Preparing Your Transmission for Summer
Summer is almost here. Is your transmission ready for record-breaking temperatures? Check out these tips from transmission and auto shops in Salt Lake City to help prepare your vehicle for the summer heat.
Make sure your transmission is running on high-quality synthetic fluid. Compared to organic fluid, synthetics last longer, and they perform better at higher temperatures. Organic transmission fluid will turn to varnish at low temperature which is harder on a cold transmission. Synthetic fluids maintain their viscosity, allowing the gears inside your transmission to turn more easily. Modern synthetics also include additives that protect the inside of your transmission from rust, corrosion and wear. They also disperse heat better which is necessary to avoid overheating during the summer months.
Coolers and Gauges
The ability to control the temperatures inside your engine is essential to protect your vehicle from engine failure. In some areas of the country, summer temperatures can get as high as 120 degrees. Your transmission runs best between 160 and 180 degrees. Anything over 200 degrees can compromise its integrity and cause transmission fluid to break down. For every 20 degrees over 200, the life expectancy of your transmission is cut in half. To protect your transmission from high temperatures, invest in a good quality transmission cooler. There are two different kinds of coolers, the tube-and-fin and the stack plate. The type of cooler that will work best for your car will depend on your make and model. A direct transmission temperature gauge will also tell you when your transmission temperature is too high, giving you the chance to pull over before the damage is done.
Most car manufacturers recommend a transmission flush every 100,000 miles. Your situation may vary depending on how you use your vehicle. For example, a heavy-duty work truck used for hauling RVs or heavy equipment might need a flush before 100,000 miles. Between an automatic and manual transmission, the flushing process is very similar. Specialty machines feed fresh fluid into the transmission while the old fluid is forced out simultaneously. This ensures that the level of fluid inside the transmission stays the same. Solvent is sometimes added to clean the inside of the transmission of metal flakes and sludge. The cooler, cooling lines, converters and other parts are also cleaned and replaced as needed. If you’re not sure if you need a transmission flush, schedule an inspection with your local salt lake city transmission auto shop.