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How to protect the gearbox?

We all know the importance of the gearbox for a car, whether manual or automatic. This part is responsible for reducing the engine’s speed to the differential to transform power into speed.

Due to its relevance and complexity, it is essential to ensure the quality of the gearbox. This increases the part’s longevity and avoids compromising the vehicle’s operation.

However, over the years, drivers gain certain habits that may cause damage to this part. Therefore, we have listed some good practices that should be adopted so that you can take care of your car’s gearbox.

Read also: Best practices to protect the Engine

Best practices for a manual gearbox

Although automatic cars are slowly gaining ground in the automotive market, vehicles with manual gearboxes are still dominant. Many drivers prefer to control and manage the rev scaling and gear changing.

However, gearbox management is not always done correctly. Overuse of this part can lead to clutch and gearbox wear.

Find out how you can protect and prolong the life of this auto part.

Avoid resting your hand on the gear stick

One of the most common and bad habits drivers have is to place their hand on the gear stick while driving. First, it’s dangerous to drive with only one hand. Second, the weight on the lever can damage the elements in the transmission system.

This practice leads to premature, heavy wear on the manual gearbox.

Person with his right hand resting on the gearbox stick

Put the car in neutral when you stop

When you stop at a traffic light, do you keep the car in gear with your foot on the pedal?

That is wrong.

This is one of the most common mistakes made by drivers, and it applies not only at traffic lights but in any situation where the car has to stop for a few seconds.

When the vehicle is stopped, it is advisable to put it in neutral and take your foot off the clutch. This practice reduces pedal effort by engaging no shifts and prolongs the gearbox and clutch.

Don’t control the clutch pedal with the accelerator on climbs

Clutch point sometimes seems like a difficult balancing act, especially for less experienced drivers.

Due to the difficulty in controlling the clutch point, especially on climbs, it is common to overuse the accelerator. However, this compromises the operation of the manual gearbox.

Avoid resting your foot on the clutch pedal

This is one of the most common and first habits to learn when one first start driving.

Resting your left foot on the clutch pedal causes progressive wear to the clutch, conditioning its operation in the long run.

Reduce the gear whenever necessary

Who has never accelerated when the car is losing speed?

This is a common practice in the daily life of drivers, but it’s pointless. Apart from increasing fuel consumption, this habit also wears out the gearbox.

So, whenever the car starts to lose speed, reduce to the previous gear and avoid the car’s hiccups when driving at low revs. This way, you can avoid long-term problems in the manual gearbox.

Don’t start the car on the second shift

Driving off in second gear reduces the service life of the clutch disc by up to 50%. At the same time, it also causes damage to the mechanics of the manual gearbox. You should therefore avoid doing this.

Avoid engaging the first gear before the car has come to a complete stop.

Just as you should not start in second gear, you should also avoid changing to first gear while the car is moving, even if the speed is low.

This bad habit can damage the driveshaft due to the strong effort to make movements without having the right conditions.

Therefore, only shift up to first gear when the car is completely stopped.

Read also: 10 Myths about cars: Part 1

Automatic gearbox stick

Best practices for an automatic gearbox

As we saw before, the automatic gearbox is less subject to wear caused by incorrect driving practices since its management is automated.

However, you should take some care when using your automatic car.

Park correctly

You should only apply the handbrake when the car is completely stopped. Then, you should put the gearbox in P.

Put the car in neutral when you stop

Unlike cars with manual transmissions, the automatic vehicles can be stationary with shift D engaged.

However, when you stop for more than a minute, it is recommended that you put the gearshift in N. This will save wear on the gearbox and reduce vibrations in the passenger compartment.

Change your gearbox oil

An automatic gearbox uses oil, and as such, it has a shelf life.

This component goes through temperature variations, which causes it to lose its physical and chemical properties.

So, just as you change your engine oil regularly, you should also change the gearbox oil.