If you own a truck that has a manual transmission, chances are that you pay close attention to how you drive so you don't cause any damage to the transmission or the clutch. If your truck has a transmission that is automatic, it's easy to ignore the issues that could be causing damage to this critical truck component. Even though the transmission is shifting the gears for you, you can cause damage to an automatic transmission with bad habits. Be careful of doing these three things.

Towing Items That Are Too Heavy

You may have seen a truck similar to yours towing a heavy item, but that doesn't meant that you should do the same thing with your own vehicle. Even when you own a larger SUV or truck, you need to be careful about what you are towing. Always read your owner's manual, and look at what the truck's towing capacity limitations are. Even a short trip can cause damage to a transmission if the weight is too much.

Shifting While The Truck Is Moving

A common habit that many drivers have is shifting gears while their vehicle is still in motion. This may be tempting to do when the car is moving very slowly, but the jerking motion you feel by doing it is a sign that you are potentially damaging your transmission by shifting too soon.

Shifting while in motion is bad because you're using components of the car's transmission to bring your vehicle to a complete stop quickly, which is not what the transmission was designed to do. You may be a in a hurry, but be sure to use the brakes to bring your truck to a halt before shifting gears. Not doing so could eventually cause the truck's transmission to stop working.

Ignoring Transmission Maintenance

While drivers usually remember their oil changes due to the sticker that is on their windshield, transmission maintenance is often forgotten about. A transmission will need the proper amount of fluid to maintain a lubricated and cool transmission. If you ignore fluid maintenance, the parts of the transmission will start rubbing together and wear out prematurely. When checking your oil, make it a habit to check the levels of your transmission fluid.

If you notice that your truck is having difficult shifting gears, it may be too late. Take your truck in to a local auto shop, like Arizona Fleet Service, so you can have the damage looked at to determine how bad the damage is.