Don?t Forget to Check Your Transmission Fluid

A car requires different fluids to run. Transmission fluid is one among the vital fluids that cars those that use both manual and automatic transmission require to run optimally. Transmission fluid is a slick lubricant that facilitates the smooth movement of parts when driving. The fluid also acts as a coolant and its viscous nature helps transmit engine power to the transmission. Moreover, the fluid is vital for gear lubrication, torque conversion, brake friction and valve operation. Transmission fluid should be changed after a given mileage usually as stated by the manufacturer.  However, if one buys purchases a car and they are not very certain of its history, checking the transmission fluid is the only way they can ensure that the transmission will run smoothly. Leaks may also necessitate the user to inspect transmission fluid levels. Although changing the fluid is best left to professional mechanics, checking the levels is easy and can be done from one’s home garage.

Most cars are equipped with dip sticks specifically used to check the oil and transmission fluid levels. The transmission dipstick is shorter than that used to check the engine oil level.  The person checking the fluid levels should first wipe the dipstick and then deep it into the engine compartment where the transmission fluid is held. After the dip and the subsequent confirmation of the level, one should wipe the dip stick on a white cloth specifically to check the color of the fluid. Ideally, fluid that has acquired a darkish tone either indicates issues with the transmission system, misuse of the vehicle or fluid that has run its course.   Unlike engine oil, the difference between low and high levels of the transmission fluid is usually a pint only.  Thus, it is vitally important that the person taking the transmission fluid levels take clear readings from the dipstick, which should guide them on whether to add, change or retain the current levels.

In manual cars, transmission fluid contamination is a significant issue and car owners have to regularly check for this. The constant use of gears, bearings and synchronizers during power transmission results in the eventual wear and tear of these metallic parts.  The released metal particles subsequently end up in the transmission fluid. Therefore this affects the ability of the fluid to effectively lubricate  and if a replacement of the contaminated  transmission fluid is  not carried out,  the  contaminants  eventually shortens the  lifespan of the  transmission  system as it hinders the proper lubrication of these parts.

The automatic transmission fluid however is prone to degradation, which occurs when the fluid breaks down due to exposure to the heat generated during transmission.  At such, the fluid looses some of its vital lubricating ability and eventually accumulates contaminants. Therefore, if it is not drained and changed out, it then shortens the performances of the transmission system. Constant inspection and change is advisable when the need arises.  This not only minimizes the trips to the mechanic, but also reduces the amount of funds used resolving transmission system problems. 

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