How Cold Weather Affects Your Vehicle’s Automatic Transmission

Cold weather slows you down and it slows your vehicle’s automatic transmission down. January nights in Lake Station, IN, can get as cold as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and these frigid temperatures can affect your transmission’s performance. How does cold weather affect the transmission? Midwest Auto Care answers this question below, so please keep reading.

Cold Transmission Parts Contract

Transmission parts, especially rubber components such as seals will contract or get smaller in cold weather. This wears the parts down faster and also loosens them. Consequently, your transmission might spring a leak in the winter because of the contracting parts.

Fluid Thickens in Cold Weather

Your transmission oil is viscous like your motor oil is. When it gets icy outside, the transmission fluid will thicken. Thick transmission fluid, and motor oil for that matter, cannot protect the parts as well, so it’s a good idea to let your engine warm up to heat and thin out the fluid.

Shifting Is Harder in Cold Weather

Icy temperatures can also make shifting difficult for your automatic transmission. You might notice hard shifts or even delays in shifting. Cold weather also delays your transmission’s overdrive. This combination can damage your transmission if you push it.

Frozen Water in the Transmission

You should never have water in your transmission but if you do and that water freezes, you’re on the road to serious transmission problems. Frozen water expands and cracks the transmission case and valve. Cracks mean the end of your transmission’s life.

Help for Your Automatic Transmission

You can protect your transmission from the cold by doing a few things. Allow your vehicle to warm up before you drive it. Drive slowly and don’t push your automobile until it’s warmed up completely. Try not to sit with your engine idling because idling stops the flow of transmission oil. Finally, part in the garage to keep your vehicle warmer on cold winter nights.

If you have not had a transmission service in some time, consider scheduling one now, especially if your transmission fluid has not been flushed and refilled in over 30,000 miles. Servicing the transmission before the temperatures drop helps prepare it for winter weather. We can even replace the oil with synthetic transmission oil for better cold-weather protection.

Call Midwest Auto Care in Lake Station, IN, to schedule a fall transmission service. We will also check your vehicle for other winter-weather concerns, such as old and dirty motor oil and antifreeze.

Photo by Zenstock from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

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