Automatic Transmission Do’s and Don’ts
A Automatic Transmission is a fundamental piece of your vehicle that allows it to carry you all over. Here are five tips to help keep your automatic transmission in tiptop shape so that you can extend the life of your vehicle!
FORGET TO USE YOUR PARKING BREAK
Like myself, you may have believed that the parking break is only for drivers in steep hills in the cities or who own a manual transmission vehicle. In fact, the parking break is extremely important for vehicles with automatic transmissions as well! When you leave an automatic vehicle in park, you rest the entire weight of the vehicle on a small metal mechanism, called the parking pawl, which locks the automatic transmission so that it won’t move. This is what causes your vehicle to stay still. The parking pawl is susceptible to break with any addition force. That means when someone accidentally taps you in the parking lot, your transmission could become seriously damaged! This is why it’s very important to engage your parking break before you leave your car.
PLACE THE CAR IN GEAR DURING A FAST IDLE
Otherwise called launching your car. While we are all waiting for the time when we can push a button and our car launches into the air, unfortunately that time has not come. Launching your car, or shifting gears before your car is fully stopped, can cause significant wear and tear on your automatic transmission because you are exerting unneeded force onto the various parts that make up the transmission. By jerking them into use, you can break the belt or any of the gears, which can be a costly fix. It only takes a couple seconds to let the car reach a low idle speed and it saves you money in the long run!
SHIFTING GEARS BEFORE YOU ARE STOPPED
This tip may seem a little obvious but it should be said all the same. Just like driving your car in a fast idle, shifting gears before your fully stop puts extra force on your transmission decreasing it’s lifespan. Be sure to make sure your fully stopped before reversing!
IGNORE GRINDING SOUNDS IN AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Grinding and shaking during your shifts or while you are driving is not normal. While it may feel better to hope that your automatic transmission just powers through it, like a nasty cold, it could end up costing you more in the long run, leave you stranded or worse. Any shaking or grinding while you are driving is a sign that your transmission may be in need of a check up.
IGNORE A WARNING SIGN OF A FAILING TRANSMISSION
There are several warning signs that your automatic transmission could be failing. Some are as simple as a warning light on your dashboard while others could require a little more expertise.
Using these tips should help increase the lifespan of your automatic transmission and don’t forget to keep your annual transmission maintenance up to date! Need help? Call 303-569-6191 for helpful advise.