A New Driver’s Guide To Transmission Care

If you have just purchased your first vehicle, you will soon find out the importance in doing routine maintenance so it runs its best. Failing to take care of your vehicle can lead to unfortunate repair. One part of your vehicle needing regular maintenance is the transmission. Here are some steps you can take to keep your vehicle's transmission working correctly, helping you avoid a trip to the auto repair shop for repair work.

Check The Fluid

If your vehicle does not have adequate fluid in the transmission fluid reservoir, the engine will not receive lubrication needed to shift gears smoothly. This can lead to many troubles including engine wear, overheating, and eventually complete transmission failure. The fluid in the reservoir should be pink. If it appears red or muddy colored, it should be flushed and replaced with new fluid. If your fluid level appears low, check underneath your vehicle for any puddles. If you see a sticky substance in your regular parking spot, your transmission lines may need to be replaced.

Start Off Slowly

When you first start your vehicle, you may want to allow it to warm up a bit before taking it out on the road. This will help warm the transmission fluid, letting it circulate through engine before you drive away. Most people will allow their vehicle to idle before driving when the weather is very cold. Only a minute or two of idle time is needed to get the fluid running to the proper mechanisms under the hood. This will help save you gas and will let the transmission "break in" before hitting the open road. Drive slowly for a few seconds to allow the transmission fluid to lubricate all parts before accelerating to normal speed.

Be Aware When Shifting

If you are driving a vehicle with manual transmission, it is important to let the transmission catch up to the gear you are using before shifting the vehicle again to another gear. Bouncing from gear to gear without ample time to have the transmission catch up can cause it to slip. With automatic vehicles, listen for any revving as the vehicle makes its way from a lower gear to a higher one. If the vehicle seems to have trouble settling into gear, bring it to a transmission repair shop right away. You may be able to save yourself from extensive repair work by catching a problem before it escalates into a full-blown transmission replacement job.