A lot of people who own cars with manual transmissions put a lot of thought into how they drive so that they don't damage the clutch or transmission. If you have a car with an automatic transmission, however, you might not put a lot of thought into this important component of your car at all. The truth is, an automatic transmission can also be damaged by your driving habits. Since this is a rather expensive part to repair or replace, it is best to avoid damaging it in the first place. These are a few ways that you're potentially damaging your automatic transmission; if any of them sound familiar, then it's time to switch up your driving habits. Otherwise, you might find yourself in need of an expensive transmission replacement sooner than you think.
1. Pulling Things That You Shouldn't
Even if you have seen other vehicles just like yours pulling moving trailers, other vehicles or other heavy loads, it's not necessarily a good idea to do it with your car. Even if you have a truck or an SUV, it might not be rated for towing. Check your vehicle's owner's manual to find out the maximum towing capacity, and make sure that you don't exceed it. Even short hauls with heavy items can do a number on your transmission.
2. Shifting When Your Vehicle is in Motion
It might not seem like a big deal to quickly shift your car into reverse or drive while it's moving, especially if it's moving slowly. However, that jerking motion that you feel when doing so is an indication that it's not a good idea. Basically, when you do this, you are using your car's various transmission components to stop your vehicle, which isn't good for them. Even if you're in a hurry, you should always bring your car to a complete stop before shifting from one gear to another if you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission. Otherwise, you might find that your transmission will leave you stranded one day when you're also in a hurry.
3. Skimping on Transmission Maintenance
You might know that it's super important to get your oil changed, but you might not pay a lot of attention to transmission maintenance. However, your transmission needs an ample supply of transmission fluid to keep everything cool and lubricated; otherwise, the parts could rub and could wear out. Top off your transmission fluid each time that you check your oil, and make sure that you follow your vehicle manufacturer's guidelines about other transmission maintenance, such as changing the filter.
Your habits could cause serious damage to your automatic transmission if you aren't careful. Avoid these three things, however, and you should be able to keep this necessary component in good condition. For additional information, contact a repair company such as Northgate Transmission LLC.