What you don’t know about your car can hurt it and your pocket too. And since you have a car to ride in, why not know the information you need to know? Let’s get one thing straight, the more knowledge you have about your car, the easier it will be to maintain it.
Today we will discuss how to maintain an automatic vehicle. And like any other vehicle, an automatic needs to be looked after. Today we will inform you of what to look out for in your vehicle.
So here are ten car care tips for your automatic car. When you purchase a vehicle you must ensure that you and the vehicle are insured with at least liability insurance so if you crash into another car, or something, or someone, that your insurance will cover the repairs, and or medical bills. Also, keep a copy of the current insurance summary in the car in a safe place.
It’s true what they say, that an ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure. Therefore, one of the best ways to bring your car expenses down is to avoid doing those mistakes that can turn into more serious problems in the short run and the long run.
It’s easy to check to transmission fluids. On many cars, trucks, and SUVs, checking the transmission fluid is as easy as checking the oil. With the engine idling, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, insert it again, wait, then pull it out to get an accurate reading.
If the fluid level is low, you may have a leak. The fluid itself should be a bright red color, clear, and it should smell sweet. If it’s murky, dark-colored, or smells like rotting fish take it to a transmission repair specialist to look things over.
Automobiles use different types of transmission fluids. The most common types are Dexron/Mercon and Multi-Vehicle Synthetic. The transmission is one of the most complex systems in a vehicle, so it is critical to use an appropriate and high-quality ATF (automatic transmission fluid)to help ensure performance well past the 100k mile mark.
Here are the most common types of ATF
Choosing the correct transmission fluid is vital to ensuring the maximum performance and fuel economy from your vehicle. It is important to go through your owner’s manual for the type of fluid recommended for the vehicle by the manufacturer. Here is an important note: transmission fluids are sometimes blended with synthetic base oils to offer better performance, with improved resistance to heat, cold, oxidation, friction, and shearing. All in all, changing or flushing the transmission fluid in your car is best left to a professional!
A vehicle’s cooling system helps prevent the engine from overheating. But you probably didn't know that it also ensures the transmission fluid pumping through the gearbox is cooled too. It is likely you’ll need a transmission repair before your engine completely overheats. Making sure your cooling system is in optimal condition will keep your engine safe.
When you are driving and your vehicle is in motion DO NOT shift gears. Switching gears while the vehicle is rolling is a habit that you should break because this can damage the vehicle’s transmission. If you want to shift from D (Drive) to R (Reverse) & vice versa, you should wait for the vehicle to stop moving before doing so.
Take the following as an example; when you are driving an automatic, remember to engage the gear stick to P (Park) only when your vehicle comes to a complete stop. The reason behind this is that, when you switch the gear stick to P while the vehicle is in motion, the locking pin mechanism could get damaged. The locking pin is a component that locks up the automatic transmission. Essentially it stops the transmission from rotating which prevents the vehicle from moving forward or backward.
Warming up your car before driving is a leftover practice from a time when carburetted engines dominated the roads. That said who among us has hopped into the driver’s seat, started the engine, put the car in drive and motored away? Many of us do, and there is nothing wrong with it, because as you drive you are heating up the engine (as long as you are driving slow and steadily).
Here’s the thing, idling should only be done if you haven’t driven your vehicle for more than a few days or weeks. When you do not use the car for some time, idling maybe needed. On another note, during the winter months, you do not have to idle the car as well. However, vehicles that run on diesel need a few minutes of idling for clearing the exhaust of its fumes. The models running with an automatic transmission also don’t need it. You can rev up the engine and drive along even if it's cold.
A spare tire may mean mismatched tire sizes, or driving with a small spare tire over a long period is a big NO. Not only will it do damage to other parts of your vehicle such as ruining the wheel alignment, but in the long run, it puts unnecessary strain on the transmission. Modern, spare tires aren’t designed for extended driving. They are designed to get you to a shop to fix the original simply, that’s it.
Again, transmission filter, (keep in mind, Point no two we have made earlier ^). Since you are checking up on your transmission fluid or flushing it, don’t forget to check to the transmission filter as well. Whether or not you’re driving a car that has a transmission filter depends entirely on the make and model of your vehicle. So you can get that checked out via the VIN number. On the other hand, newer vehicles do not consist of a transmission filter but those that do should be changed each time you get your transmission flushed.
It is critical that every 3000 to 5000 miles you should inspect your tires. Keep your wheels turning with regular tire rotations. Visit your nearest repair shop to check your tires for you.
Each tire should be inflated to the right psi. You have to check the pressure of all the tires including the spare once in a month and before an extended road trip. Use a pencil-type or digital tire-pressure gauge (which won’t cost much) to do the job.
Have a professional transmission repair specialist conduct a diagnostic check of your transmission for leaks and other irregularities at least once a year. This also includes checking the transmission fluid’s level, color, and smell periodically is a smart preventative maintenance.
You should always check for any leakage under your car. Even though it is not necessarily leakage of the transmission fluid, you should always consult an automobile technician if you happen to discover any leakage. The leak may point to another problem with your vehicle. Any kind of leakage could be critical and may even endanger your life as well as the lives of your passengers.
It’s easy to operate an automatic transmission vehicle, what’s more difficult, however, is maintaining it. This type of engine has a complex system and requires more fuel to power its components. Automatics also need those regular checkups to keep their parts in tip-top shape, which all add up to more expenses down the road. Hopefully, our tips can give you a better idea on how to handle these situations, and all the while help you save a few bucks!