One of the most important things you can do to give your car a long life is take care of its transmission. The transmission is a mechanical system in the engine which channels power towards the wheels of a vehicle. Transmission systems are generally manufactured according to two designs – manual transmission and automatic transmission. Popular Mechanics Writer Timothy Dahl suggests “Manual transmissions can get out of whack due to user error and driving style, such as mashing gears when shifting or not engaging the clutch properly… on the other hand, the health of an automatic transmission is less dependent on users driving style, but it’s smart to avoid taxing your transmission whenever possible.” Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to help take good care of your transmission:
DON’T Use the Neutral Gear as a Brake:
Some motorist like to rest their feet while driving, by shifting into Neutral during long stops in traffic. This is bad because the Neutral gear shift isn’t designed to stop the car from moving. It’s meant to allow the vehicle to be moved while towing or pushing. Using Neutral to stop also prevents drivers from making swift maneuvers in the event of an emergency.
DO Accelerate Carefully:
There isn’t a driver in the world who doesn’t wish they could drag-race and launch from 0 mph to 60 mph in the blink of an eye. Unless you’re driving a supercar though, leave this stunt to the pros. Accelerating suddenly in an ordinary car damages the bands and clutches which prevent your transmission from slipping when it’s in gear.
DON’T Shift Gears Without Coming to a STOP:
When drivers suddenly need to change direction, they tend to shift gears without stopping completely – especially when shifting into Park, Reverse or Neutral. Doing this is harmful because instead of using brakes to stop the car, you’re using the transmission to decelerate. A car’s transmission system isn’t designed to endure that much mechanical stress without eroding.
DO Fill Up Your Gas Tank:
If you drive an automatic car, avoid driving with low levels of fuel. Adequate fuel pressure is necessary for an engine to function well. Fuel also helps lubricate the moving parts of your engine. The less fuel you carry in your tank, the faster it will wear out from friction.
DON’T Coast in Neutral:
Some drivers shift into Neutral while coasting downhill in order to save gas. This is unnecessary because most modern engines use technology which moderates fuel supply when travelling downhill. Coasting in Neutral also forces your engine to rev at its lowest RPM and pump oil slowly. The more you do this, the easier it is for the engine to overheat.
The last thing you should ever want to deal with as a driver is trying to repair damaged transmission systems. Not only are transmissions costly to fix, but they’re so intricate it takes a lot of work to restore them. Even though it’s fun to drive like you’re on a race track from time to time, do yourself a favor and be delicate with your transmission. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654 to find out how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe. We got you covered!