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The Way Your Drive Is Killing Your Transmission

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Like most drivers, you probably realize the importance of keeping a car well maintained. But it's easy to forget how much your driving habits affect the working condition of your car, especially when you're in a hurry or have a whole lot of cargo to transport. The damage done to your car, especially your automatic transmission, from your current driving habits may end up costing you dearly in the long run. Here you will learn about how two particular driving habits affect your transmission, and how changing those habits will extend your car's life.

Carrying or Towing Too Much Cargo

Hauling or towing above capacity places too much strain on the transmission, causing it to slip out of gear, make constant clanging noises and take longer to shift into gears. If the transmission started delaying before going into gear, then you can have a technician replace the burnt, ineffective transmission fluid to restore function.

If the problem is neglected up to the time the torque converter starts making small clanging sounds, then you'll need a technician (like those at S & A Transmission) to repair the converter or to replace it. You can prevent further damage to your transmission by only hauling cargo weighing less than the towing capacity indicated in your owner's manual.


With a manual transmission, the driver keeps the clutch disengaged while revving the engine to peak torque output before suddenly releasing the clutch, making for a quick dash off the starting line. Some do this for automatics as well, by holding down the brake pedal to disengage the clutch. Once the brake pedal is let off and acceleration begins, power is released from the torque converter and back into the transmission towards the wheels.

The problem with drop-clutching an automatic transmission is that nearly every vehicle was designed for smooth, consistent power delivery into and out from the torque converter. The sudden force and pressure on the torque converter will leak to fluid burning, gears slipping and eventually, a strong reluctance for the vehicle to go into gear. In addition to ceasing such activities immediately, take the vehicle in for a transmission flush, which will replace the fluid and will wash out all the metal shavings made from unnecessary wear.

As cars are getting safer, more powerful and longer lasting, it can be tempting to think that the vehicle is invulnerable to damage. While a new car may perform in some stunning ways, it will be more beneficial for you to resist exploring the vehicle's limits, delaying the necessity for major repairs by months or even years.