5 Things You Should Never Do in an Automatic Transmission Car

We’re going to discuss the top five things you should never do to your automatic transmission if you want it to last. Automatic transmissions, especially in cars like Honda, can be expensive to fix. Repairing them can cost you a significant amount, ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. So, to ensure a long life for your automatic transmission, here are five things you should avoid:

1.  Avoid Driving Through Deep Water

Driving Through Deep Water

Never drive an automatic car through deep water. Automatic transmissions have vents, like the little black piece shown here. These vents help release pressure as the transmission fluid gets hot and expands. Driving through deep water can suck water into the transmission, causing significant damage. Water and automatic transmissions don’t mix well, often leading to the transmission’s destruction.

2. Never Shift from Drive to Reverse While Moving


Avoid accidentally shifting your car from drive to reverse while it’s in motion. Some cars have shifters located at the bottom, making it easy to hit and shift into reverse while driving. This action can destroy the transmission. Ensure you don’t accidentally engage this shift, especially if your car’s shifter is in a vulnerable position.

3. Don’t Idle in Drive for Extended Periods


Leaving your car in Drive when idling for a long time can lead to overheating in the transmission. If you’re idling for an extended period, either turn off the car or, at the very least, put it in Park. In Park, it’s not directly connected, and the torque converter isn’t sending as much power, preventing excessive heat build-up.

4. Avoid Excessive Burnouts


Refrain from doing burnouts regularly. Burnouts are harsh on automatic transmissions, and they aren’t good for any car. While you might think they’re cool, they can lead to significant damage and are especially hard on the transmission. Frequent burnouts can wear out the transmission quickly.

5. Regularly Change Transmission Fluid


Don’t believe the misconception that you don’t need to replace automatic transmission fluid (ATF) under normal driving conditions. Change your transmission fluid every 60 to 80 thousand miles, regardless of the manufacturer’s recommendations. While modern cars use synthetic fluid that’s more resistant to breakdown, it still degrades over time. Regular fluid changes contribute to the longevity of your transmission.


Remember, taking care of your transmission ensures it takes care of you in return. Even a Honda with relatively weaker automatic transmissions can last a long time if properly maintained. This one, with 195 thousand miles, is still shifting fine because it’s been well taken care of. Follow these guidelines to make your transmission last as long as possible.

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