Automatic transmissions are famously complex, and mysterious to many. For simple to understand parts of your car, you may feel more at ease with how to care for them, because you know how they work. Admittedly, auto transmission repair for automatic cars is definitely something for the experts to handle. But caring for your automatic transmission and preventing predictable damage is completely within reach of any car owner.
Do these simple things to keep your automatic transmission running smoothly:
Check Your Transmission Fluid
On many vehicles checking the transmission fluid is easy, and can be done during the same stop as you check your oil. Unlike oil, you’ll want to leave you engine idling while you check this. Pull out the transmission fluid dipstick, wipe it off, and put it back. Wait a few beats before pulling it out and taking a reading. There will be markings on the dipstick for max and minimum levels. If it’s low, you may have a leak.
Your transmission fluid be bright red, clear, and have a sweet smell. If it smells fishy, is murky, or is a dark color, take it to an auto transmission repair specialist.
Use The Recommended Transmission Fluid
Automatic Transmission Fluid is sometimes referred to as “ATF”. You can find what ATF is recommended in the user’s manual for your vehicle. If you’re having trouble finding the original recommendation or believe there’s a reason it may be inaccurate (like your transmission has been replaced), ask your auto transmission repair specialist. Be consistent, and stick with the recommended type.
Keep Your Cooling System in Good Shape
Your cooling system is responsible for keeping your engine cool, but also your transmission fluid, which is pumped through your gear box. Long before your engine overheats, you can have scalding transmission fluid damaging your transmission. So take care of your cooling system so it’s in optimal shape, not just working acceptably to avoid an overheating engine.
Have Your Transmission Fluid Flushed Annually
Put having your transmission fluid flushed on the list of things you do once a year. A flush is not the same as having your fluid changed, and should be done by a professional. The more driving you do, the more important this is. If your vehicle has as transmission filter, have it changed at every flush.
Never Move Between Forward and Reverse While Moving
It can feel cool and slick to put it in reverse while you’re still rolling forward, huh? Like you smoothly skipped a step and saved time? Or you coaxed your car into doing something difficult? Well all you’re really doing is hurting yourself in the long run. This is puts a serious strain on your transmision and can set you up for big trouble.
Let Your Car Warm Up
This is especially relevant during cold weather, but still something worth minding year round. Turn on your car and wait a minute or two before driving. Your transmission will thank you for it.
If you have any concerns about your car’s health or think you may need auto transmission repair, contact Lafayette German Car Repair today. We can inspect and remedy any problems your car may have.