Most people think that the most important part of your car is the engine, but without a healthy transmission, a strong engine can’t put all that power to the ground. Regular auto maintenance is the single best way to extend the life of your transmission, and ensure it performs at peak efficiency.
Maintenance for Automatic Transmissions
Automatic transmissions make use of transmission fluid to change gears. We recommend checking your car’s transmission fluid levels at least twice a year but depending on your driving style this may need to be done more frequently. Should the fluid level be low in your transmission you may begin to experience difficulties going shifting between park, drive and reverse, or experience a situation where there is a delay or complete failure of the transmission to shift into a higher gear.
This is caused by air gaps that form in your transmission, so that when the fluid that would usually apply pressure to different gear sets are filling air pockets and not putting sufficient force on the gears. Transmission fluid should be drained and replaced every 15,000 miles as part of your transmission service, along with transmission filters and other fluids.
Some of the other fluids found in your automatic transmission like Volkswagen and Audi’s DSG and Porsche’s PDK is mechatronics oil. This oil works independently of the transmission fluid and is used to operate the various clutches in the transmission and should not be confused with transmission oil. Failing to regularly change the mechatronic fluids can cause your mechatronics unit to fail, which in turn causes the transmission to become stuck in park.
Maintenance in Manual Transmissions
Similarly, to Automatic transmissions, a manual transmission uses transmission oil instead of transmission fluid, but they serve the same function. While transmission oil tends to last longer than transmission fluid, we still recommend you regularly inspect transmission oil levels and have the oil changed every 15,000 miles along with transmission filters.
With manual cars, the clutch becomes a repair item as “riding the clutch” is a habit very few of us would like to admit to. If you begin to smell your clutch burn, or have trouble engaging the clutch when taking off or changing gears, your clutch may be worn. A helpful tip to remember when gauging the health of a clutch, is when taking off, the more you have to release the clutch for the car to engage, the more worn the clutch is.
Tips To Keep Your Transmission Healthier For Longer
While regular vehicle maintenance is the best way to keep your transmission healthier for longer, there are a few tips that you as a driver can follow to increase your transmission’s lifespan.
Come To A Complete Stop Before Changing Direction
In both manual and automatic cars, not coming to a complete stop before changing the gear from drive to reverse or vice versa adds additional strain to your transmission as your transmission now has to overcome the force of the weight of the car, and the additional force of changing direction. On automatic cars, you should come to a complete stop whenever you change between park, neutral, drive and reverse.
Keeping your engine happy will keep your transmission happy. An engine that is running rough, overheating or is stalling may cause additional issues in your transmission, such as wearing transmission mounts and clutches prematurely or boiling your transmission fluids that lead to overheating and scorched clutch faces.
Transmission & Auto Maintenance Specialists in Pompano Beach
Whether your car is experiencing transmission issues, is in need of modification to suit your engine’s power upgrades or you simply want peace of mind from a transmission inspection, our performance shop pros can help you ensure your transmission is up for any task. From drag races, to rock climbers and everything in between, if your transmission is acting up, think Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, South Florida’s Premier Exotic Auto Repair, Performance & Race Facility Since 1978.