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The Impact of Extreme Weather on Your Vehicle's Transmission

Canadian households in 2022 spent almost $3.5 billion on vehicle repair and maintenance costs. One of the costliest vehicle parts to replace is the auto transmission, which may cost $4,000 to $5,000.

Your auto transmission is essential since it transfers power to your wheels from your engine. Your vehicle can't move without a functioning transmission.

One of the best ways to avoid transmission repair and replacement costs is to protect it from extreme weather in Alberta. Let's explore how extreme weather, ranging from heavy rainfall to snow, may affect your auto transmission parts.

A vehicle’s transmission detail

The Impact of Weather on Your Transmission

During frosty mornings and icy nights, your car's transmission fluid may thicken. If the transmission's temperature drops below freezing, the fluid becomes too thick to properly lubricate transmission parts, potentially causing the transmission to malfunction.

Moreover, in winter, water can freeze and expand within the transmission, leading to cracks. Unfortunately, a cracked transmission cannot be repaired, necessitating a complete replacement.

Hot weather can also take a toll on your transmission. Elevated temperatures can cause the transmission fluid to overheat, potentially shortening the transmission's lifespan.

Your transmission should ideally be no hotter than 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If it reaches temperatures as high as 220 degrees Fahrenheit, this essential car component may only last half the expected lifespan, typically around seven years.

Rainfall and Flooding

Every transmission system has a vent designed to maintain the proper internal pressure. However, driving through water that submerges your transmission vent can lead to unforeseen consequences.

When water infiltrates the transmission through the vent, it may promote rust formation within the transmission components. This corrosion can ultimately result in gear-shifting problems, compromising the overall performance of your vehicle.


Heavy snow is a problem for your car transmission. Perhaps your car gets stuck in the snow. You'll likely try to accelerate, and your tires may begin to spin.

As your transmission works harder to overcome the snow's grip, it generates more heat. This heat can cause your transmission fluid to warm up significantly. Elevated fluid temperatures can be problematic for your transmission's health and longevity.

Quickly shifting between reverse and drive if your car is stuck in the snow isn't a better solution. This could damage your vehicle, too. If your car is stuck in the snow, avoid rapid gear changes and take a moment to assess the situation. Stopping your car before adjusting the gear shift is a safer and more prudent approach.

Car Tips

Letting your car heat up before taking off is an excellent way to protect your vehicle's transmission from extreme weather. If necessary, replacing your transmission's fluid in the winter is also a wise move.

Another way to preserve your vehicle in extreme cold is to slow down. Your transmission will have enough time to switch gears. This will help prevent transmission damage.

Signs of Transmission Problems

Signs of transmission problems include a burning odour or fluid leaking from your car. Do you hear strange noises like grating, knocking, grinding, humming, clunking, or whining? This is another indicator you need to repair or replace your transmission.

Contact a professional if your car doesn't move when you shift gears or your check engine icon lights up. These are other signs your transmission needs attention.

Auto Transmission Parts

Cold weather may crack your auto transmission, and hot weather might shorten transmission life by heating the transmission fluid. Flooding and snow may also affect your vehicle transmission parts.

At Alberta Transmission Service, we can quickly repair or replace your transmission. Contact Alberta Transmission Service to learn more about our services, and book an appointment today!


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