What causes transmission damage?

Overheating is one of the primary causes of damage to the transmission which results from towing heavy loads, stopping-and-going in hot weather, and racing the engine. At hotter temperatures, the transmission lubricating quality decreases which leaves deposits on the inside of the transmission. The automatic transmission fluid will have a burnt smell and dark, dirty appearance in an overheated transmission. Heat causes the o-rings and rubber seals to become hard and brittle as well as the metal parts to warp.

Other causes of transmission problems can result from lack of maintenance, faulty parts, inappropriate transmission fluid levels, wrong type of transmission fluid, or poor transmission design.

How to prevent transmission damage?
  • Preventive maintenance is important by having transmission fluids and filters checked twice a year. If the transmission fluid is too low, there may be a leak that needs to be fixed.
  • Be conscientious about towing weights.
  • Be conscientious about the engine overheating.
  • Move from Parking mode while the engine rpm is low.
  • Keep the brakes compressed while shifting from Parking mode.
  • Immediately check if you hear a noise, see leaks, or have problems with shifting.
When to use overdrive?

When a certain speed is reached, the transmission is shifted to overdrive so that the engine can have less rpm with a higher speed which provides better fuel efficiency. When driving in the mountains or towing, overdrive usually needs to be turned off.

When to service transmission?

For optimum protection, change the fluid and filter every 25,000 miles. Add it to your calendar as a reminder.

Parts of a transmission?
  • Bell Housing: This is the cone shaped metal case that you can see when you peek underneath your car. If you have a front-wheel-drive car it’s stuck on the side of the engine under the hood. If your car is rear-wheel-drive, the transmission will be mounted underneath the car behind the engine.
  • Gears: Even though you’re not shifting them, an automatic transmission has gears. They are broken into main gears and planetary gears. You need all of these to be able to drive.
  • Fluid: Transmission fluid is very important to an automatic transmission. All of the magic happens in the fluid. Most cars come with red transmission fluid, good to know if you are looking for a leak.
  • Filter: All of that fluid has to be clean for your car to shift gears at the right time. To keep things fresh, your transmission has a filter to catch any gunk.
Are the transmission fluid levels ok?

Check your transmission fluid at least twice a year. Change your transmission fluid every 25,000 miles.

How to check for a leaking transmission?

Most transmission fluid is red. There are a few places to check for leaks: the filler tube base, the drain hole located underneath the transmission between the transmission and the engine. at the selector shaft – the rod that connects your gear shift to the transmission at the speed sensor mounting point at the radiator