Servicing Tips - Transmission
It Pays to Take Care of Your Transmission
If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that vehicle engines are getting more and more powerful and at the same time are getting better and better fuel economy. I've gotta tell you, most of that's because of technological advances in transmissions. To get a better understanding of why that is, let's talk bicycles.
You've probably seen plenty of cyclists on the roads. Perhaps you ride yourself. Then you know that a cyclist's cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. The ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. An experienced cyclist uses their gears to keep their pedal speed in the ideal zone whether they are climbing a hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill.
Think of it this way: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pedal hard to get up to speed. Your top speed is limited by how fast as you can pedal. And if you're climbing a steep hill – forget about it.
Now let's add a couple of gears: one lower and another one higher. With the lower first gear, you can get up to your ideal pedal speed quicker. When you shift to second, your pedal speed drops below ideal for a while as you work to get back to peak efficiency. Same thing happens when you shift to third, but now you can go much faster than you could with a 1-speed bike using the same effort. Add more gears and you can see that it's much easier to maintain ideal pedal speed. The result, quicker starts, better hill climbing, higher top speed and, most of all, a lot less fatigue for the rider.
Like a cyclist on a bike, every vehicle engine has an ideal engine speed called its power band. When an engine is running in that zone, it can make power very efficiently. It's the vehicle transmission's job to keep the engine in the power band over a wide range of operating conditions. Today 5 or 6 speed automatic transmissions are pretty much the minimum, and 7 and 8 speeds are becoming fairly common.
Obviously these sophisticated transmissions are very expensive. In fact, next to your vehicle engine, your transmission is the most expensive component in your vehicle, so it pays to take good care of it. Your manufacturer has a recommended service interval for changing your old, contaminated transmission fluid. Servicing your transmission on schedule at Oil Changers keeps it operating at its best and can prevent costly damage. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Oil Changers advisor if it's time for transmission service. Come see why smart drivers trust their transmissions to Oil Changers.
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PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
Let's talk about transmission servicing. It can be easy for drivers to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn't need it very often. It's easier for people to remember to change the engine oil - you know 5,000 - 10,000 kilometres or so but proper transmission servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid repairs down the road.
The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you can see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it's 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.
As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the vehicle transmission as well - leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won't operate smoothly. At worst, it could lead to damage.
When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves fuel economy. That's why it is recommended to change your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner's manual has a schedule for a transmission service and, of course, your service advisor at Oil Changers can tell you what is recommended.
Hot and dusty conditions, towing, stop and start driving all start to increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means vehicles with an automatic transmission require a change of the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 50,000 kilometers or so. If your owner’s manual suggests more frequent intervals or if you're driving under severe service conditions you should change it more often.
Most vehicle service centers (including Oil Changers) have the ability to perform a transmission service and the cost is quite reasonable. It's downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Our friendly technicians at Oil Changers will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it's getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your vehicle a favour and have it done.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441