Without a functioning transmission, you would pretty literally be stuck in literal. Instead of driving around in a Flintstones car, there are steps that you can take today, including scheduling transmission service, to coax optimal performance out of your current transmission.

The job of your transmission is essentially to ensure that the proper amount of power finds its way to the wheels of your vehicle as you hit the accelerator or ease up to go at different speeds. Your vehicle’s transmission works in a similar way to the chain and gear system on a multi-speed bike with three or more gear settings, which enables literally dozens of different speeds.

Unless you’re driving a semi truck with 10 gears – believe it or not, some trucks had crankshafts with 18 gears! – your vehicle will still have a variety of different gears that need to be properly maintained with transmission service. Keeping your transmission in tip-top shape will ensure a smoother ride, better fuel economy, and greater overall longevity without the need for costly repairs.

Changing Out Your Transmission Fluid 

Too many vehicle owners wave off changing their transmission fluid because A) they don’t really understand the vital role that it plays B) they don’t understand that it deteriorates over time, and C) the relatively long recommended distances between changes (50,000 to 100,000 miles) can make it seem optional.

Here’s the thing – changing your transmission fluid is not optional! What’s more, frequent stop-and-go driving combined with towing heavy loads will put extra stress on your vehicle’s transmission and the transmission fluid. Engine oil and transmission fluid are actually slightly different in how they work.

Engine Oil Versus Transmission Fluid 

Engine oil works mainly as a lubricant whereas transmission fluid works as both an oil and hydraulic fluid. The fact that transmission fluid functions as a hydraulic fluid means that it enables you to smoothly go from one gear to another (hopefully sequentially!) and does other helpful things to boot.

Transmission fluid as a hydraulic fluid facilitates gear changes while cooling the transmission and making sure that all of your transmissions parts are properly lubricated for optimal performance. If you’re worried about your transmission fluid not being up to snuff, then take your vehicle in to All Around Auto Repair for a check and to see whether you would benefit from transmission service.

Lots of Stop-and-go Driving? Hit the Brakes! 

If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving or if your vehicle feels clunky while switching gears, then it might be time to make a pit stop at All Around Auto Repair to check the level and condition of your transmission fluid. The mechanics at All Around Auto Repair will know exactly what to look for.

For instance, did you know that older transmission fluid will tend to be darker. It’s true. Normally, transmission fluid is red but it gets darker over time if you go too long between changes or do a lot of stop-and-go driving. The fact is that a darker color usually indicates that the transmission fluid is deteriorating right before your eyes.

Older transmission fluid will also exhibit a burned, almost charred, smell that could indicate bad transmission fluid or your transmission’s ongoing mechanic issues. All Around Auto Repair’s technicians know how to check the level and condition of your transmission fluid. Symptoms of a failing or malfunctioning transmission might include:

-Clunky gear changes

-Unresponsive gear changes

-Leaking fluid

-Dashboard indicator on (the spiky circle with the exclamation point)

-Bumpy sound in neutral

-Offensive odor

Aside from the “sniff test,” particles in your transmission fluid might indicate that your transmission fluid needs a flush – a flush system will get the old, compromised transmission fluid out of there and pump in newer fluid.

Remember, changing your transmission fluid is not optional and transmission fluid works as both an oil and hydraulic fluid. For a transmission and transmission fluid check, new transmission fluid, and a variety of different kinds of transmission service, schedule an appointment with All Around Auto Repair by calling (707) 837 – 0646 or clicking here.