Most car owners who care about the health and performance of their vehicle will remember to rotate the tires and change the oil and oil filter every 3,000-5,000 miles. They know how to check the oil level with the dipstick and replace dirty air filters. Or, they take it to their dealer or a lube station to handle some of these routine maintenance issues.

However, caring for the transmission is not something a lot of car owners give any consideration. The engine gets all the glory, but the transmission and drive train are what make the car move. They need to be taken care of with regular maintenance. This keeps the car running well and helps prevent major transmission problems down the road. After all, when you’ve put a lot of mileage on the vehicle, the transmission is often one of the first things to break down over time. Though these transmission problems are what keep Ralph’s Transmission, your transmission shop in Modesto, in business, we still want car owners to do their part for a better driving experience.

We’ve put together 5 simple tips for keeping your car’s automatic transmission healthy:

1. Routine Maintenance

Your transmission fluid should be changed every 15,000 miles. If you have a regular maintenance schedule with your dealership, then it will be taken care of during one of your major maintenance visits. If not, make plans to change your transmission fluid at the 15,000, 30,000, 45,000, 60,000 (and so on) milestones.

2. Check Your Fluid Levels Regularly

Just like your oil pan, your transmission also has its own dipstick that allows you to check fluid levels. Make sure the levels are good according to your owner’s manual and look for discoloration. Know what color your transmission fluid is supposed to be and get your car checked out if the fluid is looking burnt or discolored. If you notice any transmission fluid leaks, bring it in to Ralph’s as soon as you can. Sometimes a simple seal replacement can fix it, or it could be a sign of bigger problems.

3. Come to a Complete Stop Before Shifting

If you are moving quickly between forward and reverse gears, try and come to a complete stop before shifting. This will help prevent unnecessary wear and tear.

4. Don’t Break the Brake

If you are driving with your foot putting any pressure on the brake pedal, it will add a lot of extra stress to your engine and transmission. Be careful not to overuse the brake in stop and go traffic. Also, use your parking brake when parked on an incline or decline. This will minimize stress on the parking linkage.

5. Take Care of Your Engine

Your whole car is a fine-tuned machine with a lot of working parts. If your engine isn’t performing correctly, then it will put more stress on the transmission (and vice versa). Make sure to keep both your engine and your transmission maintained in order to reduce the risk of major problems.

We hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions about automatic transmission maintenance, need a fluid replacement/transmission tune-up, or think you might have a bigger transmission problem, contact Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll inspect your transmission, get it repaired and get you back on the road as quickly as possible. That’s our promise to you.