Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Vehicle's Automatic Transmission

One part of your vehicle that is very expensive to repair or replace is the transmission. However, the reason that it often breaks is due to your behaviors while driving. Here are some tips that will help your transmission last much longer.

1. Only Shift Gears After a Complete Stop

Many people shift gears while the car is still in motion, which often happens when backing out of the driveway. They'll be in reverse to get into the street, apply the brakes, but then switch the car to drive as the vehicle is still rolling back. This causes a big clunking sound to happen, which comes from the transmission suddenly shifting directions and essentially stopping the car with the parts in the transmission.

While shifting gears while moving may seem harmless to do, it puts a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the transmission. It's important to always come to a complete stop when shifting gears from reverse to drive.

2. Don't Shift Into Neutral Unnecessarily

A misconception about driving your vehicle is that shifting into neutral can help save gasoline, and some people do this when stopped at a red light, when the vehicle isn't moving, or when they're traveling down a hill where the vehicle's momentum will push it forward. While it does save gasoline, it's possible that you're putting unnecessary wear on your transmission by shifting it into neutral. The cost of repairing or replacing a transmission could end up being much more than any gasoline that you save. 

3. Warm Up Your Vehicle 

Your car can get quite cold in the winter, and driving it from a cold start can be bad for your transmission. That is because the transmission has many tiny parts inside of it that need to work harder when they are cold. When starting your car in the winter, it is always a good idea to let the vehicle warm up for about 30 seconds before you take off toward your destination. This will help those parts to not have to work as hard when they finally start moving.

4. Have the Transmission Repaired ASAP

You should not ignore the transmission when there is a problem. If you are experiencing a sign of transmission failure, having the problem repaired when it is small may be cheaper and easier. You don't want problems to trickle down to other parts of the transmission, making the repair more costly and possibly require replacement. 

To learn more about your car's transmission, visit an auto shop near you!