It is not safe to drive a car whose gears are damaged. As such, it's important to keep this part of your vehicle in good condition. Here are two ways to do this.
Have them inspected as soon as you notice any changes
Many car owners make the mistake of ignoring seemingly minor changes to the performance of their vehicles' gears. This error often results in a small problem evolving into a far more serious one which could potentially result in the entire transmission having to be replaced.
For example, if you notice that there is a loud grinding noise each time you change gears, this could indicate that one of the gear synchronisers has deteriorated.
As its name suggests, this component is designed to enable two different gears to move in a synchronised manner (that is, to rotate at the exact same speed). This helps to prevent damage to the gearbox when you change from one gear to another.
If you take your car to a mechanic who offers gears inspection services the moment you start to hear the aforementioned grinding noise, they should be able to identify and replace the worn-out gear synchroniser before any damage is inflicted on the rest of the transmission.
Conversely, if you postpone your visit to the mechanic, the worn synchroniser could result in the gearbox being broken beyond repair. This could not only cost a small fortune to fix but could also increase the likelihood of the transmission failing during a road journey; this, in turn, could lead you to getting into an accident.
Make sure the transmission fluid has not deteriorated
Transmission fluid serves two purposes. Firstly, it helps to lubricate the gears, so that no friction is created when they rub against one another (friction could cause them to wear out prematurely).
Secondly, by preventing friction, this fluid also prevents the production of excess heat; this, in turn, stops the gears and other transmission components from being warped by exposure to excessively high temperatures.
As such, if you want to keep your car's gears in good working order, it is vital to check the condition of the transmission fluid on a regular basis.
To do this, you will need to place the dipstick into the transmission fluid pan and then pull it out. Ideally, the fluid that is left on the dipstick should smell sweet and have a reddish hue. If it smells burnt or if it is a brownish colour, then you should replace the transmission fluid immediately, as these two things are clear indications that this fluid has deteriorated.
You should not drive your car until you have performed this task, as to do so could result in the destruction of your vehicle's gears.