7 tips to take care of your automatic transmission car

Updated Mar 11, 2021 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Many Filipinos prefer driving an automatic as compared to a manual transmission car. That's why the 7 tips to take care of your automatic transmission car is really worth being read!

Nowadays, automatic transmission cars are being preferred by a large number of Filipino drivers because it is less complicated to drive as compared to a manual transmission. The absence of a clutch and multiple gears makes driving an automatic car more comfortable to the majority as compared to the old but reliable manual vehicles. 

But what many people don't know is that one of the downsides of owning and driving an automatic car is that it is more chance more complicated and costlier to maintain. 

Now if you happen to own or you are planning to purchase an automatic transmission type of car, then we would like to recommend a couple of tips to help maintain its tip-top condition and make your car last longer. Let's find out with Philkotse.com.

Tip #1. Do not put your car in neutral gear during traffic or when the traffic light is currently red

A lot of drivers say that setting your vehicle in neutral gear momentarily when it is traffic results to lower fuel consumption. This theory is true, and we cannot blame others for doing this practice because of the high fuel prices in the country.

neutral gear

Do not put your car in neutral gear during traffic or when the traffic light is currently red

But if you keep on using the neutral gear instead of stepping on the brake pedal, it can eventually wear out your cars' drive shaft that is mainly responsible for transmitting torque power from your cars' gearbox towards the wheels. Putting your car in neutral gear while the traffic lights are red can damage your driveshaft. 

>>> Endless debate: Automatic or Manual Transmission is for you?.

Tip #2. Never put the car in neutral gear when going downhill and uphill

Again the main reason why some drivers do this is to save some gas. But in reality, the amount of fuel that you are supposed to save costs way less than the amount that you will be spending for parts and labor just in case something terrible happens to your transmission. 

car goes downhill

Never put the car in neutral gear when going downhill and uphill

Putting the car in a neutral mode will automatically reduce the amount of oil supply towards the gearbox. If this continues to happen then better start saving for some cash just in case something goes wrong with both the transmission and engine. 

Always remember that most car dealers do not cover maintenance repairs of their vehicles unless your car insurance approves it. Putting your car in neutral mode on uphill and downhill slopes can cause your transmission to malfunction. 

>>> Related: What does D3 mean in automatic cars?

Tip #3. Do not shift gears while the car is currently moving

Make sure that your car is on full stop before putting it on "P" or Park Mode or "R" reverse mode. More significant problems can arise should you decide to do the opposite of this.

shift gears

Do not shift gears while the car is currently moving

The last thing that you would like to happen is to disable the locking pin mechanism of the car. Remember that it is always easy to have your car fixed but paying for the damage is an entirely different story. 

>>> Check out: Basic steps to drive an automatic transmission car properly.

Tip #4. Make sure to never run out of fuel or gasoline

If your car lacks fuel, then it means less lubrication. It makes the engine and other car parts work to work harder, therefore, can cause overheating. Prevent your car from running out of fuel by gassing up before the fuel indicator turns red or starts blinking. 

Full tank of gasoline

Make sure that your car is well oiled by not allowing it to run out of gasoline

This particular tip is straightforward to follow so let us avoid more significant problems in the future by being compliant.

Tip #5. Do not drive your car right away after leaving it parked for quite some time

Let us say that you just came from a 9-hour shift in the office and you are heading to the parking lot to go home. The common practice of most drivers is to start the vehicle right away and speed off.

cars parked

Do not drive your car right away after leaving it parked for quite some time

I guess that most drivers can be found guilty of doing these at least more than once. Your car a couple of minutes to warm up and keep the oil running especially if you happen to live in places with a colder climate such as Baguio and its neighboring provinces. Avoid driving your car right away after being parked for long hours. Allow the oil and engine to warm up for better road performance. 

>>> Also read: Traffic in the Philippines & your automatic transmission.

Tip #6. Have your car serviced regularly

Let us face the fact that most of us Filipinos are not really that keen on having our vehicles serviced at our local dealership unless something terrible happens to our car. Having your vehicle checked up at least twice a year will actually help you save money and spare you from experiencing significant headaches in the future. 

When bringing your car to the dealership or mechanic make sure to have the following parts checked thoroughly:

  • Transmission system- It needs to be cleaned at least twice a year to get rid of the build-up caused by the transmission fluid. The more mileage you have then, the more it needs to be maintained by a professional. 
  • Transmission Filter- You need to know if your car has a transmission filter. Usually, newer car models no longer have filters. But just in case that your vehicle has a filter make sure to have it replaced whenever you are scheduled to have your transmission cleaned. 
  • Diagnostic Test - Ask your mechanic if he could perform a quick check on the overall health of your cars' transmission system. Watch out for potential leaks, tears, and damages caused by wear and tear and have it fixed right away. 
  • Wheel Alignment- Poor alignment can pose safety issues and at the same time hurt your cars' transmission in the long run. Avoid using mismatched tire sizes and have your alignment checked regularly. 

car maintenance

Having your vehicle checked up will help you save money and spare you from experiencing "headaches"

>>> FYI: Here are the 8 best automatic transmission vehicles in our country.

Tip #7. Never use your automatic car for towing purposes

Should there be an instance wherein, a family member or friend calls you asking help because his car broke down in the middle of nowhere. We totally understand that they need rescue by towing their vehicle. You can offer to help but not using an automatic transmission car.

Because you might risk damaging some of its vital parts which can be very costly to repair, either you use a manual car or better yet get in touch with a reliable towing company who has the right type of vehicle and equipment to do the job.

car towing

Never use your automatic car for towing purposes

We must always remember that automatic cars are more sensitive and complicated to maintain as compared to manual transmissions. Also, most of the spare parts are quite expensive, and for some brands, it may even be hard to find.

Let us make it a point to give our cars the care that it truly deserves because it is part of our duty of being a responsible car owner. Automatic cars are not meant for towing other vehicles.  You might risk damaging your car if used inappropriately. 

Liza Campos

Liza Campos


Majoring in Physical Therapy during College, Liza started her career as a Sales Assistant and then joined Philkotse since 2018 as a freelance writer. She loves to challenge herself in different fields, just as much as how she loves travelling.

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