If you look after the transmission in your vehicle, it may last you for more than 10 years without any significant issues. It's engineered by the manufacturer to put up with a lot of hard work and to a certain extent accommodate drivers who are less than perfect, to put it mildly. However, seriously bad driving habits can markedly decrease its longevity and inadequate attention to service schedules can do a number as well. If you're afraid that this unit could fail and cost a lot of money to fix, what can you do right now to start looking after it?
How to Become a More Caring Driver
Do you consider yourself to be a good driver, or an aggressive one? Certainly, some people like to behave in a sporty manner when they are out and about, even though they think that they drive within safe tolerances. However, aggressive driving of any kind will cause more strain on your vehicle and especially its transmission system. Consider these tips:
- Try not to accelerate as if you're taking part in the Australian Grand Prix.
- Always ensure that you use your parking brake when you're stopped on a hill and don't "ride" the clutch when you get moving again.
- Always ensure that you don't tow anything that is more than the recommended maximum weight limit.
- Above all else, however, ensure that you give your car an adequate amount of time to warm up from cold. This latter tip will help ensure that the lubricating oil is sufficiently fluid to do its job properly.
What You Can Do to Maintain Everything Correctly
As far as maintenance is concerned, you must pay attention to the level and condition of the transmission fluid. If there is not enough of it, or it's been contaminated over time, it will be far less effective and this will lead to overheating and accumulated damage. These levels have to be checked at least once per month and changed according to manufacturer intervals.
You might like to consider adding a synthetic fuel option when you change the fluid, as this is a new type of technology that could enhance the life of the system considerably.
Some drivers choose to fit a special external filter to help trap dirt, debris and contaminants. Have a word with your mechanic about this option, to see if it can help you maintain a cleaner transmission system.
It's best if you only take your vehicle into a trained professional to check on the condition of the transmission. They will be able to see if there is any abnormal wear and tear and suggest options to head off bigger problems down the road.