How to Avoid Transmission Damage from Winter Hazards
Even if your vehicle is ready to handle the cold Canadian weather, winter hazards such as snow buildup, ice and freezing rain can still wreak havoc on your commute and your ride. In particular, your vehicle’s transmission can be ruined by winter conditions and lead to costly repairs. Help prevent transmission damage this season by following these tips.
Stuck in the Snow
Having your vehicle get stuck in the snow can be stressful and nerve-wracking. The best thing to do is remain calm and try not to panic. Next, prevent wasting fuel by letting your vehicle idle. To help conserve gas, run the engine periodically. To get your vehicle out of the snow avoid spinning your tires as it can damage the tires and transmission. If one wheel is stuck and spinning, this causes the differential in your vehicle to supply more power to that wheel. According to National Transmission, when the accelerator is floored, extreme heat is generated in the system, which can lead to increased wear on the differential and it means potential damage to the transmission and engine.
Avoid attempting to rock the vehicle to become unstuck. This can damage the transmission and drivetrain. The rocking method comprises using the engine to push your car forward, then reverse it and roll it backwards. The effect of the rocking method can cause the transmission to generate extra heat and lead to potential damages of the transmission, drivetrain and wheels.
One of the best solutions to help get you and your vehicle out of the snow safely is to call for roadside assistance. This can help prevent further damage to your vehicle and the expensive repairs that may come with it. While you wait for roadside assistance, use items in your car emergency kit to keep you warm and secure.
Freezing rain, puddles and icy patches can make driving difficult. If you get stuck on ice or a large puddle, remain calm. Avoid spinning your wheels to prevent transmission and differential damage. Ask someone to push your vehicle or call roadside assistance.
Water can also ruin a vehicle’s transmission quickly, even if it’s a small amount. It can cause absorption in the linings of the clutch, the metal backings to rust and expand as well as a range of electrical issues that can affect your vehicle’s performance. After you have become unstuck from deep water, inspect the transmission fluid for water. If you find water in the transmission fluid, have a certified mechanic look at your vehicle or take it in to a specialized transmission shop.