Living at a higher altitude means adjusting to a lot of things, but it also means Denver drivers need to be aware. Thanks to living at higher altitude, it’s more likely your vehicle will need a transmission repair during the life of your vehicle.
Chances are good that, like most people, you probably don’t think much about your transmission until there’s a problem, and these problems generally cost more than an average car repair at the mechanic.
Why should you anticipate the need for repairs? There are several reasons. First, blame the Denver metro traffic. Vehicle manufacturers say that city driving, particularly stop-and-go traffic, creates a severe condition that puts excessive strain on transmissions. This is because it frequently requires shifting between low and high gears in short time intervals.
Increased congestion in the Denver metro area will only make this condition worsen over time.
The elevation of Denver, at 5,280 feet above sea level, also plays a big role, affecting both bodies and vehicles. Higher than its low-land counterparts of New York (33 feet), Chicago (594 feet), and Los Angeles (285 feet), there is a corresponding lower oxygen level.
At higher elevations, there is less oxygen in the air. As a result, there is some loss in power. This difference is noticeable if one is driving from the lowlands to the highlands, just as it is when a person from low elevation goes hiking in the Rockies and finds themselves easily winded.
Trips into the mountains surrounding Denver to go camping, hiking and skiing also means changing elevation, and results in significant up and downshifting. Most residents of Denver frequent the Rockies and many vehicles were not designed with these conditions in mind.
Big Temperature Swings
Colorado drivers frequently face 40-degree temperature shifts that can cause accelerated wear and tear on a transmission, while drivers in other areas are often in milder climates or ones that have less dramatic temperature swings.
Heat is an enemy of your transmission; excessive heat can lead to accelerated wear and tear. This is because transmissions and the related drivetrain components are made of hundreds of components, numerous materials and fluid that expands and contracts with substantial changes in temperature.
Some people drive longer distances to get to the store or doctor, but Denver residents tend to accumulate more mileage, overall, on their vehicles due to an active lifestyle and desire to enjoy the outdoors. It’s common for residents to spend 20+ weekends each year driving to and from the Rockies.
Any one of these conditions will cause extra wear and tear on a vehicle and its transmission, but added together, it increases the odds that Denver drivers should expect a transmission repair during the life of their vehicle.
While no one can predict what that repair will look like, or cost, saving money each month for anticipated vehicle repair costs, such as the transmission, is a good idea, no matter where you live. If you are experiencing transmission related-issues, or are in need of a repair, contact us today for a free TrueTest Inspection.