As you start to embrace the summer heat and head off on short day trips and long road trips, make sure your vehicle is ready to handle the heat. Your vehicle's transmission is what provides it with the power it needs to switch gears and keep you moving down the road. Summer driving activities can take a toll on your transmission, which is why you need to make sure that your transmission is working properly and has the fluid it needs to keep your engine cool.
Summer Driving Activities That Can Strain Your Transmission
Many individuals use their vehicles for different activities in the summer months. These activities, combined with regular driving activities, can strain your transmission, especially when it is really hot outside.
Your vehicle and your transmission undergo additional strain when you tow items such as:
- horse trailers
- four wheelers
- dirt bikes
- and boats
Your transmission can also be strained by aggressive and frequent driving in the hot summer months, especially if you:
- are on the road for hours on end in extremely hot heat
- drive through mountains or extremely steep hilly areas
- drive your vehicle through mud or sand
- hit extensive stop and go driving situations frequently
All of these activities can put additional strain on your vehicle and on your transmission.
Steps To Take To Protect Your Transmission In The Summer
In order to make sure that your vehicle can handle all of the conditions listed above, you need to make sure that the fluid is clean and full.
You can do this by opening the hood of your vehicle and finding the cap to your transmission. Make sure you only open it when your vehicle is cool; the liquid inside your transmission can get very hot and could burn you if you open the cap when your engine is still hot.
Look at the fill line and see if your transmission needs more fluid. Pull out the dipstick and examine the fluid. It should be a transparent pinkish-red color and it should not have any debris in it, nor should it really have an odor. If it is a different color, has debris in the fluids, or smells funky, you need to take your vehicle in and have your transmission flushed.
If the fluid looks alright but the levels are a little low, all you need to do is top-off your transmission fluid. You can purchase the appropriate transmission fluid and a funnel at a local auto parts store; just provide them with the make and model of your vehicle and they will find the correct transmission fluid for you.
If you ever notice that your gauge on your dashboard shows that your vehicle is getting too hot, and the needle is in the red, you should check your transmission fluid and see if it needs to be topped off. Inadequate transmission fluid levels are often the culprit behind a vehicle that is getting too hot in the summer.
If you plan on doing a lot of towing or a lot of driving this summer, make sure that your transmission is ready to handle the job by checking the fluid levels and quality. You should carry around an extra container of transmission fluid in your vehicle during the summer months so you can act fast if your vehicle overheats. And if you do run into any transmission problems, it's best to contact a professional, like Budget Automotive Center, to check out your car and make any repairs.