Want your Transmission to last? Avoid these things! : KC Martin Transmissions OFFICIAL Blog

Want your Transmission to last? Avoid these things!

by KC Martin Transmissions on 04/24/12

Taking care of your transmission is something we want to do FOR you.  There are plenty of tips that can be shared about when to change transmission fluid, what to watch out for in how your transmission is performing, and even little adjustments some people say "you can do yourself".  Well, you're better off bringing your vehicle to us and letting those who have made a life's work out of listening to, test driving, looking into, diagnosing, taking apart, and assembling transmissions of all kinds, work on your transmission. 

Most of our customers want to know, at very least, how to keep their transmission from wearing out "too fast".  That's a fair question, and there are, in fact, some things you can avoid to make sure you don't cost yourself extra money by damaging your transmission.

We found a list of cautionary points on the Lee Myles Transmission website (they are located in Florida)  http://www.auto-repair-services-florida.com/miami/transmission-care-article.shtml   We thought this was a good list to share with those of you that want to make sure and do the "right thing", and avoid some costly mistakes.  Check it out............


1. Don't Leave The Shift Lever In Park (P) Without The Parking Brake On. If another vehicle were to even tap yours in the front or back while parked it could cause a part inside your transmission (the parking pawl) to break leaving your vehicle to roll down the street unattended.

2. Don't Downshift To "Brake" At Traffic Lights. A forced downshift at high engine RPM causes excessive wear on transmission friction components (clutches and bands).

3. Don't Place Shift Lever in Drive or Reverse when engine is at "Fast Idle". This can cause abrupt transmission engagement leading to early failure of clutches, bands, gear sets, driveline components and engine or transmission mountings.

4. Don't Drag Race. Unless your vehicle was specifically designed for that purpose it cannot sustain that form of abuse. You run the risk of damaging all driveline components.

5. Don't Use Your Shift Lever Instead of Your Brake. Before reversing direction your car must be at a complete stop. Using the transmission to stop the vehicle will lead to premature transmission failure.

6. Don't Rock Your Car in Sand or Snow. Dig it out or have it towed. Both are less expensive than the damage you may cause by quick shifting between Reverse (R) and Drive (D) over and over again. The excessive heat that is caused by such action can burn out a transmission in a very short period of time.

7. Don't Drive Until The Engine Warms Up. For your transmission to perform properly, the fluid must be at operating temperature. Give it a few minutes and it will give you better and longer service.

8. Don't Let Anyone Tow Your Vehicle With The Drive Wheels on the Ground. Rear wheel drive vehicles must be towed with the rear wheels off the ground. Front wheel drive with the front wheels in the air. All wheel or full time four-wheel drive vehicles should be flat towed (all four wheels off the ground) Not sure? Check your owner's manual. Improper towing can cause serious damage!

9. Don't Stop Suddenly. Like fast starts, sudden stops can damage drivetrain components like engine and transmission mounts. These can lead to transmission damage. After any sudden emergency stop, it would be wise to have your mounts checked.

10. Don't Play Transmission "Doctor". Over the counter additives that are supposed to stop leaks or make the transmission shift better many times contain chemicals that may cause worn seals to swell. This can interfere with the function of these operating rubber parts and lead to severe damage.

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