The PDR Guide to Caring for Your Transmission
Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Urbana drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Urbana. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.
Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on Illinois roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb Urbana hills, pass or start up again.
Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.
At PDR, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.
Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.
Not enough fluid can starve the transmission, or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission. Then the lubricant is blocked and can't get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at PDR see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.
And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Urbana service center can be quite costly. That's why owner’s manuals have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.
It's really important for Urbana area drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer's transmission service schedule.
At PDR in Urbana, we hope you never become shiftless in Urbana because you didn't take care of your transmission.
1008 N. Cunningham Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61802