Boise drivers can learn how to extend the life of their car’s automatic transmission while saving budget money for fun and recreation in Idaho. This article from Wayne’s Transmissions presents tips to minimize transmission repair bills. It guides you with suggestions of what to do if you think you have a transmission problem. In it we share quick reference lists to help you in managing transmission related concerns.
Along with various lists to help auto owners think through transmission issues we include information that covers all aspects of what to do and what not to do with your automatic transmission.
With the last list we take a contrary approach of addressing the idea of extending your transmissions usefulness by sharing ways to shorten its life. Some of us learn differently so we decided to approach the problem from two directions. First are ways to extend and then ways to reduce the life of your transmission. These quick reference lists will help you understand how to avoid transmission failures and help you understand what causes them.
Getting Started with Transmission Fundamentals
Automatic transmission fluid lubricates, cleans and cools yourtransmissions internal parts as it provides mechanical pressure to make all the parts function. Transmissions are one of the most complicated components in a car or truck. They have thousands of parts that can fail if not properly maintained. One of the most important things to know is that low fluid or the wrong type of fluid can damage the transmission. Adding the wrong fluid can also void a factory warranty.
The best thing you can do to extend the life of your transmission is to be aware of leaks, noises, jerks or slips. Anything unusual could be a sign of a problem. If you have none of these symptoms, that’s a good thing, but you should still remember to have the transmission serviced between 20,000 and 30,000 miles because of Boise’s weather extremes. Also have a professional mechanic check for leaks and look at fluid quality once per year.
Fluid leaks are the main cause of transmission problems. Always check the ground where you park to insure there are no leaks. If there is a leak get it looked at quick to avoid major repair expenses. If you are having a problem, when you take your vehicle to the transmission shop be sure to tell them all the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. This can shorten the diagnostic time and save you money.
Transmission problems can create a number of hardships for Boise auto owners. In an effort to convince you to be proactive about your transmission care we’ve listed 8 examples of the consequences of not maintaining your transmission:
- Expensive repair bills that could have been avoided
- You could get stuck with a car that won’t move
- Warning lights on the dashboard can be irritating when you don’t know what is causing them
- You could have a lack of power condition that gets miss diagnosed as an engine problem
- If you don’t go to a professional shop you could spend money that doesn’t fix the problem
- Vacations can be cancelled due to vehicle breakdown
- Depending on the problem you may have to make multiple trips to the repair shop
- Having your vehicle in the shop for several days for major repair work is very inconvenient
Here are 7 ways to extend your automatic transmissions life
- Some pickup trucks should never tow a heavy load with the shifter in Overdrive (O/D). Doing so can burn clutches in the transmission which would require an overhaul to fix.
- Always use the Trailer Tow button when towing a heavy load to avoid overheating the transmission. The button changes shift points in the computer and increases pressures to avoid damage.
- Check the fluid regularly or have your mechanic check it every oil change.
- Watch for fluid leaks and get them fixed quickly.
- Keep your vehicles engine running correctly. One computer may control both engine and transmission. A problem with one component can affect the other.
- Don’t downshift (pull the shifter down into lower gears) to brake for stoplights. This can cause excess internal transmission wear.
- Keep your cooling system checked and functioning because it cools the transmission fluid. Heat kills transmissions by destroying the ability of the fluid to do its job.
Here are 11 symptoms that indicate you may have a transmission problem
- Your car doesn’t accelerate as quickly as it did in the past
- It takes time after you shift into gear for the vehicle to move
- You see fluid on the ground under the transmission after parking over night
- When accelerating the engine speed sounds loud but the car doesn’t move faster
- The engine sounds very loud before the transmission shifts
- You hear unusual noises while driving
- The shift indicator isn’t pointing to the correct gear position in the dash or console
- Your car lacks power when starting from a stop
- Shifting isn’t consistent every time you drive the car
- There is a burnt oil smell while driving
- The check engine or check transmission warning is on in the dashboard
Here are some noises to listen for that could be caused by a transmission problem
- Clank noise when shifting into drive or reverse
- Rumbling noise while driving
- Whine or hum noise while driving
- Clicking, whistling or buzzing noises
- Screeching or squeal noises
If you think you have a transmission problem here are 5 tips to follow
- Don’t try to diagnose a transmission problem yourself
- Don’t take advice from people who say to use fluid additives to fix a problem
- Take your vehicle to a professional transmission repair shop for accurate diagnosis and repair
- If a warning light is on make an appointment with Wayne’s as soon as possible
- When checking your fluid level be sure to follow the procedure in your owner’s manual
At Wayne’s Transmissions we can get you back on the road with confidence. We specialize in transmission and drivetrain work. We have two master transmission mechanics with over 35 years of experience each. Bring it to us and you’ll be glad you did. Schedule an appointment today!
Another way to look at the topic of extending the life of your transmission is to identify ways to shorten your automatic transmissions life. Here are 15 things you shouldn’t do with your automatic transmission:
- Shifting into drive or reverse with the engine speed too high or not at idle speed
- Accelerating on ice and then moving onto dry pavement where the tires get good traction
- Shifting the transmission back and forth when stuck in snow or mud
- Shifting the transmission back and forth from drive to reverse quickly at high engine speed
- Having a cooling system problem that overheats the radiator and the transmission fluid
- Towing excess weight that puts extra load on transmission internal components
- Neglect servicing the transmission fluid regularly
- Flush transmission fluid and never change the filter. Plugged filters reduce transmission pressures
- Drive in hot weather towing heavy loads up hills without proper fluid cooling capacity
- Not having the fluid changed at shorter intervals after heavy use or towing
- Failing to add an auxiliary transmission cooler to a truck if it didn’t come with one from the factory
- Drive with the transmission warning light on for extended periods
- Shift to park or reverse before the vehicle comes to a complete stop
- Tow a vehicle with the drive wheels on the ground using a tow rope or chain
- Tow a trailer or heavy load up hills with the shifter in overdrive
If you think your automatic transmission has problem be careful about your response. Always consult a transmission specialist like Wayne’s Transmissions to get an accurate diagnosis and fair pricing. At the first sign of a problem don’t sell or trade your car until it’s diagnosed. The price to fix the problem could be much less than you think.
Don’t take your car to a general repair shop, a family member or low cost repair shop to have the problem diagnosed. It could cost more in the long run with a wrong diagnosis or doing a repair that doesn’t fix the problem. Never buy additives designed to fix problems like leaks. Magic fluids are not recommended.
Finally, never price shop over the phone. You will almost always get a low price initially because they want to get you into the shop. The shop can take your vehicle apart so you are hooked on having the work done there. Remember, the cheapest initial quote will not always get you the cheapest repair. Be careful. Look at the shops reviews. At Wayne’s we truly care for you and we will always give you a recommendation that is best for you, not us!
With over 50 years serving the Boise community, our transmission shop specializes in transmission, clutch and drive train repairs for all makes and models.
Advantages of transmission repair service at Wayne’s Transmissions:
- Affordable with Fair and Honest Prices
- 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee
- Convenient Same Day Service on many repairs
- ASE Certified Technicians and Mechanics
- 2 Master Techs with over 35 Years Experience
- 12 month / 12,000 Mile Warranty
- Accepted Extended Warranty Providers
- Located on Cole Road near Costco
You can trust your automatic transmission repair and service to our ASE mechanics. We’re located near you at 2687 S Cole Rd # C in Boise ID. Call today or request an appointment online.