You probably only hear about your transmission when it breaks, but did you know that there is a possibility you’ll need a transmission flush at some point within the life of your car? Think about all the water you need as a person so that your organs can function correctly. Cars are the same way. They need lubrication so that all the parts can work together and to prevent damage from components rubbing together. Because many parts of the car work as a result of hydraulic pressure, it is even more essential that the right fluids are present and clean to do their job.
What is a transmission and how does it work?
A transmission is arguably one of most essential components for making your car go. It allows the power from the engine to translate to the rotation of your tires. Manual and automatic transmissions are built differently but have the same essential function. There are lots of parts that go into making the transmission work smoothly, but this should help you get a basic understanding of what the transmission does. There are a series of gears present in transmissions, and depending on how fast the car is going, the transmission will “choose” which gear to utilize to maintain the car’s speed (in a manual transmission, the driver will directly choose which gear to run in). If the car is at a dead stop, the transmission will need to be in first gear, which provides the greatest amount of energy to get the car moving. As the car picks up speed, it will not need as much energy and will switch to 2nd gear, which provides the next level down energy-wise. The energy level is determined by the rotation speed of the gears. The first gear rotates the fastest, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears rotate progressively slower as the gears get higher. This is because there is less energy required to keep the wheels turning once the car is rolling along at higher speeds.
Where does transmission fluid come into play?
The number one thing that can damage almost any part in your car is heat. Especially in something like the transmission, where gears are rubbing against each other constantly, there is most certainly the opportunity for warping materials. Transmission fluid dissipates (or disperses) heat. It helps absorb the heat created. It also provides lubrication. One of the problems with a transmission that doesn’t have proper lubrication is that pieces can become worn down and break off.
What is a transmission fluid flush and do I need one?
Transmission flushes are essentially what they sound like. Depending on the vehicle, you would have your transmission drained, and then replaced completely with new transmission fluid. To know if you should have a transmission flush, check your owner’s manual. Some manuals recommend a change instead of a flush. A transmission fluid change is a process where only the pan of the transmission is detached and emptied, and then filled with new fluid and reattached. This means that your fluid is only partially changed because you’re not draining it out of every part of the transmission. Also, in your owner’s manual you will find the type of fluid that needs to go in your transmission. When and if you should have a flush performed if you have missed any maintenance on your transmission can also be a factor. If you have questions about transmission flushes and whether you should get one, you can give any of our technicians a call at Advanced Auto Sports or schedule an appointment here.