Winter weather can have the worst impact on your vehicle’s transmission. While getting stuck on icy and snowy roads can certainly damage the transmission, even simply parking outside in extreme cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Cold temperatures cause the most damage. The cold thickens fluid and contracts parts, leading to a myriad of problems. Express Auto Repair and Service in Colorado Springs has come up with a few tips to keep your vehicle’s transmission safe and healthy during the winter season.
Switch To Synthetic Transmission Fluid
Your vehicle’s transmission fluid is what lubricates the moving parts. Lubrication is essential for preventing premature wear and tear. It’s also needed to facilitate smooth gear changes. When temperatures drop, transmission fluid begins to thicken. Due to the viscosity change, transmission fluid can’t circulate as effectively throughout the transmission system, inhibiting its abilities to perform the tasks at hand. Ensure your transmission fluid runs smoothly during the winter by swapping out your standard fluid for synthetic fluid. Unlike standard fluid, synthetic is known to be less viscous in cold temperatures.
Warm Up Your Engine
Give your transmission some time to warm up by starting the engine for a few minutes and letting it idle before you begin driving. Since gas is pricey and sitting in a cold car isn’t very uncomfortable, you may want to invest in an engine heater. These devices plug into a wall outlet with a timer set to warm the engine up before you even come out outside. This saves you time, money and reduces engine wear. Excessive idling isn’t good for the transmission and can actually damage some of the components. Not all transmissions lubricate the internal components with the car’s shifter in park. Oil doesn’t start moving in park; therefore, the internal transmission components are spinning without lubrication.
Store Your Vehicle in a Garage
Effectively protect your vehicle’s transmission from the harsh winter weather by storing it in a garage. Parking your car in a garage reduces the transmission’s exposure to extremely low temperatures, and other elements like snow and ice. Avoiding the cold and extreme weather conditions means your vehicle’s transmission components are less likely to contract and fluid is less likely to thicken - thus eliminating many of the cold weather consequences. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to an enclosed garage. Covered parking or a carport is the next best option when available.
Driving slow significantly reduces the amount of strain placed on your transmission in the winter. For the first few miles, drive slow as the transmission adjusts and things get flowing. It’s generally a good idea to drive a little slower than normal overall if the temperatures are freezing. When the temperatures drop, your transmission’s components tend to operate slower. Reducing your driving speed gives your transmission more time to change gears without excess stress.
Steer Clear of Deep Puddles
Water is terrible for transmissions, but freezing water is even worse. Water in the transmission can freeze and cause cracks, resulting in leaks that can’t be repaired. Always steer clear of deep puddles. If you find your car submerged in water, avoid starting the engine. You’ll need to have your car towed into a transmission shop to have the oil drained and replaced immediately if you want to avoid a major repair bill.
If your car has fallen victim to the dangers of winter weather despite these tips, Express Auto Repair is here to help. Express Auto Repair is a family-owned and operated business specializing in transmissions and all your mechanical repair or servicing needs. The master certified auto technicians at Express Auto Repair proudly serve Colorado Springs, CO, Fort Carson, CO, and all the surrounding areas.