No one wants to learn that their vehicle’s transmission is having trouble; after all, gearbox repairs can be extremely expensive, sometimes even more than the cost of a new car. However, Windsor Ford’s mechanics are here to share an open secret: a lot of transmission problems are totally avoidable. Proper care and maintenance usually keep a vehicle’s drivetrain from failing and can extend its lifespan well into the hundreds of thousands of kilometers.
So read on and learn 5 hot tips to keep your Ford’s transmission healthy and happy!
CHANGE TRANSMISSION FLUID ON SCHEDULE
All vehicles come with a suggested regular maintenance schedule, and flushing or replacing the transmission fluid is often recommended every 80,000 kilometers. This is because as transmission fluid ages, the fluid’s ability to lubricate diminishes. This lack of lubrication can cause damage to the gearbox (as well as your wallet!).
However, check with our Service Department before attempting any fluid replacements, as many new Fords come with “sealed for life” transmissions that use special fluids that don’t break down over time. And if you do decide to change your transmission fluid, make sure to visit our Parts Department for the correct fluid as aftermarket fluid can often cause damage to the transmission.
KEEP THINGS SMOOTH
Another tip to keep your transmission in top shape is to train your right foot to be nice and smooth on the accelerator. Smooth acceleration not only makes your drive more serene, but improves your fuel economy and reduces wear on your transmission as well! This is because abrupt or jerky movements on the accelerator can cause ‘drive-train whiplash’, which places a greater strain on the components. And if you happen to drive a manual transmission, make sure your shifts are nice and smooth for the same reasons.
TOW WITH SAFETY
Towing is perhaps the toughest task we as drivers could ever ask of our transmissions. That’s why if you need you tow something make sure you ensure your load is within your Ford’s maximum towing limit to avoid expensive damage to your gearbox. And went on the move, keep an eye on the transmission fluid temperature gauge (if equipped) to avoid overheating it.
If the transmission does overheat, it will enter a “limp mode” in order to protect itself. Pull over when it’s safe to do so and let the transmission cool completely before driving to your local Ford dealer to have it inspected. Overheating means a serious problem could have developed, and continuing to drive may cause catastrophic damage to the gearbox.
AVOID ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR
A frequent cause of gearbox damage (especially in performance vehicles) is abusive behaviour such as ‘clutch-dumps’ or ‘neutral-dropping’. This is when the driver revs the engine to a higher RPM and then slams it into gear – aggressively accelerating as a result. While admittedly exciting, these behaviours also cause unnecessary wear-and-tear on the vehicle and can also lead to total transmission failure if performed repeatedly. So as tempting as these tricks may be for the lead-footed among us, please avoid them for the sake of your transmission!
DON’T IGNORE OBVIOUS PROBLEMS
All too often owners are aware that their vehicle suffering from a transmission, but are too afraid to bring it in to a mechanic. Drivers must realize that minor transmission problems could worsen if not fixed right away. That’s why taking your Ford in for troubleshooting the moment gearbox issues occur is the advised course of action. Simply Book an Appointment with our knowledgeable team of mechanics and they can quickly diagnose your vehicle’s problems for hundreds less than the competition!