‘I’m a car mechanic – there is 1 place I totally avoid when driving automatics’

A car mechanic has rung the alarm on several mistakes that drivers commonly make that could potentially destroy the automatic transmission of their cars.

Scotty Kilmer has built a mammoth following on his YouTube channel since divulging helpful advice on the dos and don’ts of driving.

In one of his hugely popular videos, which racked up more than 235,000 likes, the expert warned of five mistakes he sees all too often.

The first common and biggest mistake is driving through deep water, which could lead water to the transmission and obliterate it.

“You never want to drive an automatic car through deep water and here’s why,” Scotty explained while pointing to a small vent on the floor of his car.

“You have to have vents on automatic transmission as the fluid gets hot and expands, and contracts to release pressure. If you go through water that will suck water into the transmission – […] water and automatic do not go together.

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“If you get water in your automatic transmission sometimes you get lucky and flush it out – but often it will destroy the entire transmission and you’ll need a new one.”

Kilmer also warned that an equally damaging mistake for the car is going from drive to reverse while the vehicle is in motion.

When this happens a driver can expect their vehicle to stall, sometimes causing a slight grinding noise. Fortunately, most new cars come equipped with a reverse inhibitor nowadays, but secondhand buyers should be wary.

“Never accidentally have your car go from drive into reverse while the cars moving,” warned Kilmer. “Make sure you don’t accidentally hit it and rip it into reverse while you’re driving down the road because it will destroy the transmission.”

That being said, drivers should always avoid leaving their car in the driver if they’re in fact “idling for a long time”.

“Leaving it in drive if you’re idling for a long time […] can lead to overheating of the inside of the transmission, if you going to be sitting there for a long time just shut the car off or at least put it into Park,” noted the mechanic. 

In other words, because the car would no longer be directly connected to the torque converter, it wouldn’t get quite as hot.

Though Kilmer’s last piece of advice is commonsensical to most drivers, he stressed how damaging burnouts are – the practice of keeping a vehicle stationary while spinning its wheel.

Not only does the practice wear out tyres more quickly, but it can also put significant stress on the transmission and engine.

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