If you have an older vehicle that you have driven more than 60,000 or 70,000 miles, then you likely want to make sure that your car stays in good shape for as long as possible. Unfortunately, automatic transmissions start to fail most often once mileage reaches over the 60,000 mile mark. Transmissions can be fixed or replaced by expert mechanics, but the work is intensive and this can cost you a good deal of money. Fortunately, you can prevent failures by following the tips below.

Invest in New Transmission Fluid

If you have an older vehicle with an automatic transmission, then the transmission fluid in your car may have never been changed. Most people think that the fluid does not need to be replaced, and some vehicle manufacturers indicate this. Other car companies say that transmission fluid should be changed every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. This often depends on whether or not a long lasting and high quality transmission fluid was placed in your car when it was first manufactured. The information can be found in your car's user manual.

Even if transmission fluid does not need to be changed, you should opt for replacement fluid so that dirt and debris can be removed. It is wise to invest in a professional fluid flush as well. For this service, a machine will be used that attaches to the coolant lines in your vehicle. A pump is activated that pulls all of the old fluid out of the transmission while new fluid is added. More old fluid is released than if you allow gravity alone to drain the transmission.

Pick the Best Fluid

When a flushing is completed, consider asking your mechanic for a transmission fluid with a friction modifier. A friction modifier additive may also be used. This type of fluid is designed to reduce friction between bearings and gear meshes.  

The fluid also allows for friction to increase or remain the same between the clutches within the transmission. This allows for good lubrication, torque, and fuel efficiency while cutting down on wear and heat. Friction modifiers contain a number of different ingredients to allow for the complex operations of your transmission.

Install a New Filter

Automatic transmission vehicles have filters located at the bottom of the transmission that help to remove dirt and debris before the fluid flows through the system. These filters can wear down over time and allow metal shards and debris residue to make its way between the clutches and gaskets within the transmission.  

This can increase transmission wear and tear and it can lead to shifting and cooling problems. It is wise to have the filter checked, cleaned, or replaced at the same time that a transmission flush is completed.

In-line Filtration

Along with the replacement of the transmission filter, you should also consider adding a coolant line filter as well that can effectively remove debris before it reaches the transmission. These filters attach to the transmission lines inside your engine compartment and they are far easier to replace and maintain than the filter within the transmission. You can install the filter yourself or you can ask your transmission specialist to do it for you.

If you do have the filtration system installed, just make sure to change the filter several times a year. The filter is a disposable model just like the one you use to filter your oil.

If you have an older car that has been driven quite a bit over the last few years, then you should make sure that the transmission does not fail on you. You can prevent issues with proper fluid replacement and with the addition of clean and efficient filters.

Take your car into a transmission shop like National Transmissions to have these services done.