Good drivers are great for transmissions. Poor drivers ruin transmissions. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. Stereotypically, men and women affect the longevity of transmissions differently, due to varying driving tendencies. While stereotypes are not ideal and never encapsulate the entirety of an individual, gender differences will be referenced in a light-hearted way as a means to an end: determining how poor driving habits affect the life of a transmission.
Longevity of a Transmission: Aggressive Driving
If one is asked to imagine an “aggressive driver,” often young males come to mind. When that huge red truck swerves across four lanes and zooms past you on the highway, you probably expect to see an angry man or teenager pressed against the steering wheel with aggressive energy. (Car insurance rates reflect the youthful tendency for poor driving habits.) However, both men and women, young and old, can be aggressive, impatient drivers – and this fact has implications on the longevity of a transmission.
Driving full-throttle down the highway produces high line pressure within the transmission. High line pressure can cause cracks or other serious damage to drums and pistons. When someone drives a vehicle like they just stepped into football conditioning, practicing interval training, the transmission suffers. No transmission handles accelerating from 0-60 mph in a matter of seconds well over time.
Aggressive drivers are often speeders, speeders who often slam on their brakess, intensely downshifting in the process. Such abuse causes transmissions to overheat, a destructive outcome. Adverse conditions aggravate this problem, including high elevations or consistent stop-and-go traffic. In this tongue-in-cheek article about the best ways to destroy a transmission, one transmission mechanic puts the dangers of overheating into perspective:
“Most automatic transmissions are designed to operate at a maximum temperature of 200 degrees. For every 20 degrees you go above this limit, you risk cutting the expected lifespan of the transmission by a factor of two. To put that in a better perspective, by the time your transmission reaches 300 degrees its life span will be reduced to 1/32nd of what is considered normal.”
At the end of the day, statistic speaks for themselves: more men show up at the transmission shop, often with a Chevy Silverado or Ford F-150 in tow.
Longevity of a Transmission: Cautious Driving
When timid or cautious driving is considered, women often come to mind. Stereotypes aside, however, timidity while driving has adverse complications as well. For example, extremely cautious drivers often ride their brakes. When a vehicle is driven at a steady pace for a decent amount of time (such as on the highway), lockup converters will engage, creating a unique state within the vehicle. When lockup is engaged, the transmission and engine are in a 1:1 ratio or directly engaged, giving the transition a break and – ultimately – extending its life. What does this have to do with timid driving? Well, when the transmission is in lockup and the brake is touched, downshifting happens. Constant repetition of lockup and braking, lockup and braking, over and over – often occurring when a timid driver is touchy on the brakes – is disastrous to the life of a transmission. Those valves can wear causing premature wear in the valve body or pump.
Advanced Transmission Center
When all is said and done, good drivers are great for transmissions and poor drivers ruin transmissions, regardless of gender or age. Period. Old habits are difficult to break. Over time, even the best drivers will like need their transmission repaired or rebuilt. This is when a trustworthy, client-oriented transmission center is required. For decades, Advanced Transmission Center has been Denver’s transmission repair specialist. We provide quality service and years of experience, offering you fair and reliable transmission service. Call our Westminster (Northwest Denver) location at (303) 421-4140, our Lakewood (Southwest Denver) location at (303) 922-4102 or contact us online to inquire about a free TrueTest Inspection. We’d also be glad to talk about great driving habits to maintain the longevity of your car or truck transmission.