The subject of transmission maintenance or for that matter any transmission, for all practical purposes, is not talked about and executed enough. It is sort of like with this part of the car, if we ignore it, maybe it will never have any problems. Ho, Ho, Ho. Put your transmission in the 20 percent part of the 80-20 principle.
What is the 80-20 principle? Simply put: Put 80 percent of your time into the 20 percent of the most important things to do. The rest of it will fall into place. For me, the 80%-20% rule, I live by it. I structure my life so that the 20 percent of the most important things get 80 percent of my attention, which usually prevents an emergency. It is a good ‘life rule’ too. Like getting your teeth cleaned. It sure beats a bad toothache or the need for a root canal. Pain for your mouth and to your wallet….
Essentially, by following this rule, with your car in this case, would make transmission maintenance important, by putting it in the 20 percent category, which in turn would lower dramatically the odds of a major transmission problem occurring, perhaps at all, but not prematurely. Basically spending the hundred bucks or so for a transmission service, where the transmission pan is lowered and inspected, then the filter is changed and the pan reinstalled and then refill the transmission with the exact correct transmission fluid is a cost effective money and time saver.
Possibly, just the fact that a professional transmission specialist will inspect your transmission for leaks and, the entire drivetrain, which includes the transmission mount/s, universal joints and all related components for problems is one of the most important bonuses of the whole process.
I don’t like transmission ‘flushes’ in any way shape or form, well, there is one form I approve of, since it is not relevant to this post, no discussion on that today.
By the way, this post includes standard transmissions too. Standard or manual shift transmissions have a need for regular service too, perhaps not as often, which makes it all the more important. You are not talking about your dads old manual transmission, standard transmissions today are precision units requiring brand specific fluids.
Speaking of brand specific, I wrote a post on Honda transmission fluid which discussed the necessity for transmission fluid that meets the exact factory specifications. Realistically speaking, most manufacturers use a specifically blended synthetic AFT, which has the proper additives already in it to match the requirements of your car. Since Mobil 1 Synthetic Multi-Vehicle Formula is one of the best on the market, I wanted to point out exactly what vehicles it can be used on.
- Approved for Allison C-4 applications
- Exceeds JASO 1-A performance standard
- Also suitable for use in vehicles that specify the following fluid requirements:
- Audi G 052 025-A2, G 052 162-A1
- BMW LA2634
- Esso LT 71141
- ETL-7045E, ETL-8072B, N402
- Ford* MERCON*, MERCON V, MERCON LV
- All 2005 and earlier GM vehicles**
- Honda ATF-Z1*
- Hyundai SP-II, SP-III
- Idemitsu K17
- JWS 3309
- Kia SP-II, SP-III
- MAN 339F, V1, V2, Z1, Z2, Z3
- Mazda ATF-III, ATF-MV
- Mercedes-Benz 236.1, 236.2, 236.5, 236.6, 236.7, 236.9
- Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II, SP-III
- Nissan Matic-D, Matic-J, Matic-K
- Subaru ATF
- Toyota T-III, T-IV
- Voith 55.6335.XX (G607, G1363)
- Volvo 97340
- ZF TE-ML 03D, 04D, 09, 14A, 14B, 16L, 17C
* Not recommend for CVT applications, MerconÂ® SP, Ford Type F ** Mobil
DEXRON-VI ATF is recommended for 2006 and newer GM vehicles and
improved performance in 2005 and earlier vehicles, wherever DEXRON is
Notice that it goes not include Chrysler brand overdrive transmissions? It is not recommended for 2006 and newer General Motors vehicles? And it will not work in any Honda transmissions built in the last 25 years. The bottom line is to read your service manual and make sure the ATF you buy meets the exact requirement. As a matter of interest, there are a few cars such as the Honda and Chrysler O.D. transmissions that require something different. If you are not 100 percent sure, get off the jack and go to the dealer. Expensive transmission fluid is cheaper than a rebuilt transmission.
At my transmission shop we had 3 separate 55 gallon drums of ATF, which covered 90 percent of the cars, the other 10 percent, we bought it from the dealer. Warning: Do not add any additives, period. The proper transmission fluid come with everything it needs..Do not buy into the stop leak additive sale, get the leak fixed. Putting a stop leak additive in may be a real short termed approach, since it usually causes more internal damage to the transmission, and as Murphys Law states, you can bet it will fail on the hottest or coldest day of the year, on an important run, in the middle of nowhere!
Maintenance, slight return? How about a full return. Follow the timely maintenance instructions our GotTransmissions Blog suggests, and get everything you expected out of your transmission. you won’t need to think about it until it need maintenance next time.
P.S. Maintenance will not fix a problem..Period. Maintenance will help avoid a problem though..