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3 Ways to Extend Your Transmission's Lifespan

An automotive transmission allows power to be transferred from the engine to the drivetrain. Without a working transmission, your car simply wouldn't be able to move, no matter how fast you revved the engine. Yet despite the central role played by transmissions, many car owners fail to give them the maintenance and care they need.

A neglected transmission will reach the end of its lifespan much more quickly and can cost a small fortune to replace. If you would like to increase your knowledge about what it takes to keep a transmission in good health, keep reading. This article takes a closer look at three effective ways to extend your transmission's lifespan.

1. Stay on Top of Fluid Levels

As you likely know, a transmission contains a multitude of different gears. Your transmission harnesses engine torque at different speeds by altering which gears are engaged. This mechanical process of engaging and disengaging gears requires power transmitted by means of your transmission fluid.

In other words, your transmission system utilizes hydraulic power to regulate itself. In addition, transmission fluid also plays a key role in cooling your transmission. The fluid absorbs heat and moves it out of the transmission, where it can be safely dispersed. This ensures that the transmission itself remains within acceptable temperature limits.

Over time, a transmission system gradually loses fluid, either through leaks or as a result of the fluid breaking down and forming deposits inside of the system. If fluid levels fall too far, your transmission will struggle to generate power. It will also experience unsafe temperatures, which can cause delicate internal components to suffer premature damage.

For this reason, you must be proactive about having your transmission fluid levels checked regularly. Heavy drivers should check their transmission fluid roughly every 2 weeks. Adding more fluid to maintain proper levels will help to ensure that your transmission enjoys a full lifespan.

2. Consider Switching to Synthetic Fluid

As noted above, transmission fluid has a tendency to break down over time. This process, known as oxidation, happens naturally as a result of repeated exposure to high heat. As the fluid degrades, sludge and other deposits often form. These can clog up your system, as well as adhere to components in the form of varnish.

Traditionally, most transmission oil had an organic basis, being much like motor oil. Yet in the last few decades, manufacturers have developed highly effective forms of synthetic transmission fluid. Such fluids have a much higher purity, making them less susceptible to degradation caused by heat.

3. Invest in a Transmission Cooler

In one way or another, heat lies behind a surprising number of transmission failures. Not only does heat degrade transmission fluid, but it also damages internal seals, metal surfaces, and relatively delicate electronic components.

Most automatic transmissions route their fluid through the radiator. That way, the coolant can absorb some of the transmission fluid's heat. Yet even this measure can't always keep the fluid within safe temperature limits, especially when you subject your car to intense driving conditions.

To ensure that your transmission fluid disperses the greatest possible amount of its heat, consider installing an aftermarket transmission cooler to your system. As fluid flows out of the radiator, it enters the cooler, which allows even more heat to be dispersed. Some coolers even contain fans to increase airflow and speed cooling.

Transmissions, like all car parts, naturally experience wear and tear as the years go by. While you can't prevent this process entirely, you can certainly control it. When your transmission does finally reach the end of its lifespan, you can save a lot of money by investing in a used replacement. For more information about recycled and salvaged transmissions, please contact the pros at Cordova Truck Dismantlers.