How to care for a car with an automatic transmission?

The durability and reliability of the automatic transmission depends to a large extent on its user. Therefore, we want to share our knowledge on how to properly care for it:

  • Failure-free operation is associated with the regular replacement of filters and oils. Failure to do so causes the largest number of malfunctions.
  • Always use the correct oil prescribed by the automatic transmission manufacturer.
  • Never shift the shift lever to “N” (idle) while driving, because then the lubrication pressure will disappear, and the gearbox may seize.
  • An increased engine temperature also means a higher temperature for the automatic transmission. However, the higher transmission temperature may not be noticeable on the engine temperature gauge.
  • It should be kept in mind that cars from the American market (USA and Canada) have their cooling system capacity adjusted to their speed limits. However, additional oil coolers for automatic transmissions are available.
  • If you want to check the oil level in your automatic transmission (if it has a level dipstick – not every transmission has it), this should be done in the “N” position. Some of the transmissions should not have the level measured in the “P” position, as they increase the oil level. In addition, the transmission temperature is hot only after having driven approximately 30 to 40 km. In newer models, the oil level can only be checked at the service station.
  • In the event of a fault / malfunction, use a tow company. The engine that is not running does not drive the oil pump in the transmission, and with the engine running in the “N” position, the pressure is too low. Towing is only allowed for a short distance and at a low speed (up to 30km/h), preferably with the engine running (if possible).
  • If there is damage to the automatic transmission, you should not use unverified and companies that do not specialise in this type of transmissions because subsequent repair will cost much more. Very often we come across incorrect diagnosis regarding the transmission, which in turn leads to unnecessary costs.
  • If during oil change in the transmission the oil has a changed colour and smells of burning oil, replacing with new oil and filter is not necessarily the solution. Sometimes in such a situation the temperature is exceeded locally, which causes hardening of piston sealants surrounding a given gear clutch assembly. This process is irreversible. It is worth to send the transmission for repair at that point, because the faster the repair, the lower the costs.
  • All users of older vehicles with greater mileage should read the factory manual thoroughly and follow the times for changing filters and oils.
  •   Typical symptoms of a malfunctioning transmission are, among others, various types of jerks, slips, sounds, leaks, switching to emergency or service mode… All these symptoms may affect the comfort of using the automatic transmission. It can also lead to increased fuel consumption and even the immobilisation of the car.If you think that your automatic transmission is not working properly, or you want to avoid costly repairs when buying a used “automatic” car, trust the professionals in the industry and contact us.