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How Can I Make My Manual Transmission Last Longer?

How Can I Make My Manual Transmission Last Longer?

If you're searching for “how can I make my manual transmission last longer?” Here are some expert tips on how you can extend the lifetime of your manual transmission:

1-    Never ride the clutch

2-    Inspect the engine's cooling system

3-    Consider transmission flush

4-    Never downshift when slowing down

5-    Perform annual inspections

6-    Do not delay repairs

7-    Watch your driving habits

The transmission is the second most important component in your vehicle after the engine. Without the transmission, you cannot drive the vehicle. In addition, the transmission is responsible for utilizing the proper engine power that is needed at different types of speeds. This way, your engine doesn't have to work hard all the time and waste a lot of fuel for no reason.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


There are two different types of transmissions in the Automotive World, including the manual and the automatic transmission. Manual transmission requires a lot of user inputs, which means that there is a lot of responsibility, and you as a driver to maintain the transmission by building the right driving habits.

This article provides you with some tips and tricks based on automotive experts’ recommendations on extending the lifetime of your manual transmission. It also highlights additional information that is helpful for you if you enjoy driving a car with a manual transmission.

What is the difference between manual and automatic transmission?

Before we discuss, “how can I make my manual transmission last longer? We must understand the main difference between automatic and manual transmission :

1-    Manual transmissions

The manual transmission, or what's referred to as the stick shift, is the type of transmission where you must manually switch the gears depending on your vehicle's acceleration. If you look in the middle of your vehicle, you'll notice that the main liver of the manual transmission is in the center console.

Aside from the liver itself, there is another important component that you must engage every time you switch gears: the vehicle's clutch. The clutch pedal is located on the left side of your brakes, and whenever you want to switch gears, you must engage with the clutch.

Every time you press down on the couch, the engine and the transmission get disconnected, and that's when you can properly switch the type of gear you needed depending on the acceleration. Keep in mind that switching and engaging the clutch is not very simple. You need to familiarize yourself with how it's done to prevent damages—typically, engaging the clutch too fast results in engine stalling, while engaging it too slow results in tear and wear.

2-    Automatic transmissions

In vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, the vehicle does all the job, and you don't have to worry about switching gears or engaging the clutch properly.

Typically, automatic transmission relies on the transmission fluid to lubricate the transmission components, perform the work, and help the vehicle drive. In any vehicle with an automatic transmission, there is a component known as the torque converter connected to the drivetrain and acts like the clutch in the vehicle.

While you don't have to worry about doing much work in engaging the automatic transmission, the only most important job is to maintain the right level of transmission fluid because otherwise, you will deal with significant transmission damage is down the road.

How long should a manual transmission last?

According to experts, a manual transmission should typically last up to 120,000 miles. However, the manual transmission might not make it up to that threshold, depending on your driving style.

Therefore, you must consult some experts before driving a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission here. As we indicated before, engaging the manual transmission requires a lot of users' input, and therefore, by inputting the wrong engagements, you can't prematurely damage the manual transmission.

Once you are comfortable driving the manual transmission, you will understand some of the common habits that could destroy the transmission, so you can avoid them and rely on practices to help you achieve the most out of your manual transmission.

How can I make my manual transmission last longer?

Although we indicated that most manual transmissions should last up to 120,000 miles, driving the vehicle aggressively can shorten the lifetime of your manual transmission. Therefore, let's take a closer look at some of the tips and tricks that you can implement to extend the lifetime of your manual transmission:

1-    Never ride the clutch

There's a very common habit that destroys the manual transmission, which is riding the clutch. Experts indicated that whenever you engage the clutch and switch gears, it is important that you lift your foot off the clutch immediately and never let it ride the clutch. If you keep your foot on the clutch all the time, you can easily damage the gearbox and result in other negative consequences impacting the manual transmission.

2-    Inspect the engine's cooling system

It might sound a little weird that the engine's cooling system also helps extend the lifetime of the manual transmission. But that is 100% true. Experts indicated that's when your vehicle receives the right level of lubrication and when the engine doesn't overheat, we also ensure a cold transmission fluid that pumps throughout the transmission gearbox. Thus, when you notice some engine overheating issues, the problem might also impact driving a car without a manual transmission.

3-    Consider transmission flush

Although the transmission fluid does not drive the vehicle in cars equipped with a manual transmission, it is still a significant component that you need to maintain clean all the time.

Over time of use, the transmission fluid collects many debris and contaminants as it runs around the transmission. Those, it loses its capabilities of cooling down and lubricating the transmission. Thus, you must consult your vehicle's owner’s manual and check out how often you need to flush out the transmission fluid.

It is also a good idea to ask your mechanic how often you should flush out the transmission fluid. In some scenarios, you might need a transmission flush before even what the vehicle owner’s manual tells you.

4-    Never downshift when slowing down

Another very common bad habit could result in premature transmission damages, which is downshifting when slowing. Experts indicated that you must rely on the brakes to slow down the vehicle rather than downshifting as your vehicle gets a complete stop. By downshifting when slowing down, you can cause additional stress that could prematurely damage the engine and the manual transmission.

5-    Perform annual inspections

It is also recommended that you never wait till your transmission complaints about problems before you have it inspected. In other words, you must build a habit of performing at least annual inspections for your manual transmission where your mechanic takes a closer look at indicating whether there are some hidden damages that you can take care of without needing to replace the entire transmission.

6-    Do not delay repairs

When you notice any issues in your vehicle’s manual transmission, it is important that never to ignore the problem and take it seriously immediately. While some transmission problems might not need immediate repairs, it is always recommended to take care of any repairs as fast as possible to prevent dealing with major damages that could cost you thousands of dollars download.

7-    Watch your driving habits

Driving a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission requires some art, and it's not an easy skill set. Therefore, as we indicated before, you must review and check with an expert about how to drive the manual transmission properly without causing significant damage.

Sometimes very simple habits can cost you thousands of dollars and require you to replace the manual transmission. Therefore, if you enjoy driving the car with a manual transmission, consider consulting an expert and spending some time learning about these habits that you can't prevent.

Do cars with manual transmission last longer?

According to statistics, vehicles with manual transmission are expected to last longer than others with automatic transmission. Obviously, if you implemented some of the common habits that could destroy your manual transmission, you might end up with a destroyed manual transmission way before and automatic transmission.

Therefore, you mustn't just rely on some vehicles with a manual transmission that are expected to last longer. Instead, you must build the right habits to take care of your transmission, whether it's a manual or an automatic.

How do I know if my manual transmission is bad?

As we indicated earlier, one of the best tips that could help you extend the lifetime of your manual transmission is to take care of any repairs as soon as possible. One important part of that is to understand some symptoms indicating that your manual transmission is going bad before it even does.

Let's take a closer look at some of these symptoms below:

1-    Transmission response issues

When the manual transmission has issues, you'll immediately notice a lack and transmission response to your switched gears. Once you notice transmission hesitation, you need to take the situation seriously and have a mechanic inspect the car to replace the faulty component.

2-    Weird sounds

As a rule of thumb, when your vehicle makes weird sounds, it indicates an internal issue. This issue could be minor, but it also could be very major that might be linked to a significant component like your transmission.

In general, when your transmission starts making weird noises, it is important that you immediately realize that the internal components interact, causing some premature damages. Usually, a bad transmission will make some buzzing or probably whining noises that are harsher in vehicles equipped with manual transmission than others equipped with an automatic transmission.

3-    Transmission fluid leaks

What's worse than dealing with a low transmission level? Even though the transmission fluid is not as critical in manual transmissions as automatic ones, your vehicle must have the right transmission fluid to maintain lubrication.

If your transmission does not receive the right level of lubrication, there is a very high chance for the internal components to grind against each other and cause some damage is.

4-    Shaking or jerking

And a manual transmission, one of the first symptoms that could indicate some issues in the clutch is what's referred to as clutch slipping. When the clutch slips and does not engage properly, it will make some shaking or grinding along with the jerking. When that happens, you must take immediate action and resolve the problem so you don't have to worry about significantly higher repair costs.

5-    Warning lights

Interestingly, a bad manual transmission results in triggering the check engine light. While the check engine light might indicate various other issues, it could be linked to the transmission. Therefore, if you noticed that the engine light is illuminating after check, you must take your vehicle to the mechanic and identify the culprit before resolving it.

Conclusion

In vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, drivers are responsible for switching gears depending on the vehicle’s acceleration and deceleration. Although it's been known that vehicles with manual transmission are expected to last up to 120,000 miles, without implementing certain habits, you can end up with a failed transmission way before then.

This article highlighted some of the common tips that could help you answer the question “how can I make my manual transmission last longer?” Some of these tips include maintaining regular inspection of your transmission, inspecting the engine's cooling system, inspecting the transmission fluid level, and others.

If, for any reason, your vehicle's manual transmission failed, it's not the end of the world, and you can always sell your car and use the money towards a better vehicle instead of wasting your money installing a new transmission.

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  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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