• Smooth Shifting in Wyoming Michigan: Transmission Service

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    So you have some exciting plans for the Michigan weekend. You’re going to take some of your Wyoming, Michigan friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your vehicle maintenance is up to date.

    Think about it – heavy freeway traffic on the way out of Wyoming. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it’s going to be pretty hot in Wyoming this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.

    Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local Michigan lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

    It’s key to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it’s vital for Wyoming car owners to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at Bob & Dave’s Garage  to make sure it runs efficiently.

    An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. If you neglect regularly scheduled transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems.

    Wyoming motorists who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience transmission failure. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.

    This reminds us of how much of our driving around Wyoming, Michigan is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Wyoming, Michigan add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.

    While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your tech at Bob & Dave’s Garage will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

    Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.

  • Transmission Service

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    Let’s talk about transmission service. It can be easy to forget about getting your transmission serviced because it doesn’t need it very often. It’s easy to remember to change the engine oil – you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your car running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road.

    The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it’s 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency.

    As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to costly damage.

    When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves fuel economy. That’s why manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your service center can tell you what the manufacturer recommends.

    Hot and dusty conditions; towing, hauling, stop and go conditions and jack rabbit starts all increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means you need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your manufacturer suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions, you will need to change it more often.

    Most service centers have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It’s downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Your service technician will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it’s getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your car a favor and have it done. If not this time, then on your next service stop.