Six Tips to Take Care of Your Automatic Gearbox
If you have a car with automatic transmission, you will have already discovered the comfortable driving that it allows you in the city and on long trips. But you should know that a car with an automatic gearbox needs a series of different cares that you may not be used to. Therefore, we leave you here are tips to extend the life of your gearbox. These tips apply to automatic torque converter gearboxes. Although they are also applicable to piloted gearboxes, to continuous variator gearboxes or to double-clutch gearboxes, already global and massive diffusion at the moment.
Don't Forget the Handbrake
Do not use the park position (P) as a parking brake. This gesture (quite common) is especially serious on steep slopes. The excessive extension that is created in the gearbox causes premature breakdowns and unnecessary looseness. How to do it correctly? First of all, apply the parking brake and, when the car is already resting on it, use the lever P
Lever in Neutral
As you may have already verified, automatic cars do not stall. Even so, in the case of traditional boxes, it is advisable to leave the lever in N, when we make long-term stops. The objective is to safeguard the mechanics; the vibrations that reach the passenger compartment are lower
Brake Pressed and Stopped to Move the Lever
Some modern cars do not require you to pay attention to this advice, as they will simply not let you move the lever if you are not stopped. But in many older cars this error can lead to serious problems. The automatic car is not designed to change modes on the move, and doing so puts the mechanism under pressure for which they are not prepared. Therefore, remember that if you have to go from P to D, the car must be stopped. The same if we put reverse gear or put parking position.
With the same normality that you change the car's engine oil every few kilometers, you have to get used to checking the gearbox oil. And it is that the automatic gearboxes are bathed in lubricating fluid, so it is necessary to check them.
This is the case of an automatic transmission with a torque converter or in the double-clutch gearboxes with an oil-bathed clutch (popularized by the famous six- or seven-relationship DSGs of the Volkswagen Group). But it is not worth replacing them in any way. You have to respect the replacement intervals and the transmission fluid has to be adequate. In addition, you must check very carefully that the hydraulic fluid that is contained within the vacuum modulator does not leak fluids. If this happens, the best solution is to check the crankcase seal or gasket.
Be Careful When You Get Towed
We never know when we are going to have a breakdown and we are going to need the help of a crane. As in cars with manual gearboxes, the gearbox must be in neutral. Some cars shifting into neutral requires making changes to the interior trim. If you don't know how to put the neutral point, a platform crane should take it because if you drag it (without having the neutral point) the breakdown can be really expensive.
Considering that an automatic transmission works in constant communication with the brake servo, it is advisable not to practice unusual techniques outside the world of competition, such as pressing the accelerator and brake at the same time or locking the wheels with the handbrake to slide the gear back (yes, do a spin). Doing so can damage the vacuum modulators in the hydraulic brain of the gearbox.
These simple steps will allow you to avoid serious breakdowns that in the case of electric cars can reach four figures. Remember that good maintenance and good practices are always the best allies for your car.