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The Impact of Rough and Fast Driving on Your Automatic Transmission

The Impact of Rough and Fast Driving on Your Automatic Transmission

A wide-open highway presents an invitation to “put the pedal to the metal.”  But driving too fast or too rough also involves a lot of risk, including possible damage to your automatic transmission.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Obviously, rough driving puts a strain on all parts of a vehicle, on both the moving and stationary parts.

An automatic transmission has several components that are particularly vulnerable to excessive bumps or speed. 

These parts can become loose or and break free of the transmission itself, or even the chassis:

  • Gaskets can become loose, allowing transmission fluid to leak.
  • The torque converter, an automatic’s equivalent to a manual clutch, can be damaged.
  • Gears can wear out, especially if they’re hard-shifting or changing at high rates of speed.
  • The transmission output shaft, which connects to the axels, can bend.
  • You can lose the oil pan, an important component that protects your transmission fluid from contamination.
  • The mounts may wear out and subject your transmission to motion damage.

There are a lot of other things that can go wrong with your vehicle if it’s regularly driven too fast or rough, but your transmission is the “crown jewel” of your car—you can’t afford for it to be damaged. 

Here are some other  consequences of hard and fast driving:


  • The higher the speed, the faster transmission fluid is burned up or dirtied, making an overheating event more imminent. (Fast driving also increases your fuel consumption rate, by the way).
  • Mountain driving, especially in high gears, is hard on your transmission. It can cause gear slippage, as well as excessive wear-and-tear on your transmission.  Excessive RPMs at the wrong times, like when going down a steep decline, puts undue stress on transmission components.
  • Fast driving over potholes, dirt or gravel roads, or other rough surfaces is bad news for your transmission, especially if you do it often. High-speed accelerations are best conducted on smooth, safe surfaces.

    Protect Your Transmission!

    In addition to responsible driving habits, you can keep your transmission in top-notch shape by regular maintenance using high quality parts and accessories. 

    Sun Transmissions is your source for your auto needs, including clutches, gaskets, solenoids, and overhaul kits, plus a full line of power steering components.  We’d love to see you stop by our Miami location, but we’re happy to ship your order to you anywhere in the U.S.  Give us a shout and let us know how we can help!

    Previous article The Dangers of Transmission Overheating
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