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A vehicle auto transmission is a complex mechanical system that can be expensive to replace when damaged. This cost is why utmost care is essential to ensure it remains clean and operates efficiently for a longer life span. The primary goal of transmissions is to move vehicles from one point to the other with some assistance from the engine.

The 3 Types of Vehicle Transmissions

Three types of vehicle transmissions exist:

  1. Manual transmission
  2. Automatic transmission
  3. Continuously variable transmission

The automatic transmission and manual transmission often require service intervals. But the continuously variable transmissions have no need for service intervals as they come as sealed units.

How to Improve Your Auto Transmission

There are up to 6 ways to significantly improve the reliability and performance of your vehicle’s automatic transmission. Here they are, arranged in no specific order:

1. Regular Auto Transmission Maintenance

Servicing your auto transmission regularly helps guarantee its longevity. You can take your vehicle to the local mechanic, though it is something you can do on your own if you’re a DIY enthusiast. However, you will need the following tools/materials:

  • Protective clothing
  • Disposable gloves
  • A flashlight
  • Torque wrench
  • Jack stands
  • A pair of safety glasses
  • A drip pan
  • Creeper
  • SAE and metric socket set
  • Wheel chocks
  • A small funnel
  • SAE and metric wrench set
  • Floor jack
  • A new filter

Ensure your vehicle is parked on a flat surface. Confirm the transmission is in “park” since your car is automatic. Secure the rear tires with the wheel chocks. Then engage your vehicle’s parking brake. This action locks the rear tires and prevents them from budging. Position the floor jack under your vehicle at its specified jacking points. Operate the floor jack until it lifts the car off the ground, with its front wheels balanced in the air. Fix the jack stands at the appropriate jacking point locations and lower your vehicle until it rests on the jack stands. Most modern cars come with jack stands on the pinch weld, right under the doors, and along the vehicle’s bottom.

Get the creeper under your vehicle to locate the transmission oil pan. Position the drain pan beneath the transmission oil pan. Drain the fluid out by removing the oil pan plug if your vehicle comes with one. If it doesn’t, remove each bolt of the transmission oil pan but leave one bolt each in the rear and front of the pan. Then remove the bolt at the end slowly so the fluid drains out.  Detach the transmission oil pan. Remove the bolt at the front to allow the remaining fluid to drain out. Remove the oil filter and replace it with a new transmission oil filter. Install the new grommet, which helps prevent leakages at the pump’s inlet.

Scrape off the old gasket from the transmission oil pan and case. Fix the new gasket onto the transmission oil pan and install it onto the transmission using two bolts. Start your vehicle engine with your foot on the brake. Tighten the bolts and fill up the transmission via the open port using the funnel. Put the transmission in gear for some seconds and then into neutral for another couple of seconds. Put the transmission in neutral before putting it in “park.” This action helps prevent damages that may occur if the tires spin through the brakes.

2. Lowering Gears When Driving With Heavy Loads

Using the right setting for your auto transmission is also one of the most efficient ways of improving your vehicle’s performance. If you’re driving through heavy traffic or bearing heavy loads, use your vehicle’s drive selection for the transmission. Do not overdrive, as this puts much undue pressure on your gears. Overdriving could lead to slippage and irreparable damage. Therefore, always lower the gears whenever your vehicle bears heavy loads.

3. Changing Driving Habits

When you change your driving habits, it enhances the auto transmission’s performance and reliability. Start by operating your vehicle and getting someone to monitor all the dash gauges. Take note when the transmission shifts and the particular RPM at the change occurred. Most cars come with a tachometer gauge to measure RPMs, but you can also take note of the speed at which the transmission shifted if your vehicle doesn’t come with an RPM gauge. Analyze the data you recorded to note the speed or RPM at which the shift occurred. Then perform another test drive that you change as soon as you shift the transmission.

4. Ensuring Proper Tire Alignment

Your vehicle’s tire alignment makes a considerable difference in the operation of your transmission, especially during driving conditions. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you may need the following tools:

  • A flashlight
  • Protective clothing
  • A pair of disposable clothing
  • Jack stands
  • Floor jack
  • Wheel chocks
  • Tape measure
  • A pair of safety glasses, etc.

However, leave proper tire alignment and other essential tasks to professionals who know what they’re doing.

5. Proper Engine Maintenance

Transmissions get neglected when it comes to the overall performance of a vehicle. As soon as your car engine overheats, it causes the coolant within the radiator to boil. The boiling causes the transmission fluid to vanish within the radiator heat exchanger. Fixing a transmission may be easy for most mechanics. But it is not uncommon for these mechanics to forget one simple fact: the excess heat burns out all the additives in the transmission oil. When this occurs, or when the transmission oil evaporates, the transmission is exposed as there’s no fluid to clean and protect it. If your car engine overheats or misfires, fix this problem with your vehicle engine before you service the transmission.

6. Having and Using the Correct Tire Size

Using the correct tire size is essential to prolong your transmission’s performance and life span. Tires contribute to the wear and tear within a transmission system. Wear and tear occur due to overspeeding or overloading. Take your car to your mechanic and get them to work on the wheels.

Key Auto Transmission Takeaways

Boosting your auto transmission performance is not rocket science, especially for DIY enthusiasts. However, if you aren’t, ensure certified professionals perform these procedures to prevent unexpected but costly repairs.

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