Tag Archives: Automatic Transmission

The 3 Types of Transmissions: Manual, Automatic, and CVT

The 3 Types of Transmissions: Manual, Automatic, and CVT

If you know anything about transmissions, you probably know that there are different types of transmission. You almost certainly will have heard about manual and automatic transmissions. You may not have heard of CVT transmissions, however. When buying or leasing a new or used vehicle, one of the things you should definitely consider is the transmission. But why type of transmission is better for you? Just what are the differences between a manual and automatic transmission? And what’s the deal with this mysterious third type of transmission?

The Manual Transmission

The transmission is the part of your vehicle that transfers the power generated by your engine to the axles, which turn the wheels, which makes your vehicle go. As you can see, it’s pretty important. But not all transmissions are the same. There are three basic types of transmission. The original type of transmission is the manual transmission.

The manual transmission, which is also known as a “standard transmission” or a “stick shift”, is a type of transmission that utilizes a driver-operated clutch to regulate torque transfer from the engine to the transmission. The clutch is typically engaged or disengaged by a foot pedal or hand lever. Because they are the simplest, mechanically speaking, of the three types of transmissions, they also often have the longest lives, because there is less to go wrong. They also often offer the best fuel economy and manual transmission vehicles are typically a bit cheaper. Some drivers even enjoy driving them more.

 The Automatic Transmission

Manual transmissions are mechanically simpler, but they are more complex to use. Many drivers either don’t know how to drive a manual transmission or do not like the extra work involved. For such drivers, the best type of transmission is an automatic transmission. This type of transmission can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, meaning the driver does not have to shift gears manually.

Controlling a vehicle at low speeds is typically easier with an automatic transmission rather than a manual, because of a side effect of the clutchless fluid-coupling design called “creep” that causes the car to want to move while in a driving gear, even at idle. Fun fact: the automatic transmission was invented by Alfred Horner Munro of Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1921.

 The CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission

The continuously variable transmission (CVT), also known as a shiftless transmission, is a variant of the automatic transmission that can change seamlessly through a continuous range of effective gear ratios as opposed to a fixed number of gear ratios. The CVT’s belt-driven design offers approximately 88% efficiency, which is lower than that of a manual transmission, but this can be offset by lower production cost and by enabling the engine to run at its most efficient speed for a range of output speeds.

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If you would like to learn more about the three types of transmission and what goes into the service, maintenance, and repair of your type of transmission, please get in touch with us and we can tell you everything you need to know.

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5 Tips to Extend the Life of your Transmission

5 Tips to Extend the Life of your Transmission

We tend to take out vehicles for granted. It’s a sin of which many of us are guilty. We only stop to appreciate how complex these machines are –and how much we rely on them– when something goes wrong. And fixing broken vehicles is rarely cheap. The same goes for transmissions. If your transmission ever gets into such a bad state that it has to be overhauled or completely replaced, you are looking at a fairly expensive procedure. You want to avoid that and get the most out of your transmission for as long as you can. Here are five tips to extend the life of your transmission.

  • Check your Fluid

One cannot overstate the importance of transmission fluid to an automatic transmission. For a manual transmission, transmission oil is used, and it is equally as vital. Simply put, your transmission cannot run without transmission fluid. Furthermore, a lack of fluid or poor quality fluid can wreak havoc with your transmission. It can cause a whole host of problems and make other problems even worse. Because of this, checking your transmission fluid regularly is integral to extending the life of your transmission.

So get out your dipstick and check those levels. And while you’re at it, give the fluid an inspection and a good whiff. Damaged transmission fluid will look opaque as opposed the regular clearish red it ought to be. It will also smell bad. Foul smelling and opaque transmission fluid is a sign of problem, so if you discover this, bring your transmission into a mister transmission shop as soon as possible. You should also consider using a synthetic transmission fluid. 

  • Regular Service

But the times when you discover problems should not be the only times you visit a mister transmission shop. Regular service is also key to extending the life of your transmission. Transmission technicians can look inside your transmission and notice things you can’t. That’s why you should bring your transmission in for service about every 30,000 miles or every two years. 

  • Add an External Filter

All transmissions come with a filter. Some of these filters can filter particles very well; others struggle. But adding an external filter is never a bad thing for your transmission. The additional filter can help to trap even more contaminants, which can help to keep the fluid cleaner for longer. 

  • Stay Cool

Overheating is a major problem for transmissions. Your vehicle’s radiator is tasked with cooling everything down. Maintaining the cooling system is important so you should have it checked out regularly at a mister transmission shop; preferably every other year. The maintenance in question includes replacing the antifreeze, checking coolant levels, inspecting for leaks, checking the thermostat, and testing the pressure on the radiator cap. 

  • Be Easy

Don’t drive in such a way as to put a strain on your transmission. Remember that the transmission takes time to warm up, so drive your car easy on a cold start. There are other little things you can do to help, too, like using your emergency brake when parking on an incline (which you should always do anyway) and try not to rest your hand on the gear lever while driving.

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If you would like to learn more about how to extend the life of your transmission, please contact us.

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How to Properly Care for an Automatic Transmission

Automatic Transmission

Apart from a home, a vehicle is usually the most expensive thing a person will buy in his or her life. And we often rely on our vehicles to complete our daily activities, such as going to work and running errands. All of this is say that our vehicles are important and we have to take care of them. And one of the most intricate, expensive, and crucial components of our vehicles is the transmission.

To ensure a long, efficient life for your vehicle, you must properly care for it. Most people know enough to keep their tires pumped, and not to leave their headlights on, etc. But you should also know how to take care of your transmission, too. But just how do you care for an automatic transmission?

Tips on caring for automatic transmission

Here are some tips of things you can do to lengthen the life of your automatic transmission and keep it operating at peak efficiency:

Take care of your fluid – Insufficient levels of transmission fluid are bound to cause a whole host of problems, so make sure to check it regularly. How? Well, with the engine idling, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, insert it again, wait, then pull it out to get an accurate reading. If the fluid level is low, you may have a leak. The fluid itself should be a bright red, translucent colour, and it should smell faintly sweet. If it’s murky, dark coloured, or smells like rotten, take it to a shop that specializes in transmission services. Also, make sure to use the right type of fluid. Look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what type of transmission fluid you should use.

Get your cooling system serviced – The cooling system helps prevent your engine from overheating, but it also ensures that the transmission fluid pumping through the gearbox is cooled, as well. That’s why you want your cooling system running properly and should get it serviced regularly.

Transmission flushings – Changing your transmission fluid is important and is is best to leave it to the transmission shop that offers automatic transmission services. How often depends, but in general, get your vehicle’s transmission flushed once a year.

Don’t change gears while your car is moving – This is an offence of which many of us are guilty, but we really ought not to do it. You should always bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Otherwise, you will strain your transmission.

Regularly change your transmission filter – Some automobile’s automatic transmissions have a filter that need to be changed from time to time. Many newer vehicles don’t have a transmission filter but those that do should be changed each time you get your transmission flushed.

Avoid towing – Towing heavy loads with a vehicle that was not specifically designed to tow can cause transmission fluid to oxidize and burn, which can in turn damage your transmission.

Annual inspections – Just as with your own body, annual inspections of your transmission are important to make sure there are no burgeoning problems. If you’ve not yet had your annual inspection, bring your vehicle into a shop that provides automatic transmission services

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If you have any more questions about how to care for your automatic (or manual) transmission or would like to avail yourself of some automatic transmission services, please contact our transmission shop.

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What’s Involved in a Transmission Service?

Mister Transmission offers various types of transmission servicing, depending on your car’s needs. Here we explain the 5 most common transmission services.

A transmission service is part of your routine maintenance, just like replacing your engine oil. Here we’ve laid out the different types of transmission services we offer at Mister Transmission, including why they are important and what each service includes.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Exchange:

Transmission gears deliver power from the engine to the drive wheels, shifting automatically to provide the best power and efficiency for your driving speed. A special transmission fluid cools and lubricates the gears. Over time, this fluid degrades, and its lubricant qualities diminish. Changing the fluid at the correct intervals can help prevent premature wear and damage to the transmission.

This service includes;

Removal of the old transmission fluid and replacing it with new, clean fluid of the grade recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

Automatic Transmission Drain and Fill:

Automatic transmission fluid lubricates, cools and cleans internal components of the transmission. It also helps to maintain the hydraulic pressure necessary for the transmission to function. The additives in the transmission fluid can be depleted over time.

This service includes;

  • removing the transmission fill/drain plug to remove the old automatic transmission fluid
  • reinstalling transmission fill/drain plug
  • refilling the transmission with new automatic transmission fluid to the proper level

Automatic Transmission Filter Replacement:

The automatic transmission filter helps remove dirt and contaminants from the automatic transmission fluid.

This service includes;

  • removing the transmission pan
  • removing the old transmission filter and replacing it with a new transmission filter
  • removing the old gasket material
  • replacing the pan gasket with a new gasket and reinstalling the pan
  • refilling the transmission with new automatic transmission fluid to the proper level

Automatic Transmission Fluid Exchange & Filter Replacement:

Automatic transmission fluid lubricates, cools and cleans internal components of the transmission. It also helps to maintain the hydraulic pressure necessary for the transmission to function. The additives in the transmission fluid can be depleted over time.

This service includes;

  • changing the fluid in the transmission system, including the torque converter and transmission cooler
  • removing the transmission pan
  • removing the old transmission filter and replacing it with a new transmission filter
  • removing the old gasket material
  • replacing the pan gasket with a new gasket and reinstalling the pan
  • refilling the transmission with new automatic transmission fluid to the proper level

Manual Transmission Service:

Manual transmission fluid provides lubrication to gears, bearings, shafts, and other internal components. Heat, pressure and friction can slowly breakdown the additives in the manual transmission fluid. In addition, small particles of metal may come off the gears as they wear and these metal particles can mix with the fluid. Fluids can also become contaminated with water.

This service includes;

  • draining or evacuating the old manual transmission fluid
  • filling the manual transmission fluid with the manufacturer’s recommended type and quantity of new fluid

The net result of all these services is to provide better lubrication, improve the holding ability of the friction components, and reduce heat. This means your transmission works better, longer. Therefor you are less likely to face a major transmission repair.
Mister Transmission offers all of these services, and will be happy to explain the details to you.

A complete transmission service should include:

  • removing and examining the sump or pan (where possible)
  • replacing or cleaning the screen or filter
  • cleaning the pan
  • reinstalling the pan with a new pan gasket

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Visite one of our locations!

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New Transmission vs. Rebuilding

New almost always sounds more appealing to us in general, and this might be your first impression when it comes to transmission repair options as well.

New Transmissions are a Temptation That Might be Worth Resisting

 

In spite of our inherent instinct for the concept that new is better, it is often worth a second look at what you already have in your vehicle’s transmission, even when trouble comes knocking. Of course with your transmission, trouble might sound more like grinding or growling or even buzzing.

Your Car and its Transmission Start Out in Perfect Sync

The automatic transmission that your car was “born” with at the factory starts out in perfect harmony with its engine. Automotive transmissions are intricate systems that incorporate multiple gears and rings that must fit together with precision and accuracy while operating at high speeds. This needs to happen every time your vehicle shifts gears, and your transmission gears shift repeatedly on even the shortest journeys. When you need transmission repairs, can any other transmission fit as well as the original?

Is a New Transmission the Right Fit for Your Vehicle?

A new transmission may seem like the best option – if you have to incur an expense in transmission repairs, why not start with something new so that it will last longer. There are actually plenty of reasons that new may not be better when it comes to your transmission.

The Myth of New Transmissions

One major point to consider when it comes to new transmissions is whether or not it is actually new. Jacques Ritchot of the Winnipeg Mister Transmission says this term can be misleading:

“Most new transmissions are actually rebuilds. Only a few manufacturers sell fully new, like Audi and a few others, but none of the domestics. It might be a factory rebuilt transmission, but it’s not new.”

Another factor to consider is that the “new” transmission could have been built or rebuilt a number of years ago, and doesn’t have the benefit of updated parts.  Manufacturers create updated parts for all aspects of the vehicle as parts fail and show them where the weaknesses in their initial design lie.  They then create updated parts which are better than the originals.  If you buy a “new” transmission it may not contain the latest updated parts, and you could suffer the same failure all over again in a few years.

The Beauty of a Transmission Rebuild

While a transmission rebuild involves incorporating many brand new gaskets, seals and other parts into your car’s existing transmission, the core gears and their alignments remain the same and will still be ideal for your particular vehicle.

A transmission rebuild is a cost effective way to get your car back on the road with optimal results and performance, and everything old is new again for you and your rebuilt transmission.

If you suspect your vehicle requires a transmission rebuild, please contact your local Mister Transmission and book an appointment for our FREE 21-Point Multi-Check Inspection.

 

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