Transmissions, like engines, are a major component of your vehicle, and very expensive to replace. Transmissions often go out for very preventable reasons, and sometimes replacing one can be troublesome and expensive enough that it’s not even worth doing, depending on the vehicle. With the right maintenance, most transmissions are extremely reliable; it simply boils down to how well a transmission is cared for. Follow these tips to make your transmission last as long as possible, courtesy of Autoworks in Ithaca.

Firstly, all transmissions fall into two categories - manual or automatic. One type or the other require different maintenance techniques, and both are outlined here.

Manual Transmissions

The manual transmission goes by many names; stick shift, standard, and 5 speed all refer to manual transmissions. They are called manuals because each gear has to be selected manually by the driver. One of the greatest positive aspects of this type of transmission is that they are extremely reliable. A standard shift transmission will almost never fail so catastrophically that a car will become undrivable, and can withstand a lot of abuse. However, maintaining one will make it last even longer and keep it operating smoothly.

  • Change the gear oil. While the gear oil in a manual transmission will last a long time, it’s a good idea to have the gear oil drained and replaced with new oil periodically. This assists in the prevention of gears that grind, a transmission that runs too hot, and bearings that go bad.
  • Maintain the clutch. Don’t abuse the clutch, and if you notice it’s slipping, get it changed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Automatic Transmissions

Automatics are a little more complicated than manuals, but when maintained correctly will also last for thousands of miles.

  • Check your transmission fluid level. Every car is different, so follow the manufacturer's recommended procedure when checking the fluid level. Too much or too little fluid in transmission can produce disastrous results, so it’s important to check your fluid level regularly. Take care to add the right type of fluid for your specific vehicle.
  • Have your transmission fluid flushed and the filter changed whenever the owner’s manual tells you to. Dirty fluid or a clogged filter can easily destroy an otherwise good transmission. Have one of our technicians change your fluid and filter if you think it may be time.
  • Don’t ignore a transmission that is beginning to act up. Fixing small problems with your transmission will prevent further damage from accruing. If your transmission is behaving erratically, go easy on it and bring it by our shop as soon as possible.

Autoworks can assist you with all your transmission needs. If you have a problem with your transmission, or just want to make sure it’s correctly maintained, don’t hesitate to drop by or give us a call. We’ll help you keep your vehicle on the road for years to come!


Thank you for visiting Autoworks in Ithaca, NY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

Schedule your appointment today (607) 277-9989 or REQUEST APPOINTMENT HERE.

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