Car maintenance: Transmission
The transmission main function is to make sure that the right amount of power goes to the wheels. It includes a series of components that receive power from the engine. The transmission is switching gears depending on speed, therefore power.
Motor vehicle transmissions have experienced major changes in the last decade. Although automakers use 5- and 6-speed manual transmissions less frequently than in the past, the number of gears in automatic transmissions has jumped from 4 to as many as 10! Certain gearboxes are controlled with paddle shifters mounted on the steering column to recreate some of the power and control of driving a stick. Every year, there are more and more vehicles with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the road.
What are the signs indicating a faulty transmission?
Transmission fluid is vital to smooth transmission operation. Low or insufficient fluid can cause internal components to overheat and potentially lead to significant damage. If you see red fluid under your vehicle, have your transmission inspected. There may be a leak from the gasket hose or seal could be leaking and may need to be repaired.
Transmissions are heavy-duty pieces of equipment that are designed to last a long time. But like every other machine, they will eventually wear out and need repair. In other to push that day off as far as possible, you can make sure your transmission have always enough fluid. Transmission fluid cools and lubricates the transmission. When there is not enough fluid, the transmission will run hotter and wear out sooner. The transmission fluid also provides pressure needed to transfer power from the engine to the transmission. Not enough fluid and your transmission won’t shift properly.
The next thing you could do to prolong the life of your transmission is to replace your transmission fluid on schedule. As you can imagine, all those gears gridding on each other result in lots of little pieces of metal in the fluid. The more there is, the faster the transmission parts will wear out. Transmission fluid also contains detergents and other additives to protect your transmission. These additives are depleted over time; old fluid does not protect as well as new fluid. Your owner manual or service advisor will have a recommendation for when you should have your transmission service.
How often do you need to maintain your transmission?
If your transmission is not shifting as smoothly as it should, or if you suspect a transmission leak, let us take a look at it and ask if it is time for a transmission service. Regular maintenance and taking care of small leaks right away will help your transmission last as long as possible.
Your service centre will check your transmission fluid level with a full-service oil change and top it off if needed. All automotive manufacturers make recommendations about which kind of transmission fluid to use and how often to change it. Your certified NAPA AUTOPRO technician can check your transmission fluid and replace it with the correct product (regular or synthetic, viscosity, etc.), if required.
Learn more about the transmission from our NAPA AUTOPRO experts in the video below: