Top 5 Performance Transmission Pitfalls to Avoid

Nov 22, 2017
Performance Transmission Pitfalls to Avoid | Gearstar

When it comes to looking after the transmission in your car, you really can't afford to make any mistakes. You might think that it would be hard to make any errors, but there are a handful of performance transmission mistakes that people make frequently. Today, we are going to be discussing five of the most common mistakes that people make, and how you can make sure to avoid them.

Poor Cooling System Maintenance

We are all guilty of having allowed our vehicles to overheat at one point or another. Usually this comes from something as simple as forgetting to check the cooling system or not regularly maintaining the radiator. These little things are the things that will eventually lead to your car overheating.

This is a problem because your transmission will actually have been designed with a maximum operating temperature. Anything above that temperature will directly reduce the overall lifespan of your transmission. You can avoid this entirely by making sure that your cooling system is properly checked on a regular basis because your car will then be unlikely to overheat.

DIY Transmission Work, Repairs

If you have a transmission that does not seem to be performing well and/or one that seems to leak regularly, then you may have noticed all of the OTC additives that are readily available. These claim to improve the overall performance of your transmission and stop any unpleasant leaks. What they fail to mention is the fact that they can also shorten the lifespan of your transmission.

This is because the chemicals that are present in the majority of the products that can be found on the market have the ability to make older rubber seals warp. This can then lead to severe damage inside of your transmission. You can avoid this problem by checking your owner’s manual. Inside of it, you should be able to find a specific list of additives and transmission fluids that are recommended by the manufacturer. Do not use anything that is not on the list.

Neglected Transmission Service

One of the most important things that you have to remember is the fact that your transmission needs to be tuned on a periodic basis. If your transmission is not tuned, then a mixture of dirt and different contaminants will begin to build up inside of the transmission, causing it to run rather sluggishly and develop a multitude of other problems.

Unfortunately, that would just be the start of a very slippery slope. Your transmission would eventually fail completely. It is also worth noting that when you can see signs of transmission problems, it usually means that it is probably already too late to prevent any lasting damage. Make sure that you get your transmission serviced every few years to avoid these problems. You should also make sure that you know how to inspect your own transmission - since it's a monthly best practice.

Use of Wrong ATF Type

It is really important to make sure that you are choosing the right automatic transmission fluid (ATF) to use - because specific transmissions actually require specific types of fluid. Using the correct ATF ensures that a transmission is capable of operating at a healthy, optimal performance level. As a high-performance automatic transmission owner, your number one priority is to ALWAYS make sure that the correct ATF is being used on your vehicle.

Different types of fluid are known to have different levels of viscosity and a number of unique additives that are only present in certain types. Using the wrong ATF can actually cause erratic hydraulic pressure that will reduce the lifespan of your performance transmission; in fact, there's a seemingly endless list of potential damages that can arise from using the wrong ATF.

Irregular Fluid Level Checks

You might be imagining that your fluid levels are incapable of ever really affecting your transmission. Unfortunately, that is simply not true. When fluid levels are low it can cause your transmission to deteriorate quite rapidly because the fluid is directly responsible for protecting the inner workings of the transmission. It keeps everything cool and lubricated.

To avoid this situation, you have to make sure that your transmission fluid levels are at exactly the right point at all times. You should also make sure that you replace any dirty fluid as soon as you notice it. Your transmission should never have to work harder to compensate for a lack of fluid.

You also have to remember that many transmission problems cannot be dealt with professionally because they are ignored. If you do notice anything unusual about your own, then you should go straight for professional help to make sure that any advanced issues are addressed before they become a problem. Making sure that you get your transmission repaired quickly will prevent any unnecessary damage from occurring.