Are Automatic Transmission Repairs Complicated?

September 6, 2019 | By Mister Transmission

Are Automatic Transmission Repairs Complicated?

One of the selling points of the automatic transmission is that it is easier to drive. For the driver, an automatic transmission is simpler to handle than a manual transmission. In order to facilitate this ease of use, there is more work to be done internally within the transmission, in as certain processes are automated (hence the term “automatic”). But does this mean it’s harder to repair an automatic transmission as opposed to a manual transmission? Are automatic transmission repairs complicated?

The Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmissions automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle is in motion. This frees up the driver from having to shift gears manually, as one would when operating a manual transmission. The transmission allows the engine to provide a range of speed and torque outputs necessary for vehicular travel. By far the most common type of automatic transmission is the hydraulic automatic transmission. Hydraulic automatic transmissions utilize fluid coupling and accomplish gear changes by hydraulically locking and unlocking a series of planetary gears. Manual transmissions use a friction clutch.

History Of The Automatic Transmission

Did you know that the automatic transmission was actually invented by a Canadian? It’s true. Alfred Munro first patented an automatic transmission way back in 1921. However, Munro’s design used compressed air and was not strong enough to ever achieve commercial application. It was not until 1940 when General Motors introduced its “Hydra-Matic” transmission in its Oldsmobile that automatic transmissions first became widely available to the public.

Signs Your Automatic Transmission Needs Repair

Your automatic transmission might require a repair if you notice it doing any of the following:

  • Overheating
  • Changing gears at high RPMS
  • Slipping, grinding, or jumping when you’re accelerating and shifting gears
  • Contaminated transmission fluid during a pan examination and/or if you have a fluid leak
  • Your “Check Engine” light is on (seriously, don’t ignore this)

Automatic Transmission Repair

So now we know the basics of the automatic transmission, a little automatic transmission history, and some of the key signs that an automatic transmission is in need of repair, but what should we know about transmission repair? Are transmission repairs complicated? The answer is . . . it depends. Automatic transmission repairs are generally more complicated than manual transmission repairs; it all depends on what and where the problem is.

There is one important factor to this, though. Newer automatic transmission often requires a repair process that is quite complicated given that it needs specialized technology. Specifically, a computer. Most new automatic transmissions are heavily computerized such that a technician’s first step when repairing an automatic transmission is to use diagnostic technology to interface with a vehicle’s on-board computer. This process produces a code that indicates where the problem is. As part of any automatic transmission repair, the vehicle will then be taken for a road test so that the technician can monitor its behavior. After this, the required automatic transmission repair is often minor; it’s the diagnostic process that is key.

Get In Touch

If you suspect your automatic transmission is in need of repair, please don’t hesitate to get it checked out. Please contact us at Mister Transmission and we can have a look at it and give you advice on how best to care for your automatic transmission going forward.

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Customer Reviews
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Rob Dagenais
Great people -- great service!
Date: May 13, 2024
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Good people got my transmission...
Isidro Thiessen
Good people got my transmission repaired quickly. It was expensive tho.
Date: May 12, 2024
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Jacobo Pineda
Knowledgeable, professional and good service.
Date: May 12, 2024
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I had my 2007 Toyota...
Theresa F
I had my 2007 Toyota Rav 4 transmission rebuilt almost 2 years ago. Decided to bring it back for a transmission fluid change and for another check before the warranty expires. What I didn’t tell them is that there’s already a leak (my neighbour told me). I’m giving this business a 5 star review because they are honest. They told me it had a leak and they had to replace the seal, and it was still under warranty. Wow! Thank you!!!
Date: May 11, 2024
Website: Google
I have a 2015 Mazda...
Jaimin Patel
I have a 2015 Mazda 3 with automatic transmission. It is having jerking issue at 2nd gear when the car is cold. One of my known mechanic suggested Ken for transmission issues. I went there and parked my car overnight to make sure it is cold. In morning, Ken drove it and figure out instantly it was a computer mechanism trying to save fuel by engaging clutch and gear differently, which is normal and I should not spend any money on it. I liked Ken's experience and knowledge and his guidance which saved me going broke.
Date: May 11, 2024
Website: Google
Great friendly, prompt and reasonably...
Dey Muller
Great friendly, prompt and reasonably price service!
Date: May 10, 2024
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Phil Wall
Excellent experience. Jason is the frontman. Super professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Great service.
Date: May 10, 2024
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Peter and his team did...
Peter Cadieux
Peter and his team did a great job! Very fair pricing and quick turnaround!
Date: May 10, 2024
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Had a leak from the...
Bobros1944 Roz
Had a leak from the pan and front seal on my transmission. Despite being busy these guys were able to seal up the pan within one day. No leaks from the pan. I decided to hold off on the main seal as it is a slow leak and I'll deal with it in the winter when the cars in storage. Thanks
Date: May 9, 2024
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Absolutely amazing service and help....
Tyrel &
Absolutely amazing service and help. Our shop was in a pickle with a customers vehicle. They got it remedied that day and gave us very valuable insight going forward. Thank you very much again! Greatly appreciated 🙏
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