Transmission failure is one of the fastest ways to rack up an expensive repair bill at the auto shop. Whether you drive manual or automatic transmission, there are lots of seemingly minor things that might be putting undue strain on your transmission and shortening its lifespan. Here are some of the most common problems to watch out for that can cause transmission failure. You can also talk to a repair shop transmission consultant for more ways to protect this important part of your vehicle.

Low Fluid Levels

One of the most common reasons transmissions fail is a lack of transmission fluid. This fluid lubricates all the moving parts and is responsible for making sure the transmission operates smoothly. When there’s not enough of it, it can cause excessive wear and tear on the whole system. Most low fluid levels are caused by leaks, so if your vehicle doesn’t have as much fluid as it should, see a transmission repair consultant about finding the source of the problem.

Shifting Before You Stop

Although it’s a pretty common habit that may seem harmless, shifting into drive or reverse before you come to a stop can put a lot of extra pressure on your transmission. Transmissions simply weren’t meant to operate like that, and it’s one of the fastest ways to grind down your gears, since it’s a practice you may repeat dozens of times every day. Take the few extra seconds and come to a complete stop before you shift gears.

Hot or Cold Temperature

Another way to ruin your transmission is to start driving before your engine is warmed up. In warm weather, this may only take 30 seconds or so. Transmission problems are especially common in the winter, however, when you may need to let your engine run for a minute or two before driving.

On the other hand, extremely hot temperatures are also bad for your transmission. Aggressive drivers who act like drag racers going from light to light can easily cause transmission failure by heating the transmission to extreme temperatures.

Lack of Maintenance

Finally, just like any other part of your vehicle, your transmission needs occasional maintenance to stay in good working order. Talk to a transmission repair consultant to find out how often you need to change the transmission fluid and have other regular maintenance scheduled. This gives you the best chance at getting the longest life out of your transmission, and will help you avoid breaking down on the side of the road unexpectedly.

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