It Pays to Take Care of Your Vehicle’s TransmissionJune 7th, 2016
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 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 car’s 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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