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Tips on How to Make Your Transmission Last Longer

Luke is a college graduate and student athlete. He has been a car enthusiast since age 9 and continues to share his expertise on cars.

A standard 545RFE transmission is critical for keeping your vehicle operating correctly by providing smooth shifting transitions. However, the failure of a transmission can be very frustrating and may require you to get high-quality repairs from a professional that can cost thousands of dollars.

Thankfully, you can avoid this kind of excessive payment by taking a few simple steps to keep your drivetrain operating as smoothly as possible. Most of these tips will be related to any transmission, but we'll include a section for the 545RFE later to ensure you get the most out of this part.

tips-on-how-to-make-your-transmission-last-longer

Avoid Excessive Temperatures

A typical drivetrain doesn't do well in excessive outside temperatures. Generally, you want to keep it well below 99 degrees Fahrenheit and above zero 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, there are times when you cannot avoid these types of temperatures, such as during the winter.

However, there are a handful of additives that help to reduce your temperature in the summer and some that can help to balance the temperature of your transmission during the winter. Please find some of these and add them to your transmission to avoid problems.

Stay Out of Tough Driving Scenarios

Many driving situations can cause unnecessary damage to your transmission by forcing it to change gears regularly and with damaging frequency. Avoid misusing your car in these situations unless you have purposefully installed a more vigorous drivetrain capable of handling scenarios like:

  • Heavy snow that requires you to use a lot of force
  • Muddy driving that causes your car to struggle
  • Steep hills that put a lot of train on your vehicle
  • Fast-paced driving situations where you switch your gears regularly
  • Improperly manually shifting your vehicle

If you try to force your gears at any time with a manual or get your automatic to change gears too often, you might end up damaging your transmission as well. Remember – your drivetrain should ride smoothly and be used only at appropriate times. Your automatic should be able to shift without much issue but may slip if you try to accelerate or decelerate too fast and cause it to act up.

tips-on-how-to-make-your-transmission-last-longer

Minimize Extreme Towing

When you tow heavy objects, you are putting a significant strain on your drivetrain. All that shifting and excessive weight will cause it to run erratically and may trigger issues that may require repair. As a result, you should try to keep your towing to a minimum and only when necessary.

Your vehicle's tow rating is typically a maximum, so try to tow well below this level to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your transmission. Resist the urge to go over, even if your vehicle seems able to handle it – you are only causing it damage and may end up with a poorly running 545RFE.

Pay Attention to How You Reverse Your Car

An automatic transmission helps to handle the bulk of your shifting needs. However, you'll still need to reverse your car correctly, something many people do wrong. To reverse correctly, you must:

  • Bring your car to a total halt
  • Wait for the car to settle down
  • Slowly shift into reverse
  • Drive your car backward

If you shift between drive and reverse without following these steps, you're putting unnecessary strain on your 545RFE transmission. Follow the same steps when shifting back into drive.

tips-on-how-to-make-your-transmission-last-longer

Check Your Fluids Regularly

Your transmission has a fluid level that helps to keep it lubricated and avoids strain and temperature-related issues. Make sure that you check your transmission levels regularly and replace them with the proper type for your vehicle if you notice that your levels are getting a little low for your liking.

Just as importantly, you need to make sure that maintenance professionals change your fluid regularly during oil checks and other types of repairs. Doing so will help to keep your fluid from getting dirty, as well, potentially causing damage to the various interior parts of your 545RFE drivetrain.

Maintaining Your 545RFE Transmission

A sound five-speed transmission is typically quite durable and reliable, particularly an automatic version. However, this drivetrain may fun into some operational issues after you've put around 500,000 miles or so on it. Often, you'll run into problems with the:

  • Clutch drum burning out
  • Lubrication fluids running out
  • Broken rubberized gaskets
  • Oil seal breaking down
  • Draft shaft issues

Avoiding these problems requires you to schedule a trip to a mechanic who you can trust after you've passed 500,000 on your 545RFE transmission. They'll check it for any serious problems and perform maintenance steps to ensure that it remains strong. And don't forget that you can also get it maintained when you get regular oil changes or other vehicle checkups.


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Luke Wilhoit

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