There are many factors that affect the longevity of your automatic transmission car, some of which you have control over and some that you don’t. For instance, many people think that using your car less often, and for shorter trips, will keep it new and in optimum condition for longer, which is not true.
Vehicles driven for short distances or occasionally are subjected to unusual strain and wear. Driving your car for short distances prevents the engine from warming up to optimal operating temperature, resulting in excessive engine wear.
Low mileage transmissions for city or stop-and-go traffic usually experience far more wear than automatic transmissions with the same mileage for highway driving. Your vehicle’s mileage does not result in the same amount of wear caused by the frequency of your transmission changing gears, such as when you slow down and accelerate in heavy traffic.
Many other driving conditions that are seemingly normal or favorable can also affect your transmissions, such as icy or snowy roadways, dirty air quality, mountainous terrain, and extreme temperatures. Under what automakers consider normal driving conditions, it is recommended that you service your automatic transmission after 100,000 miles.
So, what are these normal conditions?
- Covering 12,000 – 15,000 miles annually
- A mixture of 1/3 city driving and 2/3 highway
- Maintaining the optimal operating temperature for the engine and transmission for most driving
- Driving in dry and clear road surfaces
- Driving in clean air quality
- Avoiding excess speeding, hard braking, or jackrabbit starts
- Most driving in straight and level roadways, and minimum driving in mountainous terrain
- Ensuring the correct fluid levels and condition, and proper tire pressures
- Maintaining light to moderate loads, or carrying only one or two passengers at most with very little weight in the cargo space
Considering these requirements, very few drivers can manage to operate under normal driving conditions, and any variations tend to increase vehicle wear and damage.
Under most driving conditions, you should consider reducing the mileage and/or time between transmission maintenance services. Most transmission repair professionals recommend automatic transmission servicing at least once a year, or more frequently if you operate your car under more extreme conditions.
Looking after your car’s automatic transmission is critical, so don’t neglect it. In case of transmission problems, bring your car to Pro-Tech Transmissions.