How Long Should An Automatic Transmission Last

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Know how long your vehicle automatic transmission is meant to last and the bests driving practices for extending and keeping its life.

Changing a vehicle transmission, automatic or manual, is one of the most expensive repairs a vehicle owner may have to perform. The transmission sends power from the engine to the wheels to move the vehicle in the intended direction. Automatic transmissions are meant to simplify driving itself by making use of a more-complex design. Automatic transmissions are Inclusive of intricate circuitry and complicated electronic duties. This creates more room for malfunctions and failure points compared to the simpler manual transmission, but simplicity can be a lifesaver in the business of today.

How Long Does The Automatic Transmission Last?

Driving time and mileage differ between car drivers and how they use or abuse their transmissions. Still, typical automatic transmissions stay around 150,00 to 200,000 miles or approximately 7 years. Cases that exist in both extremes; extreme longevity and early failure.

Many vehicle owners unintentionally ignore their transmission health until it gets too late. Here are 5 practices to carry on getting the most life out of your car automatic transmission:

1. Regularly Service Your Transmission

This should either be done on your own, if you have automotive maintenance experience, or by engaging a mechanic, have your transmission’s oil and filter replaced. As with an oil replacement, refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for precise service intervals. In general, replace the oil and filter every 20,000 to 30,000 miles or every 18 months. Newer vehicle will equally want to have their automatic transmission flushed of dirt, sediment and debris every 40,000 to 50,000 miles or every 2 years.

2. Regularly Inspect Your Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is meant to remove heat from the internal parts of the transmission and take it away from moving components. Low fluid levels can create the transmission to overheat and cause irreversible damage. Depending on how much you drive your car, the automatic transmission should be inspected every 2 to 4 weeks with the engine running.

3. Make use of Synthetic Transmission Fluid

Before changing, you should be using the type of transmission fluid directed by your owner’s manual. However, heat eventually breaks down the organic compounds in regular automatic transmission fluid and makes it less effective. More heat-resistant, synthetic fluid will assist your aging automatic transmission over time. It’s particularly helpful to those who frequently drive with heavy loads, in heavy traffic, or drive through the mountains.

4. Get in a Transmission Cooler

Heat is not a friend of the transmission. Damage builds up over time from extended heat exposure to seals, metal surfaces, and electronic components. Whenever the temperature in the transmission gets to over 200-degrees, each 20-degree notch lowers the service life by half. A transmission cooler can reduce the operating temperature greatly and can more than double the time it requires to wear out.

5. Always Practice Good Driving

Smart driving patterns can enhance the longevity of your automatic transmission. Bear in mind the following 3 practices:

  1. Desist from aggressive driving. Driving aggressively from a stopped position can add on heat, as does continuous acceleration and deceleration. Driving more-relaxed can reduce stress on the transmission and yourself.
  2. Do not drive before your engine and transmission warm up. In cold weather, allow the vehicle idle until the engine’s RPM lowers before putting it in gear. The transmission fluid gets thicker when it’s cold, and won’t move from the bottom to the top very effectively. Let it warm up to better do its job of keeping off friction damage.
  3. Do not shift gears while the car is moving. Automatic transmissions still involves shifting between reverse and drive. Though it may be tempting to peal out of a parking spot or make a quick 3-point turn, let the car come to a halt stop before shifting to avoid spoiling the internal gears.

Transmissions are meant to withstand a certain level of heat exposure. Adhering to intentional driving practices can assist extend the life of your transmission. Endeavor to find a qualified mechanic to diagnose any suspected automatic transmission issues, especially one knowledgeable in your vehicle model’s specific requirements. With the right mechanic your transmission repair can really save you time and money in the long course.