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When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Lakeville car owners remember to get our oil changed. But HomeTown Auto Service services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is an important part of car care for Lakeville motorists. A poorly maintained transmission will impair fuel efficiency and lead to expensive repairs.

The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well – lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your fuel economy will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.

Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Lakeville drivers.

The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of dangerous grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.

This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this essential service. Or, you can speak with your friendly, honest and efficient HomeTown Auto Service technician. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your automobile may be shorter or longer.

Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the auto manufacturer recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty Minnesota conditions, if you tow a trailer around Lakeville, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Burnsville driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.

Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your automobile needs, or talk to your friendly, honest and efficient HomeTown Auto Service service specialist.

At HomeTown Auto Service in Lakeville, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly costly. Compared to the cost of pricey transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at HomeTown Auto Service and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved gas mileage and a longer, smoother ride.