Taking care of your vehicle’s transmission helps prolong its life and helps you avoid a costly repair bill. By being proactive about your transmission, you can be more confident that one of your car’s crucial components will work for you for tens of thousands of miles to come.
Chances are, you drive a car with an automatic or continuously variable transmission. If you do, you will want to avoid resting your hand on the shift lever while you are driving. Working the shifter is necessary for a car with a manual transmission, but not if the transmission automatically shifts gears.
Resting your hand on the knob can cause transmission components to wear down over time, causing it to shift less effectively. This can lead to a loss in efficiency and total transmission failure. The best way to break this habit is to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Not only will this help avoid a costly repair bill, but it’s the safest way to drive.
Another way to wear out your transmission prematurely is to shift between settings when the vehicle is still in motion. For example, if you’re backing up out of your driveway and you switch the transmission from reverse to drive before the vehicle comes to a total stop, you’re putting added stress on your vehicle. Avoid this by only shifting gears when the vehicle is at a complete stop.
Speaking of coming to a complete stop, when your vehicle is at rest, use your parking brake. Applying the parking brake when parked on a flat surface or incline helps take stress off the parking pawl, which locks the transmission in place. If this component breaks, it can cause severe damage to the transmission and increase rollaway risk.
One of the best things you can do to ensure that your car’s transmission keeps doing its job is to keep tabs on its fluid. Like so many other vehicle components, your transmission needs a specific kind of fluid to operate. And like your engine, brakes, and so on, transmission fluid will eventually run out or go bad.
The first thing you’ll want to do is check your vehicle’s owner’s manual. There, you’ll find a manufacturer recommendation for transmission fluid changes and flushes. Do your driving habits classify as a “severe condition” driver or a “normal condition” driver? That will determine proper mileage intervals for service ranging from 30,000 miles to 100,000 miles.
When you replace transmission fluid as recommended by the manufacturer, you minimize wear to the gears and parts. That means you’ll be less likely to incur the high cost of transmission failure. Having a new transmission installed can cost thousands of dollars, so the relatively low cost of a transmission fluid exchange is a worthwhile investment.
If you’re pressed on time, Valvoline Instant Oil Change can replace your car’s transmission fluid in as little as 20 minutes. Better still, having this necessary service done at your local Valvoline Instant Oil Change can cut the cost by as much as 50 percent as compared to dealerships.*
And to make matters more convenient, you can wait out the entire service from the comfort and convenience of your car at your local Valvoline Instant Oil Change.
With more than 1,700 nationwide locations, chances are there’s a Valvoline Instant Oil Change℠ near you. Find a location and get your oil changed in about 15 minutes.
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