Express Car Care Tech Question:
My name is Suzanne. We were taking a camping trip at our favorite state park over a three day weekend. About halfway to our campsite, the transmission went out on our vehicle. It took all weekend to get it towed out and to get back home. What can I do to prevent transmission problems in the future?
Express Car Care Answer: Transmission repairs can be expensive at auto service centers. On top of that, Suzanne was in the back country, her vacation weekend turned into three days of car repairs.
First of all, vehicle transmissions are tough and durable. All that needs to be done to maintain them is to replace the transmission fluid on schedule. The fluid gets contaminated with bits of clutch plates and metal. Dirty transmission fluid under pressure acts like liquid sandpaper, eating away at important gaskets and seals. Then your transmission doesn’t shift as well. It can start to leak and overheat, and then you could end up in a situation like Suzanne.
Another thing to consider: if you carry heavy loads, or are towing a trailer on the highway or up mountain passes, your transmission is working much harder and running hotter than under normal conditions. Your transmission fluid may need to be changed sooner. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for your severe service schedule or talk with your helpful and knowledgeable pros about when you should have your transmission serviced. If you’re planning a trip that you know you will be doing some towing or other severe driving, make sure to have your transmission fluid checked before you head out. It’s always better to be safe, rather than sorry.