Transmission Service During Winter

A vehicle’s transmission can fail overtime and need to be replaced the longer your drive your car, but over time, issues may arise that require a transmission repair. The winter weather can have the worst impact on your transmission because it is so cold outside. In order to keep your car’s transmission operating well, there are precautions you can take to protect it and lower the chances of a repair or failure.

What Does the Cold Do to Transmissions?

Your car’s transmission can show you several signs of trouble when the weather is exceptionally cold. Most of the time, the problems that are being presented to you will be very noticeable. In many cases, the transmission fluid will get thicker from the low temperature, which makes it harder to shift. Another reason your car may shift harder is because the shift points become delayed when it’s cold out.

Winter can also make the transmission fluid leak if parts get too cold and they begin to contract, damaging them quicker if they are loose. The overly thick fluid lessens how well it can lubricate interior parts, so those parts will also become damaged as a result. One serious issue is contributed to water in the transmission system-cold water will cause internal harm to parts causing them to fail.

How to Protect Your Transmission During the Winter

Even though wintertime weather can make it hard to combat difficulties with your transmission, there are a few steps you can take to protect it. If you look after the transmission, there is less of a chance you will have to make a costly repair or replace it completely. 

Obviously, the freezing cold that comes with winter is the reason for problems to appear over time, so you need to keep your car as warm as possible. Store your car in a warm place such as a garage. Also, once you have started your car up, let it sit and warm up before putting it into drive but don’t let it idle too long. If your car sits for long periods of time without driving it, make sure to start it up and let it sit for a few minutes every few days.

Some other ways to protect your transmission from failing is to choose the right transmission fluid that is added to your car. The best fluid is synthetic fluid, if it can be used with your particular car. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for this and make sure the transmission fluid does not get too low.

Driving Habits with a Negative Impact on Transmission

Not only are there steps to take to protect your vehicle’s transmission, but there are a few things to avoid that will harm your transmission. When your car gets stuck in the snow during the winter, getting out can be a hassle and how you do that can hurt the transmission. If you find yourself stuck, get help and have your car pushed out; do not spin the wheels or rock it back and forth if you can avoid it.

It’s recommended to always let your transmission warm up before driving, however, do not let it idle for too long. Since fluid tends to get thick when cold, it has a hard time lubricating properly and when the car is idling, the fluid is also not sent to the internal parts to grease them, which may ultimately contribute to ruining your transmission. Last, rust from water can be serious and typically causes failure or required repairs to your transmission that are expensive, so do your best to keep water out by steering clear of icy puddles on the road.

Schedule an Appointment today or bring your car in to a nearby AAMCO Minnesota location to have a skilled mechanic complete a full Transmission Service if you notice any issues while driving caused by the cold winter temperatures.  

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Our mission is to provide the best auto repair and maintenance in Minnesota. With 6 convenient locations and nearly 50 years in business, you can count on your locally-owned Minnesota AAMCO Center to provide expert transmission repair, brake service, tune-ups, oil and filter changes, electrical system repair, fluid service, and much more for your car, truck, or SUV.

Our comprehensive 36-step ProtectCheck® Inspection, expert technicians, and no-nonsense pay-only-for-what-you-need approach makes us the most trusted name in car care. Come see why people who know go to AAMCO.

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