Car Care: Transmission Care

A healthy transmission is crucial for smooth operation

One of the most important parts of your car or truck, and often a part you rarely think of, is the transmission. Proper transmission maintenance, while not necessary as frequently as other routine maintenance tasks, is still an important part of increasing your vehicle’s longevity.

Getting power from your car’s engine to its wheels is the job of the transmission. The gears in the transmission help multiply the torque from the engine to get your vehicle started from a stop, and they reduce the engine speed needed to drive at highway speeds for less noise and fuel consumption. Transmissions come in automatic and manual varieties. Automatic transmissions contain planetary gear sets and hydraulically operated clutches, instead of the foot-pedal clutch found in a manual, to engage the gear that’s needed at any particular time. The hydraulic fluid, and the filter that keeps the fluid clean, are the only parts that need any regular maintenance.

Newer transmissions are sealed to help prevent leaks, and many modern transmissions don’t need any service until 100,000 miles or more. Older transmissions need to have the fluid and filters replaced more frequently. Repairing damage if the transmission isn’t sealed up properly after fluid and/or filter maintenance can get very expensive, so transmission service is a job best handled by your dealer’s service department.


The driver-operated clutch in a manual transmission vehicle consists of a pressure plate that squeezes a friction disk against the engine flywheel. Most newer clutches are operated by a hydraulic cylinder that needs to be kept full of fluid, and the reservoir can be easily checked by anyone and topped off if necessary.

The condition and lifespan of the clutch itself is dependent on how the driver uses it. A driver who doesn’t slip or ride the clutch can have it last 100,000 miles or more. Someone who rides their foot on the clutch pedal can overheat it, causing it to wear out prematurely. Replacing a burned out or worn clutch is a difficult job that should be handled by a dealer. The gearbox also contains a thick lubricating oil to keep heat and noise levels down, and this should be drained and replaced according to the recommended maintenance schedule.

For more information about your transmission, and to keep it performing optimally, stop by or contact us today at 1-877-331-1628.

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