An image of a raised black, Ford truck.Can you believe spring is just around the corner? Winter has gone by fast and warmer weather is ahead in Modesto. With that in mind, it’s a good time to think about your transmission. There are some things you can do to keep your transmission healthier heading into the spring and summer months. Here are a few simple tips from Ralph’s Transmission:

1. Check Your Transmission Fluid Level and Quality

Most vehicles make it pretty easy to check your own transmission fluid just like you would your engine oil. You can measure the fluid level to make sure it’s at the proper amount. You can also check the quality of the fluid itself. If it is super thick, dirty or burnt, it could be the sign of an internal transmission issue, or you may just be overdue for a standard transmission service to replace the fluid and transmission filter.

2. Get Your Transmission Serviced

Speaking of standard transmission services, when was the last time your vehicle had one? A transmission service is usually recommended every 30,000 to 60,000 miles (depending on the age, make and model of the vehicle) to keep your transmission system healthy and running its best. You want to keep the transmission fluid clean and fresh while keeping dirt, debris, grease, water or other contaminants from building up in the transmission pan or fluid lines.

3. Get Your Transmission Cooling System Inspected

If your vehicle has a transmission cooler, you will also want to get it inspected, tested and tuned up periodically along with your basic transmission maintenance procedures. It is designed to prevent your transmission from overheating, so if it is not working properly you could start to have major issues. Your vehicle’s general cooling system (radiator, water pump, etc.) can also impact the health of the transmission and the engine itself, so it is also worth getting inspected and serviced as needed.

4. Minimize Towing of Heavy Loads

When you tow heavy loads or carry extra weight in your vehicle, you are putting a lot of extra strain on your transmission. This is especially true in the spring and summer months when the weather outside is much warmer throughout the Central Valley. Try to minimize the stress you put on your vehicle. Sometimes it’s unavoidable if you use your truck for work or recreation. Just be mindful of how hard you are pushing your transmission. If you regularly tow/carry heavy loads, you may want to get your transmission checked and serviced more often to ensure it doesn’t fail on you.

5. Avoid Harsh Shifting

Your own driving habits can impact the health of your transmission. If you like to accelerate aggressively or shift/grind gears violently in a manual transmission vehicle, you are making the transmission work harder and you are going to wear out all the components quicker. It’s always a good idea to come to a complete stop before shifting between reverse and forward gears, as well. This can help protect your transmission system.

We’re looking forward to some nice weather this spring and summer. Your car, truck or SUV may not like it as much if you are pushing your transmission more than you should or not taking care of its basic maintenance needs. Keep your transmission healthy. Schedule a transmission inspection and service at Ralph’s Transmission. Call us today at 209.526.1909 or book your appointment online.

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