Winter Care for Your Transmission

Every season comes with its own set of driving hazards. Take care of your car and your transmission this winter with these seasonal care tips and transmission repair services in Salt Lake City.

Cold Starting

On cold mornings, it’s not uncommon for people to start their cars and let them run for a few minutes before heading to work. This technique will help warm your engine and cabin but not your transmission. The transmission stays cold until you put it in gear which means the oil inside the transmission will be sluggish at first. To warm your transmission, take it slow for the first couple of miles, allowing the oil the churn and lubricate all the gears. You should be going slow especially on icy roads anyways, but by taking the time to let your transmission warm up, you’ll have a more responsive transmission in the event you do hit a patch of ice.

Road Hazards

In addition to ice, winter creates other road hazards like puddles and snow drifts. Steer clear of puddles because they could be hiding a pothole or debris that will damage tires and rims. If you do have to pull over, avoid patches of snow. Once stuck, most people try to give it some gas but usually, they just end up spinning your tires. Modern cars with computerized transmission controls will read tire spin as speed even though you’re not moving. When you finally gain traction, the computer quickly corrects itself and sends a message to the transmission. This can actually cause your transmission to break. The best way to get out of a snow pile is to physically push or pull the car out of the snow.

Regular Check-ups

If you haven’t already, schedule your vehicle for an oil change and change your summer tires out for a set rated for winter driving. Before the cooler weather hits, bring your car into your local transmission to check your fluid levels and inspect the undercarriage for leaky gaskets. Most cars can go for several years without a transmission flush but if your car needs a flush, the best time to do it is before temperatures plummet. Like most liquids, transmission fluid becomes thicker and more sluggish during the winter and dirty transmission fluid will only do more damage to your gears and cause your gears to miss. A transmission flush will clear all the grime, sludge, and metal flakes from inside the bell housing. Regular checkups with your local transmission repair service in Salt Lake City will help keep your car running year round.

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