Preventing Transmission Woes

Cross-section of a car gearbox. mechanic work in the garage.

Transmission repairs can be expensive—and in some cases, they can also leave you stranded. Fortunately, transmissions are built tough and durable. All you need to do to prevent repairs is to keep them well-maintained. Read on for some tips that can help you keep your transmission in excellent shape.

7 Tips to Prevent Transmission Repairs and Breakdowns

  1. Check your transmission fluid regularly. Just like oil, you can check the level and quality of your transmission fluid at home. Since there are many types of transmission fluid on the market, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right kind if you do top-offs. You can find this information, along with how to check your transmission fluid, in your owner’s manual. If the fluid looks or smells burnt or it seems contaminated, schedule a transmission service soon.
  1. Get your transmission serviced regularly. Transmissions need to have the fluid, filter, and pan gasket changed every once in a while. Depending on the model, mileage, and age of the vehicle, this could be anywhere from every 15,500 miles to 100,000 miles. Ask your service advisor if you’re not sure when you had your last service.
  1. Pay attention to how hard you push your vehicle. How you drive your vehicle can play a big role in how often you’ll need to service your transmission. The harder you push it, the higher the risk of damaging the transmission’s internal components. Be careful when hauling heavy loads or towing; don’t tow in overdrive.
  1. Keep the cooling system in good shape. You likely know the radiator helps prevent the engine from overheating, but did you know it also helps cool the transmission fluid? Like the transmission, the cooling system should also be serviced regularly.
  1. Use the parking brake. The parking brake should be used whenever you park on a hill or incline. Most cars with automatic transmissions have a pin (called a “pawl”) that will prevent them from rolling backward when parked on an incline, but it’s not very sturdy. If you don’t use your parking brake, the pin could wear out and eventually fail.
  1. Be careful while shifting. Improperly shifting gears (like shifting the car into reverse while driving or putting your car in park before coming to a complete stop) can cause damage to the gearbox and additional wear and tear on the transmission.
  1. Get your transmission inspected if something doesn’t seem right. If you notice any difficulty shifting, strange noises, fluid leaks, or other issues with your transmission, don’t wait! Have it inspected at the first sign of trouble. Minor problems can quickly progress into an expensive repair if you wait too long.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had your transmission serviced, give EuroCar Service a call! We’re happy to look up service interval recommendations and answer any questions you have. As your European automotive specialist, we see all European makes, including BMW, Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini-Cooper, Saab, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Volvo, Smart Car, and Fiat. Give us a call at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online.