Transmission trouble can be expensive. But it’s not just bad luck — sometimes it results from incorrect driving habits.
Take a look at these five major mistakes drivers make that can quickly result in major transmission damage:
1. Towing Excessive Weight
Those towing limits are in your vehicle owner’s manual for a reason. Your car is not equipped to handle weight in excess of the manufacturer’s limitations, so don’t try it. Even if you are able to safely transport the towed cargo from point A to point B, you could inflict transmission damage that only shows itself later on. It’s not worth the risk.
2. Driving Like You’re in a Video Game
Reserve your “need for speed” tendencies for arcade games. Don’t step on the gas or brake too abruptly when a light changes either. Hard acceleration and sudden braking shortens the life of your transmission. Accelerate gradually and make sure to leave plenty of space between you and other cars so you can brake slowly.
Not only will driving responsibly keep your transmission in good shape, it also will keep you safe.
3. Shifting While Rolling
It’s a common habit. You’re in a hurry. Instead of coming to a complete stop, you quickly shift to drive while you’re still rolling. When you do this, you’re using your transmission’s components as a braking system, and you’re bound to cause damage over time.
Come to a complete stop before changing gears if you want to get the most out of your transmission.
4. Forgetting to Get Regular Transmission Service
A transmission flush, fluid change or filter replacement are not just add-on services that your mechanic is trying to sell you. They are absolutely vital maintenance measures that remove contaminants and help prevent sluggish function and eventual transmission seizure.
Talk to your mechanic and refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines — depending on the type of car you own and your driving behavior, you may need transmission service more often than you might think.
5. Trying to Make DIY Repairs
You like to save a buck when you can, so you figure you can just change the transmission fluid on your own. Don’t make this rookie mistake!
Not all transmission fluid is the same, and using the wrong type can have disastrous results for your car. You should consult with an experienced mechanic before you try to conduct any transmission-related maintenance on your own.
Depend on State Automotive for regular maintenance and good advice regarding transmissions — you have the power to help keep yours running right for years to come.