Many people think that an automatic transmission is bulletproof, is a sealed component and does not require much maintenance. Yet, while these systems are very well built to put up with harsh conditions, they're nevertheless vulnerable and may need some additional attention if you want to avoid any problems. So, how can you help elongate the life of your automatic transmission system to get better value for money out of your motoring?
Look after the Torque Converter
Inside the automatic transmission system is a complex array of gears, shafts and bearings, but the torque converter is the most important part. Typically, this is not much larger than a bagel and sits in between the gear array and the back of the engine. It's attached to a flex plate which should mate against the flywheel when conditions are perfect, and you want to transfer engine power to the wheels.
Focus on the Fluid
While the torque converter may be the most crucial mechanical part, the automatic transmission fluid is the catalyst. First, this fluid will be pumped through the torque converter and interact with an impeller and turbine, pressuring as it goes. Then, it will move at high speed and under increased pressure through additional parts of the torque converter to activate the clutch mechanisms.
The Heat Is on
One of the problems of this design is that some of the lubricant will fall by the wayside during pressurisation. As this happens, it generates unwanted turbulence, which converts to heat. Unfortunately, heat is the enemy of efficiency in any mechanical process, and you need to ensure that the heat does not compromise performance and longevity.
Add a Cooler
If your vehicle does not already have one, you should be fitting a transmission oil cooler and especially if you tend to drive the car hard or may tow heavy weights. This will help to reduce a lot of the heat that builds up during ordinary operation.
Keys to a Longer Life
You also need to get into the habit of flushing the converter rather than simply draining the oil and replacing it. So, you must take the vehicle to a mechanic who will attach a special machine to the filter housing. You should also think about a transmission additive that can reduce inherent temperatures and avoid common problems like slipping and chattering.
What You Should Do
So, when it's time to take your vehicle in for a service, ensure that you go to a qualified mechanic with the right equipment. Ask them about additives and other methods to help you control heat and avoid issues.
For more info about automatic transmissions, contact a local company.