it is also beneficial for your transmission to use your parking brake when parking on an incline or decline. Using your vehicle’s parking brake rather than relying on your transmission’s park gear selection will allow you to reduce the stress placed on your transmission parts.

Don’t Shift Gears While in Motion

To preserve the life of your automatic transmission, avoid changing gears while your vehicle is in motion. Changing gears from “drive” to “reverse,” or “reverse” to “drive,” or shifting into park without coming to a full stop can put excess stress on your automatic transmission.

Eventually, such strain can weaken or strip the transmission’s gears and result in significant issues that may, ultimately, lead to transmission failure. To avoid placing unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle’s automatic transmission, make sure to always come to a complete stop before shifting gears.

Keep an Eye on Your Transmission Fluid

Low or poor-quality transmission fluid are two of the most common causes of transmission problems. By keeping a close eye on your transmission fluid, you can catch potential transmission fluid issues early before they develop into larger problems.

Common issues associated with low transmission fluid include delayed shifting response, overheating, and grinding gears. However, if transmission fluid levels remain low for an extended period of time, serious problems such as damaged internal transmission parts or total vehicle failure can occur.

That being said, just because transmission fluid levels look appropriate doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. If the transmission fluid is contaminated, it won’t be able to work properly—regardless of whether there is enough fluid or not. In cases where the transmission fluid is contaminated and the problem goes untreated, the transmission will eventually stop functioning entirely.

To catch low or contaminated transmission issues before they result in a devastating transmission failure, it is important to check your transmission fluid regularly. To do so, remove and clean the dipstick of your vehicle while the engine is idling in park. Then, re-insert the dipstick and take a reading of its fluid level. If the fluid is lower than the recommended levels in your owner’s manual or appears discolored, make sure to take action to resolve the issue immediately.

Flush Your Transmission Fluid

As previously discussed, transmission fluid can have a large effect on the health of your automatic transmission. As such, it’s important to flush your transmission fluid and get it replaced periodically. The frequency that you should flush your transmission fluid to keep your car’s transmission in optimal shape will depend on your vehicle’s make, model, year, operating temperature, mileage, and a variety of other factors.

To determine how often you should change your transmission fluid, look to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. As a general rule, however, transmission fluid should be flushed at least once a year. By flushing your transmission, you can get rid of contaminants trapped in the system and eliminate any old fluid caught in the torque converter or oil cooler lines.

To properly flush your transmission fluid, take your vehicle to a professional who has the specialized equipment needed to fully remove and replace the old fluid. Trying to flush your car’s transmission fluid on your own by simply draining the transmission pan will only replace around half of the fluid or less.

Transparts Warehouse is a leading provider of standard and automatic transmission parts. Our inventory consists of a wide range of new and used transmission parts from top brands such as Alto Products, Transgo, Raybestos, Sonnax, Superior Transmission Parts, Teckpack, and many others. In addition to having top-quality products, we also offer top-quality customer service. Our highly educated staff is always ready to answer any questions you may have on any of the lines that we carry. For more information regarding our products, contact us today.

How to Care for Your Automatic Transmission