Car Care Tips
Here are some of the things you can do to ensure improved gas mileage for your car:
Driving Habit Do's
- DO check the automatic transmission fluid every 1,000 miles for its level, color, and smell. Low levels, a dark color and a burnt smell are alltell tail signs of trouble ahead.
- A Low fluid level is an indicator of possible seal leakage; and or malfunctions within the transmission or it's related components.
- Leaking Fluid can be your transmissions way of calling for help. If leaks are detected you should call Smith Transmission Service right away. Don't put it off or ignore the obvious.
- DO be aware of any changes in your vehicles driving characteristics. Should you notice slippage, strange noises of any kind and early or late shifting, have Smith Transmission Service diagnose it immediately.
- A quiet vehicle, operating properly is a "Safe Vehicle".
- Have Smith Transmission Service check your vehicle to determine if defects exist and to evaluate if the vehicle is road worthy and safe.
- It costs you little to check.
- DO maintain a properly tuned engine. Many vehicles will utilize the engine's vacuum as their source to control transmission shift quality and hydraulic pressure. A properly tuned engine is extremely important to the life of the automatic transmission.
- DO check the vehicles cooling system on a regular basis. A major cause for premature transmission failure is excessive heat. Make all the necessary repairs immediately.
- DO scheduled maintenance according to vehicle owner’s manual.
- DO have transmission fluid checked when having oil changed.
- DO make sure you come to a complete stop before moving gear into another range.
Driving Habit Dont's
- DON'T rock a vehicle back and forth whenever you are stuck in mud, sand or snow. This may cause your transmission to operate in excess of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. At that high of an operating temperature, you are most certainly in for an immediate transmission failure. Dig it out or have it towed. Both are less expensive than the damage you may cause by quick shifting between Reverse (R) and Drive (D) over and over again.
- DON'T overload the vehicle. Heavy loads will also cause overheating and greatly reduce your transmission life.
- DON'T forget that early diagnosis and repair are your best bet. This leads to minimal operating costs and a long safe, useful service for your vehicle. Left unattended, even the smallest of malfunctions can and usually does, lead to serious major repairs. Call the experts at Smith Transmission Service for diagnosis and repair.
- DON'T downshift to “brake” at traffic lights. A forced downshift at high engine RPM causes excessive wear on transmission friction components (clutches and bands).
- DON'T place shift lever in Drive or Reverse when engine is at “Fast Idle”. This can cause abrupt transmission engagement leading to early failure of clutches, bands, gear sets, driveline components and engine or transmission mountings.
- DON'T drag race. Unless your vehicle was specifically designed for that purpose it cannot sustain that form of abuse. You run the risk of damaging all driveline components.
- DON'T use your shift lever instead of your brake. Before reversing direction your car must be at a complete stop. Using the transmission to stop the vehicle will lead to premature transmission failure.
- DON'T let anyone tow your vehicle with the drive wheels on the ground. Rear wheel drive vehicles must be towed with the rear wheels off the ground. Front wheel drive with the front wheels in the air. All-wheel or full time 4-wheel drive vehicles should be flat towed (all four wheels off the ground) Not sure? Check your owner's manual. Improper towing can cause serious damage!
- DON'T stop suddenly. Like fast starts, sudden stops can damage drivetrain components like engine and transmission mounts. These can lead to transmission damage.
- DON'T play transmission “Doctor”. Over the counter additives that are supposed to stop leaks or make the transmission shift better many times contain chemicals, which cause worn seals to swell. This can interfere with the function of these operating rubber parts and lead to severe damage.