Why is Transmission Service Necessary?

Your vehicle's transmission is a critical component that plays a vital role in keeping your car moving. Regardless of whether you have a manual or an automatic, it’s truly one of the hardest-working systems in your vehicle. However, the importance of regular transmission service often gets overlooked by many drivers—which can lead to expensive repairs.

Fortunately, with regular servicing, you can keep your transmission in excellent shape and save money on repair costs over the lifetime of your vehicle. Read on to learn more about the role of your transmission, why servicing is necessary, and some of the tale-tell signs that your transmission needs a little TLC.

What Does the Transmission Do?

Transmissions perform several vital functions that are essential for how your vehicle operates. Their primary role is to transfer power from the engine to the wheels so that your car can move forward or backward. In automatic transmissions, this process is managed by hydraulic pressure generated by transmission fluid. Manual transmissions, on the other hand, require you to manually engage the gears using a clutch.

Shifting gears, whether manually or automatically, allows the transmission to adjust how fast the engine turns compared to how fast the wheels spin. This allows your vehicle to speed up, slow down, or maintain different speeds smoothly. The transmission also manages how much power is transferred from the engine to the wheels, so your car performs well and uses fuel efficiently.

The Importance of Transmission Service

Like engines, transmissions produce a lot of heat while they’re operating; there are also many moving parts that have constant metal-on-metal contact. Transmission fluid helps keep the transmission cool while lubricating, cleaning, and protecting the metal surfaces. It also conditions the gaskets and protects the entire transmission from excessive wear. In automatic transmissions, the transmission fluid also provides the hydraulic pressure needed to make the internal parts work.

Much like engine oil, constant exposure to heat and friction causes the fluid to break down over time; this makes it less effective at protecting the moving parts and keeping them lubricated. As a result, metal shavings and other contaminants can build up in the fluid, leading to poor performance and potential damage. The transmission is one of the most expensive components to replace and repair—so it’s well wort being proactive and keeping on top of your transmission service!

What’s Involved in Transmission Service?

During transmission service, our technicians flush out the old, degraded transmission fluid and replace it with fresh fluid. They also inspect various components, including the gasket, transmission pan, and filter to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced.

Recommendations for service intervals can vary a lot, depending on the make and model and the type of transmission it’s equipped with. Many manufacturers recommend having automatic transmissions serviced every 30,000 to 100,000 miles and manual transmissions serviced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles; if you tow regularly your vehicle gets heavy use, you may need to have transmission service performed more frequently.

In newer cars with sealed automatic gearboxes, the transmission fluid is intended to last the life of the vehicle—so there are no manufacturer-recommended service intervals. Due to the wide range of recommendations, it’s always best to refer to the service intervals listed in your owner’s manual and talk to your service advisor about your typical driving conditions. They can help you determine the best service schedule for your car.

Signs Your Transmission Needs Servicing

There are several warning signs that can let you know your transmission needs attention. These include:   

  • Difficulty shifting gears
  • Unusual noises such as grinding, chattering, or whining
  • Slipping gears
  • Engine surges, stalling, or hesitation
  • Delayed response after you’ve put your vehicle in gear
  • Overheating or transmission fluid leaks under your vehicle
  • Cloudy or thick-looking transmission fluid on the dipstick
  • A burnt smell coming from under the hood
  • Your car shakes while you drive

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s important to schedule a transmission service as soon as possible. Addressing the issue quickly can help you prevent further damage and maintain the overall health of your vehicle. It will also ensure you have a safer, smoother driving experience!

For reliable transmission service, contact the pros at RPM Automotive Services! Family-owned and operated for over 40 years, we’re dedicated to keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Whether you have an Asian, European, or domestic model, you can rely on our ASE-certified team to provide exceptional customer service and high-quality auto care. Contact us today at (707) 800-4586 or request an appointment online!

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