The transmission is not only one of the essential parts that is necessary for the proper operation of our vehicle, it’s also one of the costliest to repair or replace. We’re talking up to thousands of dollars in order to get your car running smoothly in the event your transmission fails.

The transmission is designed to work for hundreds of thousands of miles before demonstrating any possible problems and in order for your vehicle’s transmission to run as long as it’s supposed to, you’ll need to practice some responsible car maintenance to ensure that happens.

Most of these steps are just common sense tips that many automobile owners probably follow already, others may not be as readily apparent as viable options for prolonging the life of your transmission.

Better to be safe than sorry, so take a look at all of these recommendations from your friends at Aarrow Transmission to see which ones you know about and which ones need some attention on your part.

You don’t want to be left on the hook for expensive transmission replacement costs that could have been avoided with just some routine maintenance efforts at a mere fraction of the price of a major repair.

Fluid Levels

The transmission fluid is the key to your transmission running properly. Without it, the part simply can’t function correctly. So when you stop to fill up your gas tank, give the other fluids in your car a quick look to make sure you’re not running low.

If you can check your oil (and I sure hope you do that on a regular basis), you can also check your transmission fluid. While the car is on you locate and remove the dipstick, wipe it down and slip it back into the reservoir. Bring it out one more time and take a look at the level indicated on the stick.

A low fluid level could be a sign of a problem, perhaps a leaking seal. This can lead to bigger issues later on if left unattended. Examine the color of the fluid as well. It’s supposed to be red and clear, if your fluid is coming out thick, dark, and murky, and it has a foul odor, that’s a definite sign you need to have your transmission checked by a car-care professional immediately.

Flushing the System

This is an important part of routine transmission maintenance as it should be done at least once a year regardless of how many miles you’ve driven. Some car owners will skip this step if they’ve kept the vehicle in the garage more often than they’ve taken it on the road, but don’t kid yourself, a good flushing of the system can always benefit your transmission.

But this isn’t like changing your oil, flushing your transmission is somewhat more complicated and it’s best left to your mechanic unless you know exactly what to do and how to do it.

Mind the Gears

Regardless of whether you drive a manual or an automatic transmission, keeping an eye on the gearbox while you drive is critical for maintaining your transmission in top shape. For the former, be sure not to redline in a lower gear at high RPM’s and for the latter, always try to keep it in “Drive” and stay out of the lower gears unless absolutely necessary.

Be mindful of HOW you shift as well. For manual drivers should always change gears smoothly and without overly abrupt yanking on the gearshift. For automatic drivers, changing from one gear to the next should only be done while the car is at a complete stop. Shifting on the fly can lead to some serious wear and tear on the transmission.

Warm the Transmission

Although this is somewhat more important in older vehicles it’s also good advice for those with new cars as well. Give the transmission some time to warm up before you shift and be on your merry way. Colder climates can be less forgiving of transmissions that haven’t had a chance to warm up yet.

Check the Filter

Much like your engine, the transmission relies on a clean filter in order to operate properly. While transmission filters are becoming less common in late model automobiles, many cars have them and it’s important to ensure that the filter isn’t dirty. This will result in the transmission working harder and incurring excessive wear and tear.

Does your car have a transmission filter? If you can’t answer that question right at this very moment, you need to find out as soon as possible and, if you do, check it now.