Regular maintenance is key for the longevity of your vehicle’s transmission

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A faulty transmission is the fear of almost every vehicle owner.

Not only does it affect overall performance, it’s one of the more expensive components to replace when something goes wrong. Having a regular upkeep schedule and moderate driving style are key to keeping your transmission in working order.

Here are some tips to help you maintain your vehicle’s gear box.

TRANSMISSION FLUID: For most people, changing your transmission fluid is not a “top of mind” activity. Maybe you even think it’s an unnecessary additional expense … it’s not. If you want to keep risk factors for transmission failure to a minimum, regularly changing your transmission fluid -- an industry wide rule of thumb is every 30,000 miles or 30 months -- is one that has the most positive impact. And while it may be a DIY project for some, we suggest consulting with a Hendrick Automotive Group service advisor, if you have any questions.

CHECK FLUID LEVELS: This is an important step. With the vehicle in park and the engine running, check the fluid level. If it is low, consult with your owner’s manual for the correct fluid needed or schedule an appointment with a Hendrick Automotive Group service advisor.

CONDITION OF FLUID: Along with checking fluid levels, you need to inspect the fluid’s condition. Traditionally, it should be clear, red in color and not dark or dirty. If it has a burnt smell, change your fluid as soon as possible as it has started to break down.

AGGRESSIVE USAGE: An overlooked activity that can affect long-term transmission health is your driving habits. Towing heavy loads, hard acceleration and sudden stops all place considerable stress on your transmission, causing it to wear unnecessarily. Also, consult your owner’s manual to see your vehicle’s overall capacity, and avoid consistently overweighting it. Driving in a more moderate manner will help extend its life.

WARNING: There are distinct warning signs your transmission may be failing. If you feel gears are slipping, feeling “notchy,” or you hear strange noises with warning lights flashing, you need to get your vehicle to a Hendrick Automotive Group service center as soon as you can. Ignoring these issues could become VERY expensive VERY quickly.

Regular maintenance is key to having the longevity you expect from your transmission. If you have any questions, we would suggest you consult with a Hendrick Automotive Group service technician or schedule an appointment.