Automotive Transmission Maintenance Tips from a Tampa Mechanic

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Perhaps the most common reason car owners have in bringing their cars to automotive mechanics in Tampa is for auto AC repair. In hot weather, we immediately notice it when the auto AC malfunctions. A responsible mechanic will take the opportunity to suggest a full diagnostic auto service inspection of the vehicle during this session. He will check the vehicle’s engine, brakes and transmission, among others. According to our Tampa mechanic, they find that although the engine and the brakes are usually well taken care of, maintenance of the transmission system is often neglected by Tampa car owners. Since car transmission repair is quite expensive, it would be wise to observe proper transmission maintenance instead. Here are some of the transmission maintenance tips from our Tampa mechanic.Regularly check the color and level of the transmission fluid. It should be red. Once it turns brown or emits any burnt smell, it needs to be changed immediately. If the transmission fluid does not exhibit any change in color or odor, change the transmission fluid and filter based on the maintenance schedule. As a rule, flush the transmission every 15,000 to 20,000 miles, or every two years at the maximum.Use only the brand of transmission fluid recommended by the car manufacturer. If you have to switch brands for any reason, never mix different brands of transmission fluid.Regularly check transmission sensors and modulator valves; clean the transmission using specialty cleaning fluid; and change the fluid in the torque converter.Observe proper driving habits to prevent damage to the car transmission system. If you are driving in reverse, come to a full stop before shifting to drive. Do not ever shift the vehicle from reverse to drive while the car is moving.Only shift from park to drive while in normal idle speed, never on a higher speed.Before putting the car into park, step on the brake pedal first and apply the emergency brake. This protects the car transmission system by putting the stress on the emergency brake.Use the car overdrive properly if your vehicle has it. This is the highest gear in the transmission. It is the fourth gear in a four speed automatic transmission and the fifth gear in a five speed manual transmission with overdrive. Turn off the overdrive when driving in mountainous terrain or when you the vehicle is carrying or towing a heavy load. Failure to do so will cause the transmission to repeatedly upshift and downshift, leading to possible damage.Carrying or towing heavy loads should actually be avoided. This is dangerous for the transmission system since it builds up heat that can burn out the components of the transmission. Other common causes of dangerous overheating include racing, hot weather traffic with repeated stop-and-go driving, and attempting to get a car unstuck from snow or mud by repeatedly putting it in drive and reverse. An auxiliary transmission cooler mounted on the car radiator can be used to cool the transmission fluid if these situations are unavoidable in your lifestyle.Although some of these maintenance procedures could be done by vehicles owners, it is best to have the transmission system checked regularly by professional mechanics. Not only are they more qualified to identify any current problems in your car but they could also spot any issues that could become potential problems in the future, alert the owner to them and apply the necessary preventive measures.Proper maintenance of the transmission system will extend its life and the car’s life. It will also keep the vehicle’s driver and passengers, as well as other Tampa motorists and pedestrians, safe on the road.

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