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7 Driving Habits That Damage Your Car's Transmission

7 Driving Habits That Damage Your Car's Transmission | RM Automotive

The transmission is one of the most vital components of your vehicle. It is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels. Yet, many drivers unknowingly engage in habits that can significantly damage this crucial part of their car. Removing these habits can help you avoid repairs and extend the life of your transmission.

1. Shifting Gears Without Coming to a Stop

One of the most common habits that can harm your transmission is shifting gears without coming to a complete stop. Whether moving from reverse to drive or drive to reverse, failing to stop fully can cause internal damage to the transmission. This action forces the transmission to abruptly change direction, putting unnecessary stress on its components.

How to Avoid This: Always bring your vehicle to a complete stop before shifting gears. This simple practice can save you from significant wear and tear on your transmission.

2. Ignoring Regular Maintenance and Fluid Checks

Your car's transmission fluid is essential for keeping the transmission cool and lubricated. Over time, this fluid can become dirty or depleted, leading to overheating and increased friction among moving parts. Ignoring regular maintenance and fluid checks can result in severe damage to your transmission.

How to Avoid This: Follow your vehicle's maintenance schedule and check your transmission fluid level and quality regularly. Replacing the fluid as your car's manufacturer recommends can help maintain optimal transmission performance.

3. Driving on a Spare Tire for Too Long

While it might seem unrelated, driving on a spare tire for extended periods can negatively impact your transmission. Spare tires are often smaller and not designed for prolonged use. They can cause uneven tire wear and stress the transmission as they compensate for the size difference.

How to Avoid This: Replace your spare tire with a regular tire as soon as possible. If you must drive on a spare, keep your speed low and limit your driving distance to avoid putting extra strain on your transmission.

4. Towing Beyond Your Car's Capacity

Towing heavy loads beyond your car's capacity can lead to transmission failure. The added weight forces your transmission to work harder than it's designed to, increasing the risk of overheating and mechanical failure.

How to Avoid This: Always check your vehicle's towing capacity in the owner's manual and avoid exceeding it. If you frequently need to haul heavy loads, use a vehicle specifically designed for towing.

5. Overheating the Transmission

Transmission overheating is a leading cause of transmission failure. Driving in heavy traffic, towing, or driving in hot weather without adequate cooling can cause your transmission to overheat. Overheating can break down transmission fluid, leading to increased friction and damage to internal parts.

How to Avoid This: Ensure your transmission cooling system is in good working order, and consider installing an auxiliary transmission cooler if you often drive in hot conditions or tow heavy loads.

6. Neglecting to Use the Parking Brake

Many drivers rely solely on the transmission's parking gear when they park their vehicles. However, this habit can strain the transmission, especially on inclines, as it holds the car's full weight.

How to Avoid This: Always use the parking brake in addition to shifting into park. This practice relieves pressure on the transmission and helps prevent potential damage.

7. Rapid Acceleration and Sudden Braking

Aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and sudden braking, can cause wear on your transmission. This driving style creates abrupt changes in momentum, leading to increased stress on transmission components.

How to Avoid This: Adopt a smoother driving style. Gradually accelerate and decelerate to reduce stress on your transmission and other drivetrain components.

The Importance of Regular Transmission Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial in preventing transmission issues. Routine inspections, fluid changes, and promptly addressing minor issues can significantly extend your transmission's life. Investing in preventative maintenance saves you money in the long run and ensures a smoother and more reliable driving experience.

Protect your vehicle from costly transmission repairs. Trust RM Automotive for regular maintenance and expert diagnostics. Contact us today to make an appointment!