What is a vehicle transmission?
What is it?
The transmission works with the engine to provide power to you car’s wheels. Whether automatic or manual, the transmission plays a major role in the overall performance of your car. Make sure to check it at the first sign of problems.
What does it do?
A transmission/transaxle keeps the engine’s output optimally matched to the speed and load conditions. The torque converter, connected to the automatic transmission/transaxle input shaft, connects, multiplies and interrupts the flow of engine torque into the transmission. Universal and/or Constant Velocity (CV) joints connect to the driveshaft to transmit output power from the transmission to the rear axle on rear-wheel-drive cars and the front axle on front-wheel-drive cars. These joints also allow the driveshaft and/or CV shaft to work at an angle. The several different types of automatic transmission fluid serve multiple purposes: cleans, cools, lubricates, transmits force, transmits pressure, inhibits varnish buildup and continually protects the transmission.
Typical Wear and Tear
Wear and tear on the transmission can be influenced by:
Cold weather and your tire pressure
What is that light on the dashboard? Your tire pressure monitoring system may be trying to tell you something.
When the weather turns colder you may notice the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light on your dashboard lights up more frequently. Check your tire pressure regularly during the winter to help keep the TPMS light off and your vehicle safe.
You may get TPMS warnings and get worried about your tires. Maybe you see this in the morning when it's coldest and you are on your way to work - a stress you don't need. If the temperature warms as you are on your way, the light could turn off but it's likely that tires will still be a few PSI under inflated. This is why it's important to check tire pressure regularly.
Here are some numbers:
According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, for every 10 degree drop in temperature, tire pressure decreases one to two pounds per square inch (PSI). Checking the tire pressure is important for vehicle safety, tire life and gas mileage.
Incorrect tire pressure can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires and improve fuel efficiency by up to 3.3 percent when the correct tire pressure is maintained.
Check your tire pressure monthly. Know that newer cars with tire pressure monitoring systems may not alert you until the tire is significantly under-inflated, so you may want to check it more often.
Valve stem covers:
Check tire pressure whenever there is a significant weather change and more often during the winter months. If you drop or misplace a valve stem cover while checking your pressure you can buy replacements at an auto parts store or the auto aisle in a big box store - they are conveniently all one size.
Harsh winter weather can stress out the best drivers, your car does not need to add to your stress. Prepare your car for the elements - emergencies can happen and you can minimize your chances of an unplanned emergency.
Important year round and even more important in winter months...
Keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half-full to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.
These are the brakes!
Your brakes may be trying to tell you something! Brakes are a normal part of wear on your car and they will eventually need to be replaced.
Brake wear is affected by:
As brakes begin to wear you will be able to pick up signals that it is time to have them checked.
Be sure to avoid letting brakes get to the ‘metal-to-metal’ point as that can mean expensive rotor or drum replacement.
Have a trusted mechanic check your brakes; when you have brake work completed your mechanic can show any parts that were replaced, such as rotors or pads.
Maintenance is key
Chances are your car is one of your biggest investments and you depend on it to get you where you need to be every time you get behind the wheel. How we use our cars now is different from years ago and the roads we drive on are not the roads of the "old days".
"Normal driving" is defined as steady driving in nonextreme weather or environments. Today, being a severe driver is more the rule than the exception. The automotive industry refers to “severe driving” as:
You should be aware of your vehicle and properly maintain and repair it so you can be safe and comfortable every time you are on the road. Proper maintenance helps you avoid more costly repairs down the road so your car can perform safely and dependably for years to come.
Is your check engine light on?
Your check engine light comes on, maybe at the end of a long drive, or as you start your car to leave for work. Your car is telling you something! Some dashboard indicators are pointing to an immediate problem, but how can you tell?
Not an immediate concern, but check with your mechanic if you check engine light is on and:
Immediate problems that should be checked with your mechanic right away:
Back to School Car Pools
Back to school time is hectic for many families and for all drivers on the road as children head back to school. Prepare your vehicle for safe rides to school by scheduling a complete vehicle inspection with a trusted mechanic. The inspection should include the following items: