Maintaining your Car’s Transmission at Home

October 2nd, 2023 by

Here at Kia Country of Charleston, one of our favorite things about fall is sports. There’s no better time of year to take your car on road trips to see your favorite team play live. Which makes it all the more important to take proper care of your car’s transmission in the Fall.


  1. Check your transmission fluid 

On many cars, light trucks, and SUVs, checking the transmission fluid is as easy as checking the oil: with the engine idling, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, insert it again, wait, and then pull it out to get an accurate reading. If the fluid level is low, you may have a leak. The fluid itself should be a bright red color, clear, and it should smell sweet. If it’s murky, dark-colored, or smells like rotting fish take it to a transmission repair specialist to look things over. When replacing your transmission fluid, always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what type of transmission fluid you should use.


  1. Keep an eye on your coolant

The cooling system in your vehicle not only prevents the engine from overheating but also ensures the transmission fluid is cooled as well. The best way to keep an eye on this at home is to check for puddles underneath your car. This becomes much easier if you park in the same spot at home every time, as you can more easily spot consistent spots where fluids have been leaking. You should also keep an eye on your engine temperature gauge on your dash. If your engine is showing signs of overheating, that likely means that your transmission system is feeling the heat too.


  1. Don’t change gears while your car is moving

Caring for your transmission also comes in the form of how you drive your car. Always bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Changing gears while in motion will put a strain on your transmission.


  1. Let your car warm up before you drive

You should always allow your engine a few minutes to warm up before you begin to drive. And in colder weather, this becomes even more important. So as the temperatures start to drop this season, be sure to warm your vehicle up before backing it out of the driveway. Many of our models, such as the Carnival, feature remote start functionality. This is a great way to get your vehicle fired up as you make your final preparations in the mornings before driving to work!


  1. Avoid using your vehicle for towing

Towing heavy loads with your vehicle can put a major strain on your transmission. Most of the damage that can be done by this comes from in-town driving. The more you have to start and stop your vehicle in traffic, the harder your transmission has to work to get your vehicle up to the speed you’re going for. Coincidentally, you’re likely going for fewer boat outings as Fall arrives here in Charleston, if that’s your thing. So keeping the strain off of your vehicle by not towing a boat through town will do good things for your transmission.