Tag Archives: Automatic Transmissions

What You Need to Know About Your Drivetrain

What You Need to Know About Your Drivetrain

The drivetrain is an integral component of your vehicle and it is related to your transmission. You don’t need to know the inner workings of your vehicle to be able to drive it responsibly. But the more you know about your vehicle, the better care you will be able to take of it. The more you know about how your vehicle works, the better able you will be to assess and notice symptoms of problems. And the more you know about your vehicle, the better able you will be to make informed decisions when it comes to the maintenance and repair of your vehicle. With all that in mind, this article will look to impart some information relating to the drivetrain.

The Drivetrain

The drivetrain of a vehicle is not merely just one solitary component. A drivetrain is actually a group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels, whether that’s in a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive vehicle. With the exception of that last example, many vehicles only have one set of wheels that actually power locomotion. The other pair merely coasts. But regardless of which type of wheel-drive you have in your vehicle, it’s your drivetrain that delivers power to the driving wheels. The power is generated by the engine, typically an internal combustion engine, but drivetrains are also present in hybrid and electric vehicles as well. The drivetrain just delivers the power, so the engine is not part of it. The term “powertrain” can be used to encompass both the engine (or motor) and the drivetrain.

The Function Of The Drivetrain

The drivetrain transfers power from the engine to the driving wheels. The wheels then use that mechanical power to rotate the axle. For this connection to work, the two have to be physically linked, even if they are at opposite ends of the vehicle. In such cases a long propeller shaft or drive shaft is needed. The operating speed of the engine and wheels are also different. To solve this problem you need the correct gear ratio to match the speeds. As the speed of your automobile changes, the ideal engine speed has to remain more or less constant for efficient operation. To facilitate this, the gearbox ratio must also be changed, either manually, as in a manual transmission, or automatically as in an automatic transmission or a CVT transmission.

The Drivetrain And The Transmission

Although they must work in concert, the drivetrain and the transmission are actually quite different. Think of the transmission as being akin to the chain on a bicycle: it keeps the engine turning in time with the wheels, regardless of which gear the vehicle is in. The drivetrain represents everything that is behind the transmission involved in propelling the vehicle. The drivetrain must convey power from the vehicle’s engine, through the transmission to the drive wheels.

Mister Transmission

If you have any questions about drivetrains, Mister Transmission would be happy to answer them. If you suspect that you’re experiencing a problem with your drivetrain and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

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What is the Torque Converter and Why is It Causing Me So Many Problems?

What is the Torque Converter and Why is It Causing Me So Many Problems?

If you’ve done any cursory research on transmissions and how they work you may have come across the torque converter. Indeed, if you’ve ever looked up common transmission problems, you will no doubt have seen the torque converter mentioned. What is this mystery component of the transmission? And why is it causing you so many gosh darn problems?

The Torque Converter

The torque converter is a type of fluid coupling. What is a fluid coupling? A fluid coupling, also known as a hydraulic coupling, is a device used to transmit rotating mechanical power. It is an alternative to a mechanical clutch. So, the torque converter is one of these and it transfers rotating power generated by the engine to a rotating driven load. In an automatic transmission vehicle, the torque converter connects the power source to the load. The torque converter is typically located between the engine’s flexplate and the transmission. For a manual transmission vehicle, the equivalent component would be the mechanical clutch.

The main characteristic of a torque converter is its ability to multiply torque. This is key. Simple fluid coupling can match rotational speed but cannot multiply torque. As a result, using a torque converter allows for more power. Some torque converters are also equipped with a “lockup” mechanism. A lockup rigidly binds the engine to the transmission when their speeds are nearly equal in order to avoid slippage and a resulting loss of efficiency.

Torque Converter Problems

The torque converter can be involved in a lot of transmission problems. It’s not that these devices are poorly designed, they’re just so integral to the function of the transmission that if something goes wrong, it is probably affected. As an illustration of this, it is standard procedure to replace the torque converter in transmission overhauls. Transmission overhauls, which are also known as transmission rebuilds, involve removing the transmission from the chassis, taking it apart piece by piece, inspecting every piece, cleaning the ones that are still good and replacing the damaged ones. But good technicians don’t take chances on torque converters, they just replace them.

Symptoms Of Torque Converter Problems

Torque converters aren’t always the cause of your transmission problems. In fact, they’re rarely the cause. But they are almost always affected by any problem that your transmission does have. The takeaway from all this: torque converter problems rarely occur in isolation. If you have a problem with your torque converter, you probably have a problem with your transmission more broadly, and should bring your vehicle into a transmission shop for inspection. But how can you know if you have an issue with your torque converter? Well, some of the symptoms of torque converter problems are:

  • Overheating
  • Slipping
  • Shuddering
  • Dirty transmission fluid
  • High stall speeds
  • Strange noises, such as humming, whirring, or clunking

Mister Transmission

At Mister Transmission we have replaced hundreds, if not thousands, of torque converters and we can replace yours too, if necessary. Not sure if your torque converter is the problem? Don’t worry, our Mister Transmission Multi-Check Inspection is bound to find out if there is a problem with your torque converter or any other part of your transmission. To learn more about torque converters or our services, please contact us.

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Everything You Need to Know About Transmission Fluid Changes (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Everything You Need to Know About Transmission Fluid Changes (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Transmission fluid: it’s important. If you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission, your vehicle won’t work without automatic transmission fluid. Manual transmission vehicles can also use transmission fluid as well but can also use something called transmission oil. Regardless, the principle is much the same. You need transmission fluid to operate your vehicle. But your transmission fluid will need changing occasionally. How do you know when that is? This article will go over everything you need to know about transmission fluid changes (but were afraid to ask).

Transmission Fluid

Without transmission fluid, you’ll have nothing to lubricate the various components within your transmission. The transmission is not one solid unit but rather a piece of machinery that is comprised of many constituent parts. All those parts need to be working together just so in order for the transmission to operate properly. What’s more, things can get hot under that hood, so transmission fluid is key because it can help cool everything down. There is no transmission problem in the world that cannot be caused or at least exacerbated by a lack of transmission fluid. But it’s not just quantity. Degraded transmission fluid can also cause serious problems for your transmission.

How Often Do I Need To Check My Transmission Fluid?

You should check your transmission fluid every month. Using the dipstick under your vehicle’s hood, check your transmission fluid levels and if they’re not where they should be, top them up. If you find yourself topping up your fluid levels every month, you’ve got a problem. You either have a leak or your transmission is somehow evaporating your fluid at a quick pace. Check under your vehicle after you’ve been parked for a while to see if any transmission fluid is leaking. If you have a leak or can’t pinpoint the problem, bring your vehicle into a mister transmission shop where it can be inspected by technicians.

What Should Transmission Fluid Look Like?

Transmission fluid in good working order should be largely translucent with a reddish hue. If it is opaque, then the fluid has been damaged or degraded. If the fluid is foul smelling or smells of burning, this is indicative of a transmission problem.

How Often Do I Need To Change My Transmission Fluid?

This is perhaps the most common question when it comes to transmission fluid. How often are transmission fluid changes required? Well, if you notice your transmission fluid is damaged, you have to change it. But this will probably be after an inspection and any repairs have been conducted, so it’s likely this will be handled by a transmission technician. Barring any transmission problems, you should check your manufacturer’s guide to see how often they recommend changing your transmission fluid, because it can be different for every vehicle. Broadly speaking, you should change your transmission fluid every 45,000-80,000 kilometers. Perhaps more frequently if you use your vehicle for towing.

Which Transmission Fluid Should I Use?

Again, check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. Often with automatic transmissions, a synthetic transmission fluid is best.

Mister Transmission

To learn more about transmission fluid changes, please contact us.

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What Are CVT Transmissions and How Do You Repair Them?

transmission technicians

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 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.

Contact Us

Whether you need an automatic, manual, or CVT transmission repaired, please contact Mister Transmission to get the job done right.

 

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Is a Special Service Required for Dodge Transmissions?

Is a Special Service Required for Dodge Transmissions?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

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
  • Overheating
  • Contaminated transmission fluid
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Gears changing at high RPM

Contact Us

To learn more about Dodge transmission service, or how we service any other make of transmission, please contact Mister Transmission.

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