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
My Caravan transmission was giving...
Aaron Dias
My Caravan transmission was giving a lot of problems and took it to Mr. Transmission, and got it fixed. Thanks to Denise and Sean for their amazing customer service.
Date: November 30, 2020
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Very friendly and professional.
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Very friendly and professional.
Date: November 28, 2020
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MMMMMMMMMM SATWAN NUMBA WAN- Brent
Date: November 28, 2020
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Very friendly and professional.
RodzillaRoar
Very friendly and professional.
Date: November 28, 2020
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Bob Monday is very knowledgeable...
Mike Graham
Bob Monday is very knowledgeable and honest. I feel the repairs he did on my vehicle were what he would do on his own.
Date: November 28, 2020
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These guys are awesome.
Mehrdad M
These guys are awesome.
Date: November 28, 2020
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I was heading from Toronto...
Pahi Pat
I was heading from Toronto to Windsor and I was stuck on the highway because my transmission oilstarted to heat up. No one was able to help me out but the people at Mister Transmission were more than happy to take me right away. They were extremely humble, polite and welcoming. They put my car on the lift and showed me the issue. They explained the issues and the cause for it, along with possible solutions. The problems were fixed really quick and got me on the road. I am extremely grateful for what they did for me.
Date: November 27, 2020
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I was recommended by my...
Marc T11
I was recommended by my usual mechanic to go to this location for an issue with my transfer case. I was not disappointed!! My vehicle would not move and was stuck with the transfer case in neutral. After getting my vehicle towed in; the mechanics diagnosed and repaired my vehicle before I got home! They found a clip had broken and replaced it. Not only did they fix it quickly, there was no bill. They did the work for free. No diagnostic, no shop labour, no parts fee. Just honest and good willed mechanic work! I cant thank them enough! They have made me a customer for life if I should have transmission trouble again in the future!
Date: November 25, 2020
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Excellent! Cory there will take...
Marc Koechl
Excellent! Cory there will take care of anything you need that's transmission related. Excellent customer service!
Date: November 24, 2020
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Steve is a great guy!!...
Frank S
Steve is a great guy!! very professional and honest, he knows his stuff and steered me in the right direction. Thank you very much for the great work you do!.. it's hard to find shops like this anymore.
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