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Understanding Car Issues

When I began thinking more seriously about car issues, it occurred to me that there were a few things I needed to do if I wanted to make things easier for myself in the long run. For starters, I began taking my car in for regular auto service, which really helped out. It was really interesting to see how many different things had to be fixed every time I went in, but when my car didn't have as many problems, I could tell that it was really paying off. This website is all about understanding and preventing car problems by making better choices.



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Understanding Car Issues

What Factors Affect Your Automatic Transmission Service Intervals?

by Micheal Barrett

Servicing your automatic transmission will help it last for many hundreds of thousands of miles. A reliable and well-maintained transmission may even outlast the rest of your vehicle, helping you keep your car for a long while and avoiding a potentially budget-burning repair. Unfortunately, you may be less familiar with servicing and maintaining your transmission than your engine.

While your car's engine has quite a few serviceable parts, your transmission only has two that you need to worry about: the filter and the fluid. The level of difficulty and skill required to service these items can vary between makes and models, as can the best service intervals. Keep reading to learn about three factors that influence when and how you should service your transmission.

1. Manufacturer Recommendations

Your owner's manual will contain helpful information about service intervals for your vehicle. With most cars, the manufacturer will provide recommendations for engine oil changes, oil weights, air filter replacement intervals, and so on. If your manufacturer has a recommended replacement interval for your transmission fluid or filter, it's a good idea to follow it.

However, some manufacturers omit this information or claim to use lifetime fluid. While lifetime fluids may last longer, they're unlikely to provide adequate cooling and lubrication as a vehicle ages into the six-figure mileage range. If your manufacturer uses this type of fluid, it's often a good idea to consult with an experienced transmission shop to determine when to replace it.

2. Vehicle Usage

Like most maintenance items on your vehicle, how you use your transmission will influence how often it requires servicing. Although your transmission fluid helps to keep your transmission cool, extreme heat can cause it to degrade rapidly. Overworking your vehicle, such as towing heavy loads or spending a significant amount of time climbing steep grades, can overheat your transmission and weaken the fluid.

If your usage isn't relatively sedate, you may want to consider more frequent transmission fluid and filter changes. Your owner's manual may include a recommendation for "severe" service intervals, or you can consult with a transmission shop to determine your best course of action.

3. Age

Older vehicles nearly always require more care than newer cars. As your transmission piles on the miles, internal parts will degrade and release more particulate matter into the fluid. This debris can increase friction and decrease lubrication, causing the fluid to ultimately degrade much more quickly than when your car was new.

A good rule of thumb is to shorten your service intervals once your car leaves its warranty period and begins to get older. More frequent transmission service appointments can help ensure that your fluid stays fresh and your transmission will age as gracefully as the rest of your vehicle.

For more information reach out to a company like Denville Transmission.