Transmission repairs can be expensive, especially if you have so much internal damage that you have to either replace or rebuild your entire transmission. In many cases, small problems are left ignored until they turn into major issues. What could have been fixed with standard maintenance or minor repairs turns into something much worse over time.
If you are looking to avoid transmission failure, here are a few simple tips you can follow:
1. Check Your Transmission Fluid
Your transmission fluid can tell you a lot about the health of your vehicle’s transmission. You can check its level and fluid quality. If the level is low or there is a noticeable leak, you’ll want to take care of it. If the fluid itself is dark, burnt, dirty or discolored in anyway, then that is another sign that you could have a transmission problem. It’s best to get your transmission inspected and serviced as soon as possible.
2. Take Care of Routine Transmission Maintenance
You should get your transmission serviced every 30,000-60,000 miles (depending on the age of the vehicle, mileage, driving conditions and other factors). A standard transmission service will entail changing out the transmission fluid and exchanging the transmission filter. If the pan needs to be cleaned and the pan gasket also needs to be replaced, these items can also be taken care of during this service.
3. Monitor the Transmission Temperature
All vehicles have transmission temperature gauges and warning lights. A transmission can overheat just like an engine when pushed too hard. Just pay attention if the transmission is running hot and let it cool down, especially if you are driving in extreme weather, up steep grades or in stop-and-go traffic when the transmission is working its hardest.
4. Drive Carefully
Many transmission problems happen because of how the vehicle is driven. Accelerating/decelerating too quickly and driving with a lead foot can often lead to transmission damage. Violent shifting (grinding gears) and other factors can also contribute. Try not to be so aggressive on the road and it will help keep your transmission healthier. Towing heavy loads, driving up hill and driving in very hot/cold temperatures can also be troublesome for your transmission. You may not be able to avoid these driving conditions, but just be smart about how you drive when facing the most demanding situations.
5. Don’t Wait to Deal with Problems
One of the worst things you can do is ignore transmission problems. At the first sign of any shifting issues, grinding gears, odd noises, fluid leaks or other signs of trouble, you should get your vehicle inspected by a transmission specialist. Catch the issue early on and you can likely avoid major breakdowns and repair expenses.
If you are experiencing any transmission trouble in the Central Valley, turn to the local transmission experts. Call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.