How to Ruin an Automatic Transmission


Treating your transmission with care is absolutely necessary to extend the life of your vehicle. Many transmission care items are common-sense -- others are less well-known. This article contains information on what to do to your transmission if you actually desire to ruin it. Do not follow these steps if you want your transmission to function. If you desire to rapidly and effectively destroy the sensitive inner workings of your transmission, read on.

  • Drive the vehicle in overdrive while towing a very heavy load.

  • Drive the vehicle in second gear above 45 miles per hour for an extended period of time.

  • Drive with sudden, violent starting and stopping. This will cause abnormal wear on the transmission.

  • Fasten your seat belt. Drive slowly forward. Without stopping, shift into Reverse or Park. Perform this step repeatedly until the transmission shows signs of failure.

  • Drive 100,000 miles without servicing your transmission. Transmission service -- especially replacing the transmission fluid and filter -- is absolutely necessary to keep your transmission in working order.

  • Drain your transmission fluid. Fill the transmission with anything except transmission fluid. Water and varnish work very well. Do not fill the transmission to the appropriate level. Drive the vehicle around a private parking lot or on a private road.

Tips & Warnings

  • Follow all applicable laws and rules of the road while ruining your transmission. Do not exceed the speed limit, and use your turn signals. Employ "defensive driving" techniques to ensure the your safety and the safety of your passengers.
  • Do not perform Step 4 on a public roadway.
  • Step 2 is likely to cause engine damage in addition to transmission damage.
  • You will likely need the vehicle to be towed after following these steps. Stay close to home and set aside money with which to pay the wrecking service.

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  • Photo Credit Wreck image by Mads Blumensaat from
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