Preparing for a road trip isn't just about checking coolant levels and tires. The transmission also needs to be in top shape, considering how integral it is to your car's successful operation and how expensive it is to repair. Therefore, don't forget to perform the following checks before going on a road trip:

Replace Transmission Filter

The auto transmission filter acts as a sieve; it traps contaminants, such as dirt particles, so that they don't reach the transmission along with the lubricating fluid. This is necessary because using contaminated transmission fluid is almost the same as having a low level of the fluid. The result is inadequate lubrication that causes a problem in shifting gears (too fast or too slow shifting), slipping gears, and surging or delay in car movement.

Road dirt levels tend to be high during the summer. The more you drive, the more dirt will reach the transmission fluid and filter. Therefore, starting out with an already dirty filter would be disastrous.  You need to change your transmission filters before embarking on your long summer road trip to boost your chances of making it through with a clean transmission fluid.

Check Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid lubricates and cools all moving parts of the transmission; in an automatic transmission, it also transmits power to the engine. A contaminated fluid loses its lubricating and cooling power, which can damage the transmission and also makes the car lose power.

Therefore, check the level of the fluid before embarking on your road trip. Maybe there is a leakage somewhere that has reduced the fluid level; plug the leak and ensure the fluid is at the correct level. If your schedule for changing the fluid was coming up shortly, it's best to do it before setting off. This ensures the car will cope better with the high temperature and debris associated with long driving.

Check for Leaks

If your transmission fluid leaks too much, it may lead to low transmission fluid and its associated problems described above. Therefore, you need to confirm that your transmission isn't leaking before going on your road trip. Common sources of these leaks include a damaged transmission pan, faulty torque converter, punctured fluid lines, and worn out seals. However, the most common sign of transmission fluid leak is to check where the car is parked for signs of the fluid on the ground. The color of the fluid is typically red, dark red, or brown depending on how long it has been since you last changed it. If you notice such colored spots under the car, don't go on the trip before seeing a mechanic.

Contact a center like Integrity Transmission & Auto Service Center to learn more.