Road Trip! 4 Tips to Protect Your Transmission While You’re on the Road This Summer

Summer will be here before you know it. It's time to start thinking about your vacation time. If a cross-country road trip is part of your summer vacation plans, you need to make sure your car is ready for the adventure. In addition to the oil changes, tire rotations, and tune-ups you have planned, it's also a good idea to take a look at your transmission. The last thing you want is to have your vacation interrupted by transmission troubles. In addition to your service call, here are three tips you should follow that will help protect your transmission this summer.

Avoid Rapid Acceleration

Each time you accelerate from a stop, your transmission goes through a complete cycle to get you back up to speed. Rapid acceleration can heat up your transmission and lead to mechanical failure. While you're on vacation, protect your transmission by avoiding rapid acceleration from stops. A smooth, steady transition from a stop will help prevent transmission overheating and malfunctions.

Use Your Parking Brake

When you park your car on a flat surface, your transmission doesn't have to work to prevent movement. However, when you park your car on an incline, your transmission is at increased pressure to prevent your car from rolling down the hill. This is particularly true if you don't set your parking brake. To help prevent transmission problems, and avoid collisions caused by your car rolling down a hill while you're gone, always set the parking brake when you park on an incline.

Watch the Weight

If you're going to be towing a trailer during your road trip this summer, you need to watch the weight. Before you hook your trailer up, make sure you know the weight restrictions for your vehicle. It's also important that you consider all the other weight that your vehicle will be towing during your trip, including luggage, supplies, and passengers. Towing excess weight will put additional strain on your transmission, which could lead to a complete breakdown during your trip.

Choose the Right Gear

While you're on your road trip, you might encounter a variety of conditions, including hills, sand, and mud. Each of these conditions require your transmission to be a specific "drive" gear. You can prevent transmission problems by switching your vehicle to the appropriate gear throughout your trip. If you're not sure how to determine the proper gear, you should refer to your owner's manual before you begin your trip.

Don't let transmission troubles ruin your vacation. Use the tips described here to protect your transmission this summer. For other tips on how to preserve the life of your transmission, speak to a mechanic near you.