Vehicles with manual transmissions aren’t as common as they once were on our roads. Manual transmissions are estimated to make up about 34% of all new vehicles sold worldwide, but if you own one, you should be aware of manual transmission maintenance tips.
Although there are some advantages to driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission these days, stick-shift enthusiasts have their own reasons for preferring a manual transmission. While some of the reasons given are emotive, for example, you have more control over your vehicle, or they’re a theft deterrent – there’s no denying that cars with manual transmissions are a lot of fun to drive.
In any case, here are five suggestions for extending the life of your manual transmission and avoiding breakdowns:
After each gear shift, completely remove your foot from the clutch pedal. To put it another way, don’t rely on the clutch. When you’re driving, it’s a bad habit to get into because it puts undue strain on the clutch and gearbox.
Service your engine’s cooling system on a regular basis. The cooling system in your car keeps the engine from overheating. But did you know it also cools the transmission fluid that circulates through the gearbox? Before your engine completely overheats, it’s more likely that you’ll need a transmission repair. Make sure your cooling system is in good working order.
Ensure that your transmission is flushed on a regular basis. It’s best to leave changing your car’s transmission fluid to a professional. Consult your owner’s manual, but your vehicle’s transmission should be flushed every 48,000 to 80,000kms. The operating temperature of your vehicle and the amount of driving you do determine how long the transmission fluid in your car will last.
When you need to slow down, don’t downshift. Downshifting while slowing down or coming to a complete stop, contrary to popular belief, is not good for your engine or manual gearbox. Downshifting, in fact, puts more strain on your transmission. To slow down and stop, stick to using your brakes.
Annually inspect your transmission. Preventative maintenance includes having a certified transmission repair specialist inspect your transmission for leaks and other abnormalities at least once a year, as well as checking the transmission fluid’s level, color, and smell on a regular basis.