Three Factors That Shorten the Intervals for Auto Transmission Servicing
If you've just bought an automatic car, your dealer may have provided details about how often you should service your transmission. During servicing, the mechanic flushes old transmission fluid, cleans internal parts of the system and lubricates metal parts to prevent premature wear. While most manufacturers recommend that you service your transmission every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, some factors can shorten this timeline. If you do any of the following, you should service it more regularly than advised.
Regular off-roading, especially with a car that's not designed for rough terrain, can wear your automatic transmission. Driving up and down on obstacles causes wear and tear that could otherwise not occur. This is particularly common if you drive at high speeds. The rough terrain causes a host of other problems such as tire wear, alignment issues and body damage to your car. If you off-road regularly, you need to visit your mechanic more often for transmission servicing.
Exposure to High Temperatures
High temperatures are one of the greatest enemies of automatic transmissions. These transmissions rely on the transmission fluid to create hydraulic pressure and change the gears, lubricate the parts and cool the system. Unlike manual cars, their clutch systems are immersed in the liquid. When the temperatures are high, the fluid heats up and heats the clutch as well.
As a result of the high temperatures, the clutch begins to deteriorate. Your vehicle's automatic gears may start to slip over time. Therefore, if you live in an area that experiences high temperatures, you need to service your transmission more often. Similarly, you should service the vehicle at least once every summer to counter the effects of extreme heat on the transmission.
Heavy Towing Jobs
Towing heavy loads such as boats, camper trailers or heavy utility trailers can take a toll on your car's engine and transmission. During towing, the transmission fluid gets heated up due to the extra pressure required to shift the gears and power the wheels. As the liquid heats up, it acts as it would if the temperatures were extremely high. It heats the clutch system and causes premature wear and tear.
If you regularly use your car for tow jobs, you need to service it regularly. The mechanic will top up the low transmission fluid, check for mechanical damage in the components and lubricate parts to counteract the effects of the heat. To protect your transmission from failure, never tow beyond the recommended capacity.
A faulty transmission affects your car's handling and can eventually lead to roadside emergencies. Visit your mechanic for more frequent automatic transmission services if you off-road often, expose your vehicle to heat or use it for heavy towing jobs.