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Can the way I drive cause my transmission to go ut

I’ve had three cars 95’ Mitsubshi Galant, 02’ Dodge Neon, & 05’ Mazda Tribute…the last being the latest to “go out”…usually before I get to about 90,000 miles…Everytime its “gone out” it’s been instant…one day it’s running the next its not…not much warning…I’m a fairly “regular” driver…I’m not racing or gunning it at the light…I do drive a little faster than the average…but no more than 5-10mph hr faster…can the way I drive cause my transmission to go out and if so were would I go or who would I ask to make that determination…if anybody could answer this question…you could save me a ton in service repairs…I’m starting to think it is me…simply because 3 out of the 5 cars I’ve owned is to high to be simple coincedence

The automakers like to claim you don’t need to change your transmission fluid, and you don’t, if you only want to make it out of the warranty period. If you want to make your transmission last a long time, change the trans. fluid and filter. If you have a Japanese car with a drain plug, Just drain and refill
Most posters here recommend every 30000 miles, I do it at 50000 but if I had a Japanese car I would probably do it at 30000 just because it is so easy.

Is it possible that you switch between R and D while the car is still rolling? A lot of people do that and it always makes me cringe.

I agree with Youngtimer, come to a complete stop. Drive gently, your car will last a lot longer. Every moving part of your car will last longer if you follow this advice.

How often do you service the transmission?? I’m talking about dropping the pan and changing the filter and refilling. This needs to be done every 25-30k miles regardless of what the owners manual says.


As an interesting sidebar to what Transman said, My daughter’s 97 Corrola with 130K miles was due a transmission service and I informed her of that. She had a short list of other routine maintenance that needed to be performed…She called 3 separate independent, local repair shops and service centers and they ALL refused to drain the fluid, remove the pan, replace the filter and refill with the correct fluid. They all said that dropping the pan and changing the filter was “no longer required”…One shop wanted $99 to “power flush” the transmission, but also claimed changing the filter was not necessary…

My daughter came back to me pleading what to do…I went over to the local parts store, picked up a filter kit ($12) and 5 quarts of ATF and in an hour the messy job was done. Toyota thoughtfully provided a drain plug which makes the job much easier…Total cost $32. The filter screen I removed was beginning to collect varnish. The two magnets inside the pan needed to be cleaned. The pan itself needed a good cleaning. A test drive showed noticeably improved shifting performance due no doubt to the increased oil pressure (clean filter) and fresh fluid…Don’t let anybody tell you “with these new cars, there is no need to change the filter any more…” That is total BS…They are just lazy and they don’t want to get their hands dirty…Or they are simply afraid to do it…This transmission had no problems or issues going in, this was just routine maintenance…One shop offered: “We don’t like to service transmissions in cars with over 100K miles…If the transmission fails a month later, the car owner blames us for it…”

Or they fell into the shpeil that the flush machine salesman told them. "Use this machine to turn $20 into $100+"
it could also be from a liability standpoint as well. They drain, refill, maybe even clean the pan like you did, the customer complains the car isn’t shifting right anymore and blames the shop for messing up their car.

I can remember the flack I recieved when I also refered to a transmission drain and fill with filter replacement as a “messy job”

Don’t for one second believe that a fluid and filter change will fix a transmission that really needs internal repairs.

But to answer the OP directly, you must provide the actual issue with the transmission to say if it was related to a driving habit. What I mean is you can’t simply say “my transmission went out” and get a good answer if it was related to your driving habits. We must know both, all your driving habits and the actual type of failure with the transmission.

I also tend to suspect the fluid was never changed. But, that is just a guess. As he says, 3 of 5 cars is too high to be coincidence.

My 2002 Sienna has 170,000 miles, I have dropped three quarts and added three quarts as maintenance, much more often than 30,000 miles. I have long used synthetic fluid.

It still shifts smoothly.

I asked a Toyota service writer, and he said they get very few failed transmissions.

Like oil changes, this is another area where we have different viewpoints, and each swears his choice is the only valid one.