What’s the number one mistake drivers make that causes automatic transmissions to break down?

Automatic transmissions have become increasingly popular in recent years. Sometimes it seems that there will be only a few more motorists on the road, who know how to work with a “manual”. However, is it so bad? “Automatic” has many serious advantages in comparison with a manual transmission. Alas, regardless of the type of transmission, each of them sooner or later breaks down. And in the case of the automatic transmission, this can happen much earlier than the motorist wants.

Many automobile manufacturers claim that the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is designed for the entire lifetime of the unit. Thus, unsuspecting motorists continue to drive with the same fluid. The result of such attitude to a gearbox will be extremely sad. That is because the fluids inside the box can in no way be used during the whole service life, without becoming the source of problems.

As the automatic transmission fluid becomes contaminated, the internal filter becomes clogged, so its flow capacity begins to suffer. This in turn leads to the development of another problem – oil deficiency and, subsequently, oil starvation of the gearbox. If the car has been driven in such condition for 5-10 years, any rise in temperature is able to break a gearbox. And in especially neglected cases the automatic transmission is able to fail even at the temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. The problem is aggravated by the friction clutches wear, which in turn leads to even greater contamination of the box’s oil. The problem develops like a snowball.

In order to avoid this problem, it is enough to change the oil in the gearbox regularly. It is especially relevant for cars which have been driving for some time, and the total mileage has long passed the mark of 100-120 thousand km. In this case, it is advised to change oil at least once in 50-60 thousand km of run for the sake of safety of automatic transmission. If the car is really old, it is possible to change it even more frequently, approximately every 35-40 thousand km of run. Timely change of the working fluid will help to considerably prolong the term of exploitation of automatic transmission up to overhaul.

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