8 manual transmission maintenance tips for optimal performance


Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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How well are you maintaining your manual transmission? Giving it proper care keeps it in good condition to perform well on the road when you need it to!

Automatic transmission has grown in popularity over the years, but it has not displaced the good-old manual transmission. And that is because, though old-fashioned, manual transmission offers peculiar benefits.

The transmission is a vital component of a car’s engine. It boasts of parts that do a lot of movements in keeping your car in motion. A lot of people are very good at checking and maintaining their oil levels, but the story is different when it comes to the transmission. Interestingly, transmission maintenance is not as difficult as it might seem. In this post, Naijauto will intimate you with easy tips on how to keep your transmission in top gear.

Do you experience stiffness in moving your manual transmission?  That is an anomaly. Its components might have misaligned due to the presence of rust on the disc and pressure plate. There is no cause for alarm if you carry out the following manual transmission maintenance practices.

1. Pinpoint the problem

First, you need to know what the problem is before you can find a lasting solution. The transmission has two dowel pins. Any of these pins could get missing. There is also an input shaft on the transmission. Over time, it gets worn out, and this causes a misalignment. You will need to get a new dowel pin installed to correct the problem.


Inspect the engine carefully to detect possible problems asap

Do not just fix back the clutch. Ensure that the flywheel is resurfaced first. Having new pilot bearing installed will also be necessary.

Ensure that the bolt threads are in good condition before tying back the flywheel by applying adhesives to them. Make it a priority to keep the flywheel and pressure plate clean with the use of acetone. Perhaps you are not aware, the flywheel and pressure plate do not need lubrication. Using the right tool for alignment is key when positioning the disc on the flywheel

2. Check tear and wear

Besides having the pilot bearing of the transmission replaced, you need to also pay attention to its throw out bearing. It is possible the pilot bearing is worn out. Your best bet in tackling this issue is to have it checked regularly for easy detection.

>>> Your vision on the road is as good as your windscreen! Effective ways to keep your windscreen safe

3. Consult your manual

Do not be in a hurry to dismantle the clutch without consulting the factory service manual. The automaker of the car understands the car better than anyone else. They have written out tailor-made serving procedures for the product. You are sure of getting good results if you adhere to them. 

Do not get any transmission fluid you see on the market for use on your car; you might be causing damage to it. Read the manual to know specific fluids recommended by the automaker. Such fluids have been tested on the vehicle, hence, you are sure to get great results.

4. Clutch assembly

Your manual transmission works well when the flywheel is first resurfaced before you install a new clutch dish or pressure plate. This will inform you early enough if the friction from the clutch disc’s material is suitable for the flywheel. When this box is checked, you get the most of it, and enjoy an extended life span.


The manual gearbox if kept in top condition brings more exciting experience than the automatic

5. Check fluid levels

The transmission fluid helps to create a smooth flow in shifting the transmission. When out of fluid, the metals rub against each other as they move, thereby causing friction due to their hard surfaces.

Use the dipstick to check the oil level from time to time. Check the manual for the recommended level, and stick to it.

>>> Please refer to this: How to check 6 essential car fluids in 5 minutes

6. Make a full stop before shifting gears

Wears and tears are prevalent when you shift gears without fully stopping your car. Ensure that the car is still before you do this. This is the recommended practice except in a situation where you have to move quickly from reverse to forward gears and vice versa.

7. Care for the brakes

The brakes are in active use when driving. However, you should not use them excessively. Over working the brakes will stress out the engine unnecessarily, thereby making it weaker over time. Forcefully engaging the brakes is an easy way to cut their lifespan short.


Apply the brakes gently to prevent damage

Be careful of how you engage them in traffic. If you are parking on incline, it is better to use the parking brake. This will take away the stress on the parking linkage.

8. Care for the engine

Your engine is like your brain box. It is in your best interest that you give it maximum care and attention, otherwise, you will be constantly spending money fixing one problem or the other.

The transmission works in line with the engine. As you take care of the transmission, you should also remember not to neglect the engine. Regular servicing is key. As you are not an expert mechanic, there are some issues that you will be oblivious of, but a good mechanic will figure it out because it is their area of expertise.

>>> Check more car maintenance tips in our Tips & Advice section on Naijauto.com!

Chris Odogwu
Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

Car events

Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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