While the engine makes your vehicle go to where you want to be, the transmission controls how your vehicle will move, forward or backward, and converts the engine’s power to the drive shaft and the wheels. Maintaining a transmission properly is essential. Transmission failure can be very dangerous on the road. Repairing or replacing a transmission can cost thousands of dollars.
The transmission is a complicated device filled with gears and hydraulics that help you control your vehicle’s direction and speed. While you can shift through various gears in special circumstances, most drivers will only shift to drive or reverse.
Transmission fluid, which lubricates and cools the gears, is key to maintaining a functional transmission. Failure to periodically change transmission fluid is on of the main causes of transmission failure. Over time the transmission’s interior parts wear down and allow particles to contaminate the fluid.
Your mechanic will drain the old fluid and then add new fluid periodically, during scheduled maintenance usually every 30,000 or 60,000 miles. Check your vehicle’s manual for more details. Some mechanics will power-flush the fluid, especially if your vehicle has a lot of miles on it. Flushing the fluid ensures that all the particles and the sludge are forced out of the transmission, ensuring that it doesn’t get damaged.
Changing the transmission fluid is not considered a good do-it-yourself task. Mechanics use some specialized equipment, including computers, to ensure that the job is done properly.
If you find that your vehicle is shifting abruptly and at awkward times while on the road, it is likely a good time to take it in to have the transmission checked, With an automatic transmission, a few hundred dollars of prevention is worth several thousand dollars of cure.
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