Do you consider yourself to be a careful driver who tries to look after your vehicle from a mechanical point of view, in order to pinch those pennies? If so, you may have been upset recently by some unexpected transmission repairs, especially as you thought you were particularly sensitive when changing gears. In order to be even more sympathetic and to try and avoid such a repair bill in the future, why should you consider adding a friction modifier to your maintenance mix?
When Transmission Fluid Is Not Enough
As you may know, it's a good idea to change your transmission fluid on a regular basis, especially as it begins to degrade over time. The fluid itself can pick up tiny particles of metal and other contaminants through wear and tear and general use and as time goes by this will affect its ability to protect the moving parts. While the transmission fluid itself is quite a sophisticated product, you can consider adding a friction modifier to the fluid for additional help.
The friction modifier is not simply a lubricant, but as the name suggests, "modifies" its capability according to the circumstances. For example, an automatic transmission relies on a sequence of gears and bearings to function most effectively, but this leads to a considerable amount of friction in normal operations. The modifier needs to reduce this friction if the transmission is to be expected to last and fuel economy to be achieved.
Helping Avoid Plate Damage
Conversely, the fluid is also designed to increase the friction between certain items, such as the steel composite clutch and the torque converter. By doing so, it helps to avoid any unwanted "shudder" when gears are shifted and makes sure that the transmission operates at maximum efficiency.
If the modifier were not able to increase friction in this way, this would not just result in an uncomfortable ride but could also lead to plate damage. After all, this may have been the root of your recent visit to the technician.
The modifier also goes to work in other areas and especially when the vehicle is under considerable stress. The internal clutches can be virtually stationary when the vehicle is shifting gears and consequently, present low levels of friction. On the other hand, when the shifting process is complete, the clutches will be fully engaged and spinning furiously, which presents a much higher potential for wear.
You may also find it advantageous to add this type of product as it can help to inhibit the development of rust or corrosion within the gearbox. It can also help to counter the natural tendency of the transmission fluid to increase friction, through a special "anti-wear" agent.
What's Right for You?
Make sure that you ask your parts supplier to recommend the right friction modifier for your vehicle.