There’s really no other way to say it: Having a transmission rebuilt or replaced is an expensive proposition. If you’ve had one done recently, the last thing you want is to have to buy another one anytime soon.
That’s okay: There are a lot of things you can do to prevent transmission problems and keep it working great for years to come.
Protect Your Car’s Transmission
You probably already know that having your transmission serviced regularly is one way to make sure it stays healthy. But did you know that there are some driving tips that’ll add years to and help extend transmission life? It’s true, and most are fairly simple:
- Come to a complete stop before shifting gears — You start your car, back out of the driveway, and drop the transmission into drive. Did you wait until your car was stopped, or did you shift into drive while the car was still rolling backward?
If you didn’t wait to come to a stop, you put a lot of stress and wear on the forward clutches. To get more miles out of your transmission, always come to a full stop before shifting directions.
- Help it shift — You probably already know that having a heavy foot on the throttle can cost you at the gas pump. But did you know it can also cut miles off your transmission’s life? It can, because the additional torque puts more load on the clutches each time it shifts gears.
To reduce clutch wear and extend your transmission’s life, pay attention to the shift timing. Then, right before the transmission is ready to shift, back off the gas just a bit. The reduced throttle will lighten the load and limit the wear on the clutches.
- Anticipate traffic changes — Each time you come to a stop, your transmission shifts back into first gear. Then, to reach cruising speed, it has to shift all the way through the gear ranges again. And each shift means more wear on the transmission.
To reduce that wear, look ahead and anticipate what’s coming. See a red light up ahead? Back off the gas and let the car coast. Maybe the light will change before you get there and reduce the number of shifts necessary to bring the car back to cruising speed.
Prolonging Your Transmission’s Lifespan
Simple, right? And those few, simple driving techniques can easily prevent transmission problems and add years to your transmission. Combine them with a regular maintenance schedule, and there’s a good chance you’ll never have to pay for a new transmission again.