Things You Should Know About Your Automatic Transmission

Because drivers of a vehicle with an automatic transmission have little to no interaction with this vehicle component, they often know very little about it, and its importance to them making it down the road safely. There are things you should know about your automatic transmission to keep you from having a breakdown and/or needing costly repairs. Let’s review.

What is an Automatic Transmission?

There are a lot of parts in your Phoenix, AZ car, truck, or SUV that keep you moving down the road safely and effectively. A car’s transmission is one of the most critical components of the vehicle. As mentioned above, because the transmission is under your car’s hood and often not seen, many drivers don’t know much about this crucial part of their vehicle that is responsible for allowing them to shift gears and keep driving.

Your transmission can be manual or automatic (there is also a semi-automatic transmission, which is less common). Automatic vehicles are much more common than manual cars, trucks, and SUVs in the United States.

An automatic transmission (sometimes abbreviated to auto or AT) is a multi-speed transmission used in motor vehicles that does not require any driver input to change gears under normal driving conditions. Most drivers with an automatic transmission have little to no intervention with their transmission when it comes to shifting gears. An automatic transmission has no clutch pedal and once the transmission is in “drive”, everything is automatic.

Things You Should Know About Your Automatic Transmission

If you are unfamiliar with your vehicle’s transmission, it’s time to get to know it a little better, so you can ensure yours in the best working condition and there are no problems looming.

  • Transmission fluid is crucial to your automatic transmission functioning properly. No matter the type of transmission your car has, it relies on transmission fluid to lubricate the moving parts inside your transmission. Routinely checking the transmission fluid is vital to your transmission’s overall health, and could also be an early indicator of problems. How often you should change your transmission fluid depends on the vehicle. Most manufacturers recommend changing transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
  • If your vehicle overheats, it can cause extreme damage to your automatic transmission. While it’s unavoidable that things under the hood of your vehicle get hot, excessive heat can severely damage your transmission. Be sure to check your vehicle for signs that indicate it may overheat. Cooling systems leaks, coolant issues, blocked hoses, radiator problems, malfunctioning thermostat, broken water pump, and more, can all lead your car, truck, or SUV to overheat. Around 90% of all transmission failures can be caused by excess heat.
  • Changing gears while your vehicle is moving can lead to transmission issues. When it comes to things you should know about your automatic transmission, one of the most important, is how changing gears while your vehicle is in motion, can lead to issues. Bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Failing to do so puts a strain on your transmission and after a while it can lead to a serious problem.

We don’t expect you to be a transmission expert, that is what we are here for. Above we have reviewed three of the most important things you should know about your automatic transmission. The key to keeping your transmission in the best condition is the same as with all other parts of your vehicle, stay alert and if you see an issue or a sign of a problem, take it to a Phoenix automotive repair shop right away. The longer you drive around with an issue, the larger and more expensive it can become.

Advanced Transmissions & Emissions specializes in transmission repair, rebuilding, and remanufacturing, and all of your other automotive repair needs from clutches, air conditioning, steering, suspension, and more. We are a full-service auto mechanic repair shop. If your check engine light is on, call us, we can do a diagnostic check while you wait. Contact us and request an appointment today.

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