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:
Changing gears at high RPMS
Slipping, grinding, or jumping when you’re accelerating and shifting gears
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.
Pretty much everybody has heard of manual and automatic transmissions. And most of us understand the basic differences between the two. But have you heard of CVT transmissions? Do you know what they are? Do you know how to repair a CVT transmission? Or, more to the point, do you know how transmission technicians repair CVT transmissions?
“CVT” stands for “Continuously Variable Transmission”. So, before we go any further, let us admit that “CVT transmission” is redundant; just like “ATM machine”. But it is how people often refer to CVTs. CVTs are a newer type of transmission, though the concept is old. In the name of fuel efficiency, CVTs are becoming ever more popular, so if you own or are looking at purchasing a newer vehicle, you have a higher chance of getting a CVT.
A CVT is a type of automatic transmission, but it’s different than traditional automatic transmissions. CVTs provide a smoother driving experience because they have optimized the shifting process. When driving a CVT, you might well notice that the transition between gears becomes near seamless. But there are other advantages to CVTs, too. CVTs can provide better fuel economy and more efficient power usage because they permit the engine to operate at optimum power, regardless of how fast the vehicle is traveling. This all boils down to CVTs being “continuously variable”. It means that instead of actual gear “stages”, the CVT allows for a continuous variation within the engine so that you can’t even notice the transition between gears.
Different Types Of Cvt Transmissions
There are several types of CVTs, many of which are now available from major auto manufacturers. These different types include:
Pulley-Based – The most common type of CVT. Pulley-based CVTs use a complex pulley system, as opposed to gears, in order to provide seamless gear transitions.
Toroidal CVT – This type of CVT system utilizes rotating discs and power rollers to achieve the function of the pulley system from a pulley-based CVT.
Cvt Transmission Repair
CVTs represent a general improvement on the traditional automatic transmission. CVTs generally feel smoother than other transmissions. However, CVTs will idle in any gear and, because the sounds of regulation are often similar to that of a slipping or clunking transmission, people can get confused. Sometimes CVT transmission repair consists of simply reassuring new drivers of CVT vehicles that their transmission doesn’t need to be repaired at all. Though, at Mister Transmission, we always conduct our Multi-Check Inspection, just to make sure.
At Mister Transmission, we expect to see more and more CVTs in the future, both near and far. The benefits are simply too great to prevent wider adoption of CVTs. And we are prepared for all the increasing CVT transmission repairs with which we will be tasked. CVT repair can be tricky because of the pulleys, but it’s nothing the technicians at Mister Transmission can’t handle.
There are two types of motorists out there: those that don’t give a second thought to what kind of transmission is in their model of vehicle, and those that spend hours exhaustively researching every component in their vehicle or the vehicle which they are considering purchasing. With all the contradictory information available on the internet, the person who spends all the time researching might end up as confused and lost as the person who did no research. But don’t worry. We at Mister Transmission are here to help. For example, if you drive a Dodge, what do you need to know about your transmission? Do Dodge transmissions require a special service?
Dodge is a brand of American automobile manufactured by FCA US LLC (Chrysler). It was founded in Auburn Hills, MI, by the Dodge brothers in 1900, making Dodge one of the first American automobile manufacturers. Dodge was acquired by Chrysler in 1928 and some of their most popular models include the Ram Pickup, the Grand Caravan, the Challenger, the Charger, and the Durango.
Dodge Automatic Transmissions
Dodge automatic transmissions use sensors to determine when they should shift gears and then changes gears accordingly by using internal transmission fluid pressure. An interesting fact is that automatic transmissions have to be momentarily disengaged from the engine internally in order to shift gears, an automatic transmission’s different speeds are attained by creating different gear ratios. The key component in this for Dodge transmissions, as with all transmissions, is the torque converter which transfers power from the engine to the transmission via “fluid coupling”. For this process to work properly, you need the full amount of automatic transmission fluid. Again, this is not unique to Dodge transmission service, but you should regularly check your transmission fluid levels.
Dodge Transmission Service
Dodge transmissions might require service for a number of reasons. However, the most common cause of failure in Dodge transmissions is a malfunctioning torque converter. Torque converters that are not functioning properly can cause shifting problems. The torque converter in a Dodge transmission (or indeed, any automatic transmission) fulfills the same role as the clutch does in a manual transmission. The torque converter controls how much fluid is passed on to the transmission and allows your engine to continue running while at a full stop.
If you suspect the torque converter in your Dodge transmission is malfunctioning, don’t delay bringing it in for a transmission service. Without a transmission service, the torque converter in your Dodge transmission will repeatedly fail for weeks, or maybe even months, but it will eventually completely break down. If this happens, the transmission fluid in your Dodge transmission can get contaminated with metal debris, which in turn might cause serious damage to your transmission. If this happens, your Dodge transmission will need a more extensive repair or even a complete rebuild.
Symptoms Of Problems With Dodge Transmissions
Some signs that the torque converter or any other component of your Dodge transmission requires service include:
Transmission slipping, grinding, or jumping during acceleration when the car is shifting gears
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you would like to learn more about how to extend the life of your transmission, please contact us.
Since 1963, Mister Transmission is the name Canadians trust to provide them with high-quality transmission repairs and expert service.
With franchises conveniently located coast-to-coast, Mister Transmission is the largest chain of transmission and driveline repair specialists in Canada. We're proud of our reputation and our history as Canada's premier transmission and technology experts...