Having your Automatic Transmission serviced regularly is important
Automatic Transmission servicing
It can be easy to forget about getting your transmission serviced. It’s easier to remember to change the engine oil 5,000 – 10,000 kilometres or so but proper transmission servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid repairs down the road.
The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you can see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. Also the transmission operates at very high temperatures usually 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.
As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the vehicle transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worst, it could lead to damage.
When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves fuel economy. That’s why it is recommended to change your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for a transmission service and we can tell you what is recommended.
Hot and dusty conditions, towing, stop and start driving all start to increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means vehicles with an automatic transmission require a change of the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 50,000 kms or so. If your owner’s manual suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions you should change it more often.
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European vehicles have their own specific requirements. Specialist knowledge and equipment which we have, is required when servicing these vehicles. Specific transmission fluids are required along with special procedures to check the oil level.
Towing a trailer or boat can place severe loads on a transmission and shorten its life. When you’re on the boat ramp or pulling a load up a steep incline, manually shift your transmission into the “L” position. Shift the lever manually up into drive, as you begin moving. Avoid using overdrive. Cancel the OD. If you don’t have an OD cancel button then manually shift the transmission into “3” to stop it shifting into overdrive.