Ignoring Your Transmission? 4 Missteps That Can Cause Serious Problems

If you own a car, you can't afford to ignore the transmission. Unfortunately, the transmission is often one of the most-overlooked systems of a car. That's because it doesn't require the same routine maintenance that other operating systems need, such as the quarterly oil changes or the alignments. If you've been ignoring your transmission, you could have overlooked a significant problem. Here are four frequent problems that can lead to transmission troubles. 

Ignoring Fluid Leaks

If you've been noticing small drops of fluid on your driveway or in your garage, you need to identify where the fluid is coming from. If it's coming from your transmission, it's important that you take care of the repairs as soon as possible. You might not realize this, but most transmission fluid leaks come from the drain plug or the transmission seal. Unfortunately, even a minor fluid leak can pose a serious threat to your transmission and to your engine. To protect your vehicle, you should take care of transmission leaks as soon as they develop. 

Driving With Low Fluid Levels

If you've been driving around with a leak in your transmission, there's a good chance that you're running low on transmission fluid. This is particularly true if you haven't checked your fluid levels in a while. Unfortunately, driving your car with low transmission fluid levels can cause a catastrophic breakdown. If the leak seems to have slowed down, don't assume that the problem has resolved itself. Instead, check the fluid levels right away. The leak may have caused the fluid to drain from the transmission. If that's the case, don't drive your car until you've refilled the fluid. Then, visit a repair shop immediately. 

Failing to Replace the Fluid Filter

If your car is still using the original transmission fluid filter, chances are high that it's clogged with dirt and contaminants. Unfortunately, all that extra dirt prevents fluid from filtering through to the transmission, which can cause overheating. Not only that, but the lack of fluid will also cause improper lubrication, which can destroy your car. If you haven't had your transmission fluid filter changed in a while, take care of that as soon as possible.

Avoiding the Transmission Flushes

Finally, if you haven't been keeping up on fluid flushes, your transmission might not be performing at peak capacity. Transmission flushes remove contaminated fluid that can interfere with performance and lead to serious problems. To protect your transmission, you should follow the manufacturer's recommendations for routine flushes and maintenance.

To learn more, contact a shop that offers auto transmission services.