Your transmission is one of the most important components of your vehicle—and one of the most expensive to replace. To prevent it from breaking down and leaving you stranded while also burning a hole through your wallet, it’s important to give your transmission the care and attention it requires to run smoothly. Here are some helpful tips for properly maintaining your car’s manual transmission.
Don’t ride the clutch
Keeping your foot down on the clutch pedal while shifting gears—also known as riding the clutch—is a bad habit that many people who drive a manual vehicle get into. Doing so can put excess strain on your manual transmission’s clutch and gearbox. To avoid decreasing the lifespan of your manual transmission, make sure to completely lift your foot off the clutch pedal after changing gears so that it can fully reengage.
Get your transmission inspected by a professional annually
Small transmission issues can turn into huge, costly problems if they go undetected for a long period of time. To catch problems before they get the chance to worsen, get your transmission inspected by a professional once a year.
By thoroughly inspecting the system, the specialist can identify any leaks, low fluid levels, worn clutches or transmission synchronizers, damaged roller bearings, or other common issues. Upon catching such issues early, you can often just purchase a couple of replacement parts and drive on your merry way—rather than having to shell out a few thousand dollars for a completely new transmission.
Have your transmission fluid flushed regularly
The last tip for properly maintaining your car’s manual transmission involves the fluid. Dirty or contaminated transmission fluid is a common cause of many transmission issues. To prevent contaminated fluid from damaging your manual transmission, make sure to get it flushed on a regular basis.
Typically, manual transmission fluid should get flushed by a professional at least once a year or between every 30,000 and 60,000 miles. However, you should always check your owner’s manual to get a more accurate estimate of how long your vehicle’s transmission fluid generally lasts.