Common Transmission Problems in the Winter

Winters in Tea, SD, are hard on your car. We get cold – freezing. With daytime temperatures in the 20s and nighttime temperatures as low as 6 degrees Fahrenheit in January, your vehicle’s transmission starts to shiver as much as you do. This brings about unique problems you won’t have any other time of year. J&M Transmission & Auto Service lists the problems below and what you can do about them.

Winter Weather and Your Vehicle’s Transmission

Cold-weather transmission problems are unique to the season, i.e., entirely new or existing problems exacerbated by low temperatures. As we head into the fall and winter mercury drops, you might find that your vehicle’s transmission suffers from contraction, fluid viscosity changes, problems shifting, overdrive delays, and water in the transmission. Let’s talk more about the problems:

  • Contraction: Cold weather contracts (makes smaller) transmission parts causing them to leak, loosen, and wear down.
  • Fluid Viscosity Changes: Icy air thickens transmission fluid, reducing its viscosity and its ability to protect transmission parts.
  • Problems Shifting: Cold weather creates hard shifting conditions, which wears down transmission parts.
  • Overdrive Delays: A cold transmission will not switch into overdrive as quickly as it should, which also wears down transmission parts.
  • Water: If the water in the transmission freezes and expands, it will cause severe damage, including cracks in the transmission case.

You might not realize your transmission is suffering from the cold weather unless it acts up. You can adopt a few driving habits to make life easier on your transmission throughout the winter. Drive slower while your automobile heats up to allow the engine and transmission to get to the proper operating temperature. Avoid long periods of idling and excessive shifting, too.

Additional Precautions

You can also help prevent your engine and transmission from freezing by parking in enclosed garages. Clear out the garage at home, so you have room for your car(s), and try to park in parking garages when you are out and about. If you must park outside, have us flush your transmission fluid and replace it with synthetic fluid designed to handle cold weather better. Cover your car to help trap engine heat.

If you’d like a transmission service before it gets too cold outside, contact J&M Transmission & Auto Service in Tea, SD. We’ll inspect your transmission and take the necessary steps to protect it this winter, so all you have to worry about is holiday meals, shopping, and parties.

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