Every car has a transmission—most of them automatic, some manual—and all of them do basically the same thing: The job of the vehicle transmission is to regulate the amount of power that goes to your wheels, always relative to the speed at which you’re traveling. The transmission actively shifts gears, much like on a multi-speed bike. Of course, there are some key distinctions between automatic and manual transmission, but what’s the same across every vehicle is that attending to regular transmission maintenance is vitally important.
Your transmission system itself works a bit like a bike. When pedaling a multi-speed bike in a low gear, it’s easy to get acceleration, but hard to work up much speed. By shifting into a higher gear—once the bike is on level ground and moving at a decent clip—higher speed can be achieved. That’s essentially the same function that transmission serves within a car—regulating the power relative to speed. And that requires the use of transmission fluid, which serves a critical function—lubricating your gears and minimizing the effect of daily wear and tear. All of this points to a basic point about vehicle maintenance: You should have transmission fluid inspection—and yes, transmission flush—as part of your regular preventative maintenance schedule.
Transmission fluid will eventually get dirty and lose its lubricating power—which makes it necessary to get a regular transmission flush. Additionally, you should take your car in for transmission maintenance any time you detect problems—such as grinding or whining sounds when the vehicle shifts gears. Difficulty changing gears, or frequently slipping out of gear, should also be taken as a warning sign. This is when you need to schedule transmission service ASAP.
Transmission fluid serves a pretty simple purpose: It lubricates your gears. Thus, as they shift, the wear and tear they take on is minimal. Transmission fluid extends the lifespan of your transmission considerably, which is what makes it so important to schedule a regular transmission fluid check, and to replace your transmission fluid when it becomes too dirty.
The question is, when do you know it’s time to schedule some transmission maintenance? Well, it’s good to check transmission fluid levels regularly—perhaps when you bring your car in for an oil change or tire rotation, once or twice a year. You should also schedule transmission repair if you notice any problems shifting gears, such as strange noises during the gear shift process.
There are a few warning signs that it’s time for a transmission maintenance appointment. If you notice that your car seems to have a hard time shifting gears—if there is a jostling, or a grinding noise—that’s a dead giveaway. The car slipping out of gear, or changing gears at random times, is another one. And any whining noise you heard could point to a transmission issue. That means it’s time to take your car to Meineke in Pearland TX for maintenance!
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