Servicing your transmission as needed is an important way to avoid larger, more costly repairs in the future.
The easiest and most important way you can maintain your transmission is to check the transmission fluid levels about once a year. You can check the fluid level easily with the transmission fluid dipstick. Just make sure the car is idling in park and the engine is hot.
Transmission fluid should be clear pink or bright red. If it is darker, that may be a sign that the fluid is becoming contaminated with metal shavings, little bits of your transmission that wear off over time. If you let that go on for too long, you will be lubricating your transmission with little bits of metal, which will wear down the transmission more quickly and eventually cause it to fail.
When to Replace Transmission Fluid
Car makers and mechanics generally advise that you replace your transmission fluid about every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, though some newer automatic transmission vehicles can go longer. Check your driver’s manual for details about your particular car.
Of course, there are signs that you may need to replace it sooner. The biggest issue that may require replacing fluid (and getting your transmission serviced) is a visible transmission fluid leak.
A leak would show up as a liquid (or a stain from liquid) on your driveway or garage floor underneath where you parked your car. Transmission fluid can range from pink or bright red to a darker red or even brown depending on the age and condition of the fluid.
A Transmission Fluid Leak
If your vehicle is leaking transmission fluid, take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. TrustDALE.com suggests AAMCO Total Car Care here in Atlanta. They have years of experience and represent one of the largest transmission repair and service specialists around, with service centers throughout the US and Canada.
To test whether a leak is really a transmission fluid leak, put a piece of cardboard under your car overnight and check in the morning to see what color the leak is. Fluid ranging from pink to dark red or brown in probably transmission fluid.
Leaking transmission fluid is usually due to a leak in the gaskets that seal in the fluid in the transmission. In that case, all you need is the AAMCO Reseal Service. The specialists at AAMCO will take your transmission out of your vehicle and disassemble it to the extent necessary to perform the service.
Then they will replace all of the external seals and any other components that are needed to correct the problem. Once the problem is fixed, they will reinstall your transmission and fill it up with clean, new transmission fluid and give it a road test. Your transmission should then be ready for another 30,000 to 50,000 miles of service.
Bigger Problems With Your Transmission
Sometimes, there are larger problems with a transmission than just a fluid leak. Your transmission is one of the most important machines in your vehicle, second only to the engine. When the transmission starts to fail, your vehicle becomes unsafe to operate and further damage to the vehicle is possible without quick treatment.
If your transmission is starting to fail you may notice the transmission slipping. Your car seems to change gears for no reason, which could cause a change in the pitch of the sound from your engine or feel like a sudden decrease in power or ability to accelerate.
Another sign of a failing transmission is rough gear changes. You may feel like your car isn’t changing gears as usual, or even hear or feel a clunk when it changes gears. Of course, the simplest ways to know that your transmission is having problems is if your transmission warning light coming on.
In any of these cases, it is important that you call an transmission repair expert like AAMCO Total Car Care as soon as possible to prevent further serious damage.