Keep Your Automatic Transmission Running Smoothly

No vehicle owner wants to deal with an automatic transmission does that does perform effectively. Fortunately, you can keep your transmission functioning at a high level as long as you take good care of it. Here are some good ways to reduce the chances that your transmission suffers any major problems.

Fluid Check  

Check your transmission fluid on a regular basis according to the schedule in your owner's manual. The fluid should be at the appropriate level on the dipstick. If it's low, this could indicate a leak that needs professional attention. Look at the car's regular parking spot in the garage or carport for any signs of a leak. An important point to remember is that some vehicles do not have dipsticks and should be taken to a service center, like, to have the fluid checked.

If you add any transmission fluid to the vehicle, make sure that you do not overfill as this might lead to poor performance. Also, pay close attention to the color of the fluid. If it's black, that could mean the transmission is close to failure and should be serviced immediately.  


One of the biggest dangers to your automatic transmission is overheating. When your transmission overheats a wide range of problems can develop, such as damage to the seals and the gears slipping. One of the most common causes of overheating is when your vehicle pull a heavy load. For example, if you attempt to tow another vehicle, this might cause your transmission to get too hot. Another possible cause is driving in stop and go traffic on a frequent basis. 

One good idea to prevent overheating is to add a transmission cooler to your vehicle. This is a secondary cooler that increases the effectiveness of your car's cooling system. It can potentially increase the lifespan of your transmission. Getting a cooler is especially important if you plan to do a lot of towing, such as pulling a boat or trailer on a trailer hitch. 


Another good way to increase the transmission life is to have it flushed and filled with new fluid. Typically this should be done about every 30,000 miles. In some cases, however, you might need to have it done sooner. For example, unusual noises coming from the transmission, gears that are difficult to shift and unexpected surges from your vehicle are all warning signs that a flush might be needed. 

Keeping your transmission in good shape is essential to avoid major repairs down the road. If problems do occur, however, contact your local transmission specialist.