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What can damage your automatic transmission.

Most automatic transmissions troubles start from overheating. You already know that if you follow our blog.

Under heavy loads, such as towing a heavy trailer, rocking the vehicle from the snow, having continuous stop and go traffic in hot weather, racing, etc. the transmission overheats. At higher temperatures the transmission fluid burns, losing its lubricating qualities and becomes oxidized leaving deposits all over the inside the transmission.

Exposed to the heat the rubber seals and gaskets inside the transmission become hardened causing leaks. The metal parts warp and lose their strength. All this, sooner or later, results in transmission failure. For example, a friend of mine burned the transmission when he was spinning the wheels too hard trying to free his shiny Audi from the sand on the next day after he bought it!

However, overheating is not the only reason – sometimes transmissions break down because of poor design, due to lack of maintenance or after being rebuilt by inexperienced technician. A few other reasons: harsh driving, too low or too high transmission fluid level or wrong transmission fluid type – a person I know added gear oil into the automatic transmission… guess, what happen? – the transmission died after 40 minutes of driving!

Suggestions on preventing damaging your automatic transmission:

– Regularly check your parking space for leaks. Doesn’t matter, is it the engine oil leak, power steering fluid or transmission fluid; if you discover any, get it fixed before it caused something serious.
– Monthly in a while check the transmission fluid level and condition. Not all cars however have the automatic transmission dipstick, in some cars, for example, in late Volkswagen models, the transmission fluid can only be checked by the dealer. Consult with your owner’s manual for details. If the transmission fluid level is too low, there is a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed.
– Change the fluid as often as it said in your owner’s manual or when it becomes too dark (rather brown than red) or dirty.
Also, keep in mind that an automatic transmission can not be drained completely – there is always some transmission fluid left inside the transmission (the torque converter, in the valve body, etc.) which means you only can change about %60 of the fluid at once. This is one more reason to change it more often.
– Use only the same type of the transmission fluid as specified in the owner’s manual or on the dipstick. Some vehicles (e.g Dodge Caravan) are very sensitive to fluid type
– Never shift to the Reverse or Parking until the car comes to a complete stop.
– Never shift from the Parking mode when engine rpm is higher than normal idle.
– Always hold a brakes down when shifting from Parking.
– The automatic transmission can be damaged if towing with the drive wheels on the road. Always use a dolly or place powered wheels on the towing platform (if the vehicle is front wheel drive – tow it from the front leaving rear wheels on the road.

Practice the above preventive measures and you can get the maximum life out of your cars transmission. For more information take a look at more of our blog post, we write them for you. If you would like to speak with a person, Call GotTransmissions.com @ 866-320-1182.

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