The average vehicle owner knows to change their oil and oil filter every 7000 kilometers. They know to check their tire pressure and to rotate their tires to minimize wear. But we often find the automatic transmission is a mystery to most vehicle owners.
Transmission repair work can be costly and time-consuming. By following the industry’s leading guidelines you can avoid unnecessary repairs and keep your automatic transmission running to peak performance.
This latest post explores automatic transmissions, their components, and how to achieve peak operating performance.
The Components of an Automatic Transmission and Their Role
Before learning about automatic transmission maintenance, there’s value in understanding the components that make up your automation transmission and their function.
Your automatic transmission combines the following major components:
- The Torque Converter
The torque converter acts as a clutch, allowing your car to come to a stop while in gear with the engine still running.
- Planetary Gear Sets
Planetary gear sets are the mechanical parts that support forward and backward gear shifting.
- Seals and Gaskets
Seals and gaskets prevent fluid leaks and protect the structure of your transmission.
- The Modulator, Governor, or Throttle Cable
These parts monitor the speed of your vehicle and the throttle position to time the shifting process.
- The Computer
Newer vehicles feature an onboard computer that controls shift points and uses solenoids to direct oil flow.
Maintenance Tips for Efficient Transmission Performance
Check Transmission Fluid Levels Every Few Months
While you’re checking engine oil every few months for contaminants, you should also check your transmission fluid. To check the fluid levels, leave the vehicle idling after warming up and pull out the dipstick. Wipe it clean and then replace it slowly and pull it back out.
Check how high the fluid level marker reaches compared with the fill, low, or full marks on your dipstick.
Ensure Regular, Thorough Transmission Service
Transmission flushes can help keep your system and connected components functioning to peak condition. Make sure you undergo a comprehensive transmission fluid flush to get the best value for your money and the best future performance from your transmission. A professional transmission flush involves removing the transmission pan to access the inside of the system, then replacing the filter.
The benefit of replacing the filter is that it removes any remaining contaminants from your old transmission oil. If you don’t change the filter during the flush, you risk slowing the flow of fluid and causing further damage to the transmission in the future.
Always ask your transmission service company whether they’ll be replacing their filter as part of their service.
Allow Your Engine to Warm Up Before You Set Off
Running your transmission on cold fluid places stress on the system and its connected components. Parts may contract at low temperatures, and seals can shrink, causing leaks.
Warm up before your vehicle before your trip to minimize the impact of cold temperatures. Newer vehicles may only need 30 seconds to warm up after starting, while an older system may need a few minutes before moving to protect your transmission.
Come to a Complete Stop Before Shifting Between Reverse and Drive
It might seem like a small step, but pausing for a second while shifting between reversing out of your driveway and then putting the vehicle in drive can prevent heavy strain on your transmission.
Bob’s Driveline: Langley’s Trusted Transmission Experts
Since 1992, Bob’s Driveline has set the standard for transmission repair and maintenance from our Aldergrove, Langley repair shop. As an ATRA member, Bob’s Driveline’s repair warranties provide complete warranty coverage across North America, including over 2000 transmission shops within the ATRA network.
If you suspect a transmission issue with your vehicle, don’t delay a visit to your mechanic! Contact Bob’s Driveline’s experienced team for an urgent response. Our Red Seal technicians are ready to take a look and provide a comprehensive service.
Call now for our next available appointment.