Transmission Problems In Summer: Two Tips To Help Your Car Survive The Season

Nobody wants to pay to have their car's transmission replaced, but not everyone is aware that summer heat can affect the amount of wear on a transmission. By making a few minor changes to your habits during the hot days ahead, you could help to extend the lifespan of your transmission. Keep these two tips in mind before you head out on the roads this summer.

Fluid Levels

While it may seem a simple suggestion, not everyone increases the number of times they check a car's transmission fluid level during the summer. If you don't have enough transmission fluid in your car, it cannot effectively cool the transmission. This inspection should be done monthly once summer officially begins.

To check the transmission fluid, look for a dipstick that looks similar to the one used for checking your oil levels. It may be located at the front or the back of the engine. Pull out the transmission dipstick and check where the fluid level is compared to the 'full' rating line on the edge of the dipstick. If it is low, top up with transmission fluid you have purchased from your automotive store.

If there are signs of dirt in the transmission fluid that is on the dipstick, or there is a burnt smell to the fluid, you need to take your car to a mechanic to have the fluid drained and replaced. Contaminated transmission fluid cannot effectively cool your transmission unit, and the hotter your transmission runs, the quicker it will wear down and need replacing.

Driving Style

The other way you can extend the life of your transmission is to be aware of your driving style during the summer months, in particular:

  • Try not to drive during peak traffic on hot days. The continual starting and stopping of your car as you inch forward in traffic causes your transmission to work harder. If you must travel in peak times, try to reduce the number of gear changes happening so you can reduce the strain on your engine and transmission.
  • When it comes to towing caravans or heavy trailers, this also puts a strain on the transmission of your car. Do the bulk of your driving while towing during the cooler hours of the day, and take a break when the midday sun really heats up your surroundings. This will keep your transmission cooler for longer.

If you hear a knocking noise from your transmission, or you notice your gear changes aren't as fluid as normal, then you must take your car to transmission specialists, like those at Precision Automatic Transmissions, for diagnosis. Be aware of your car's transmission this summer, so you can enjoy drama-free travels during the best months of the year.