How Many Miles Can I Get Out of My Automatic Transmission?
Many factors influence the longevity of your automatic transmission–some you have control over and some your don’t . The following is a list of procedures and driving habits which will enable you to prolong the life of your transmission.
Routine Transmission Maintenance
Change automatic transmission fluid (ATF) every 15,000 miles or every other year, whichever comes first. Under ideal driving conditions (never driving less than 10 miles at a time and never allowing the ATF to exceed 175º) the life of your ATF is 100,000 miles. THERE IS NO SUCH ANIMAL AS IDEAL DRIVING CONDITIONS. In “stop and go” traffic on a hot summer day (typical in Chicago) your ATF could exceed 235º! For every 15 degrees over 175º, you cut the life of your ATF in half. Do yourself and your trans a favor, CHANGE THE ATF EVERY 15,000 MILES! Call TRAMCAR Transmissions in Chicago, 773-792-1003, to schedule your automatic transmission fluid change.
Allow your vehicle to warm-up sufficiently on cold mornings
When the temperature drops below 5º, as is often does during a Chicago winter, allow a good 5 to 10 minutes of idling to warm-up your car before you put your transmission in gear. After a vehicle sits for an extended period in extremely cold weather, the ATF begins to solidify. Not allowing it to warm-up sufficiently before driving defeats the main purpose of putting ATF in your trans–it is lubrication.
Check your automatic transmission fluid (ATF) level regularly
You should check your automatic transmission fluid at least once a month. If, for any reason, the level is low, immediately have it checked out by a qualified transmission repair technician. Many expensive rebuilt trans jobs started out as relatively inexpensive seal replacements, but because the minor repair was put off, irreversible damage was done to the transmission and a costly repair the result. Call TRAMCAR Transmissions in Chicago, 773-792-1003, IMMEDIATELY if your ATF is low. You may save yourself a large transmission repair cost.
Always bring your vehicle to a complete stop before shifting gears
A series of transmission components are turning in one direction while the vehicle is moving. Changing gears while this is happening puts undue strain on the transmission.
Don’t ride the brake
Allowing your foot to rest on the brake pedal causes the transmission to work that much harder to move the vehicle.
If you tow with your vehicle, or will drive in a hot climate, install a trans cooler
Heat is a transmission’s number one enemy, and a trans cooler is cheap insurance. Call TRAMCAR Transmissions in Chicago, 773-792-1003, to schedule a transmission cooler installation on your vehicle.
If your vehicle is stuck in the snow
(as it very well may be during a Chicago winter,) gently rock it forward to reverse. But make sure the wheels have stopped spinning before you shift your transmission back and forth. Even though your car may not be moving, your transmission may be driving up to 70 MPH when you shift to reverse. A tremendous amount of heat is being generated while rocking a car. If, after 5 minutes, you’re still stuck, seek assistance. A transmission still costs quite a bit more than a tow.
Rely on TRAMCAR Transmission for assistance. We hope you’ll find these transmission maintenance tips helpful. If we can be of any assistance, or if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 773-792-1003, Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5:30 pm.