Most vehicle owners know if their transmission ‘goes’ they – or rather their vehicle – are in quite a bit of trouble. The fix is likely to be far from inexpensive and their ride is likely to be out of action for a couple of days at least. The odd thing is though that, despite being aware of all of this, many drivers just don’t give their vehicle’s transmission the care and attention it deserves, and needs.
If you are guilty of not paying enough attention to what is, let’s face it, one of the most important components of your car or truck, here are five simple, but very sensible, tips for taking better care of a transmission in any vehicle.
Check the Fluid
It may sound like a no-brainer, but too often a driver will pop the hood to check the oil, the steering fluid and even the wiper fluid but skip over checking the fluid that is – or should be – helping to keep the transmission running smoothly. You can also consider making use of a transmission additive fluid that is suitable for your vehicle, there are a number of good ones out there that can really make a difference.
Stop Riding Your Brakes
Riding your brakes is a bad habit in general, but it can be especially bad for the health of your transmission. Learn to pay attention to have often you do apply your brakes and make a mental note to begin retraining yourself to only do so when it’s really needed.
Shift After a Full Stop
When you are shifting from drive to reverse -and vice versa – make sure that you come to a full stop before doing so. Continually failing to do so can weaken your transmission over time, reducing its useful life and putting it in greater danger of failure.
Think Before You Tow
Unless you have a heavier duty vehicle that was designed to be up to the task think very carefully before you hitch anything up to the tow bar. The added weight of another car, a camper or even a heavily laden moving trailer can cause all kinds of problems for your transmission.
Don’t Ignore the Signs of Transmission Trouble
Strange smells, grinding gears, odd sounds and little drops of red (and occasionally green) fluid on the garage floor can all mean that your transmission is in a bit of trouble. If you notice any of these things don’t delay a trip to your mechanic to get things properly checked out, as a little care at the first sign of transmission trouble can save you – and your vehicle – a lot of hassle and expensive further down the line.
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