The transmissions in some cars get overlooked by owners until something obviously goes awry. This can result in costly repairs or replacements that could be avoided if car owners would take the time to understand their vehicles, signs of transmission problems, and the correct intervals for servicing their transmissions. The following basics may be able to help you understand the sensitive nature of your vehicle's transmission and extend its life. 

Signs of Transmission Repair

If your transmission is failing in a newer model car, it may emit a warning light via your dashboard. However, there are operational signs that can also help you to know when your transmission may be failing. Key signs that your vehicle needs to be inspected are reduced or delayed power and slipping or grinding gears. Vehicles should be inspected when they exhibit these signs, and sometimes the signs could be indicative of another issue. For example, a clutch issue in a manual transmission vehicle may initially seem to be a failing transmission. 

Protecting Your Transmission

Timely servicing and ensuring that transmission fluid is at the correct level are your best defenses against premature transmission failure. You may need to top your transmission fluid levels between service intervals, and a professional auto repair person can show you where it is located and how to use the dipstick to check the level of the transmission fluid. Be mindful of needing to add transmission fluid on a regular basis because this could be a sign that your vehicle is leaking transmission fluid and needs to be serviced.

Extending the Life of Your Transmission

If you are getting your vehicle serviced and performing your self-checks, you still could be risking your transmission. Ensure that you allow your vehicle to fully engage before driving. Pressing the accelerator too soon may damage the transmission over time. Be mindful of allowing other people to drive your vehicle when you are not in it. This is because their driving habits may be harsher than yours. Always get your transmission checked before and after going on road trips that involve long distances. 

A transmission repair shop is the best resource to use to determine the condition of your transmission and whether or not it is at risk for mechanical failure. They may be able to rebuild your current transmission or install a new one if needed. They may also be able to locate transmission related information about your vehicle based on its make and model. For example, they can determine the correct transmission servicing schedule and find any pertinent transmission recall information.