The transmission can often be a costly replacement to one's vehicle, which is why some people put off having theirs replaced. However, there are ways that drivers can keep tabs on their gearboxes to assess if there's a problem early on, which could help them save on the overall cost of repair should they catch it quickly enough.

According to Car Talk, it's important to have the transmission fluid levels checked between intervals of having the fluid changed. Depending on the make of the car, the fluid should be changed at least every 30,000 miles. Automatic transmission fluid really only needs to be changed every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, but changing it more frequently does not harm the car.

Drivers should also realize that if they do not change the transmission fluid, they run the risk of shortening the life of the gearbox due to contaminants getting into it.

When checking the transmission levels in between fluid changes, it's important to make sure your car has a dipstick. The source reports that while automatics typically come with this device, not all manual vehicles do, which is why a mechanic may have to have a quick look. However, it's important that drivers do not confuse the transmission dipstick with the dipstick for the crankcase.

If you do not check your transmission fluid levels in between services, you run the risk of your transmission shifting improperly, which could cause harm to the gearbox's internal parts due to a lack of lubrication.

The source also points out that a common mistake is relying simply on noise, as sometimes you may not realize something is wrong until it is too late.

According to eHow, it's also important to check your car for leaks frequently. While it's never a good sign if there is a leak, a leaking transmission can be costly if not taken care of fast. The source reports that by putting a pan under the transmission overnight and looking for fluid, you'll be able to have a good idea if the vehicle needs to be brought in for a proper check. Depending on how early the problem is caught could be the difference between a few minor repairs and a costly full transmission replacement.