How to Prolong the Life of Your Car's Automatic Transmission


Your car's automatic transmission is an integral part of your car's overall functionality. Along with your car's engine, your car's transmission allows your car to operate. Just as your car's engine requires diligent care and use to maximize its longevity, so does your car's automatic transmission. Read on for some easy-to-follow steps designed to maximize the longevity of your car's automatic transmission.

Things You'll Need

  • Knowledge
  • Effort
  • Diligence
  • Don't Hot Rod - Ok guys(and some gals)! Screeching your car's tires and burning rubber sounds cool and definitely turns heads. It shows the world that your car has horsepower and some high octane juice. But spinning your car's wheels and laying rubber is very hard on your car's automatic transmission(not to mention your engine). So, for the sake of your car transmission(and engine), start driving like a gentleman!

  • Don't Brake with Your Transmission - Many people have the habit of using their car's automatic transmission as a brake. When exiting a freeway or highway offramp, many folks downshift their automatic transmission to help their brakes do what brakes are designed to do: stop! Doing this places a huge burden on your car's transmission. Brake pads are relatively cheap; rebuilt or new automatic transmissions are not! Use your car's automatic transmission to go forward, backward, and to park. Use your brakes(and only your brakes) to stop your vehicle!

  • Shift Only When Car is Stopped - Another bad habit that many people do is to shift their automatic transmission( especially from reverse to drive) while the car is still rolling. When backing out of your driveway or some other place that requires you to reverse, wait until your car is stopped completely before shifting into drive. Shifting from reverse to drive while your car is still moving overtaxes your car's U Joints and overstresses your transmission clutch and differential gear.

  • Check Your Transmission For Leaks - A leaky automatic transmission can become severely damaged if enough automatic transmission fluid leaks out before being spotted. As part of routine maintenance, periodically check underneath your car for any signs of automatic transmission fluid leaks or puddles. Pay special attention to the area around your car's automatic transmission fluid pan(a common site for leaks).

  • Perform Regular Transmission Service - Just like your car's engine oil and filter, your car's automatic transmission fluid and filter needs to be changed periodically. Whether you do it yourself or have it done, make sure you do this on a regular basis. Depending on the make, model, and year of your car, in addition to how easy or hard you drive your car, your car's automatic transmission fluid and filter may need to be changed between every 15,000-30,000 miles. Consult your car owner's manual for details!

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