Tag Archives: Automatic Transmissions

What is a Transmission Oil Change?

What is a Transmission Oil Change?

When doing some online research about transmissions you might come across some terms and some ideas with which you are not familiar with. There are automatic transmissions and manual transmissions. Do you know the difference? There is transmission fluid and there is transmission oil? Are they different? Does transmission fluid need to be changed? Does transmission oil need to be changed? Well, don’t worry, this article will try to answer some of those questions.

Automatic vs. Manual Transmissions

A manual transmission requires more work from the driver. A manual transmission needs the driver to physically shift the vehicle into different gears, using a clutch pedal and shift knob. In order to move the vehicle forward and reach higher speeds, the driver must manually shift gears to get to the desired speed. An automatic transmission, on the other hand, does all the grunt work for you, changing gears fluidly as you push on the gas pedal.

Both automatic and manual transmissions have their pros and cons. Automatic transmissions are easier to use but manual transmissions give the driver more control of the vehicle. Vehicles with manual transmissions are more likely to be cheaper and there is some evidence to suggest that they are more fuel efficient. And the reason for going over automatic and manual transmissions will become clear soon.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid allows the transmission to work. Transmission fluid works as a lubricant for the parts within your transmission. Transmission fluid is optimized for the functions of the transmission. These functions include valve operation, brake band friction, and the torque converter. Transmission fluid is required in all automatic transmissions.

Transmission Oil

While all automatic transmission require transmission fluid, this is not true for all manual transmissions. Some manual transmissions do use transmission fluid, but others use gear oil or sometimes engine oil. Sometimes gear oil is called transmission oil. The transmission oil lubricates the manual transmissions and other parts involved.

Transmission oil has a noticeable odour because of its sulfur-bearing anti-wear compounds. These compounds are necessary to reduce high sliding friction by the helical gear cut of the teeth. In a motorcycle in which the clutch is bathed in transmission oil, there is usually nothing separating the lower part of the engine from the transmission, so the same oil lubricates both the engine and transmission.

Transmission Oil Change

The transmission fluid in an automatic transmission will typically need to be changed out every now and then. The same is usually true for transmission oil in manual transmissions. However, speaking very generally, transmission oil changes are needed less frequently than transmission fluid changes. Some auto manufacturers claim that the oil never needs to be changed, as their transmission is a closed circuit. However, the oil might need changing due to other transmission problems, repairs, or leaks. These claims should be treated with a critical eye and you should ask a technician at a transmission shop if your specific vehicle might require a transmission oil change.

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If you would like to learn more about transmission oil changes, please contact us today.

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Manual vs Automatic Transmission: Which Is Better?

Manual vs Automatic Transmission

Superman vs. Batman. Michael Jackson vs. Prince. Manual vs. automatic. The three greatest either-or choices of all time. (OK, perhaps we’re overstating things a little.) But the debate about manual vs automatic transmissions and which one has the advantage has gone on –in some cases, raged on– for decades with people taking strong stances on both sides. But really, what’s the difference? Is there a way to definitively say that manual transmissions have the advantage over automatic transmissions or vice versa?

What’s the difference?

Let us begin first by defining the difference between manual and automatic transmissions. With a manual transmission, you have to physically shift the transmission into the proper gear.

Vehicles with a manual transmission come with a clutch pedal which unlocks the gears so you can safely shift from one gear into the next.

All this means that the driver has to do the work in a vehicle with a manual transmission, whereas an automatic transmission automobile does all of this work for you once you put it into drive. Physically, the two differ in that the manual transmission has the gear located in the floor whereas in an automatic transmission vehicle, the location of gear could be at the steering or on the floor.

The advantages of manual transmission

There are a few qualities of a manual transmission vehicle that are superior to those of an automatic transmission. Fort starters, because a manual transmission vehicle requires more effort and concentration from the driver, some people who really enjoy the act of driving prefer manual transmissions because they are more in control of the experience. But there are some more objective advantages of the manual transmission as well.

For one, manual transmissions are usually cheaper to buy than automatic transmission vehicles. They are also often less costly to repair and maintain. You might also save on fuel with a manual transmission vehicle as they tend to use less than automatics.

The advantages of automatic transmission

However, the manual transmission is not superior across the board. There are several advantages that the automatic transmission has. First, and most obviously, they are a heck of a lot easier to drive. Because the the vehicle is doing more of the work for you, you need not worry about the clutch; your left foot is free and driving requires less intense concentration.

For that reason, automatic transmission vehicles are more popular, especially in North America. Therefore, if you’re looking to purchase a vehicle, you’ll have more choice among automatic transmission automobiles, so it will likely be easier to get one.

So which is better?

Does the manual transmission have the edge? Or does the advantage belong to the automatic transmission? The answer is, of course, up to you. Clearly, both have their pros and cons. If you are a focused driver who likes to feel the workings of your vehicle, perhaps you’d prefer a manual transmission. If you’re just not bothered with such things, it will be easier to opt for the automatic transmission.

Mister Transmission

Regardless, it is definitely to your advantage to get your transmission repaired at Mister Transmission, where we can fix any transmission problem. If you have a question or would like to come in for an auto repair, please contact our transmission shop today.

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Transmission Parts

Transmission parts knowledge for people researching how transmissions work.

A transmission is an impressive puzzle to most drivers, made up of many intricate connections among a multitude of transmission parts. The complexity of these parts and how they fit together is intimidating, especially if you’re facing transmission repairs and you don’t understand what’s happening or why.

While we need to trust our transmission mechanics to take care of the specifics, knowing a little bit about the transmission parts that might be malfunctioning can help to set your mind at ease during the transmission repair process.

The first step to a basic understanding of transmission parts is to understand the purpose of the transmission as a whole. Your automatic transmission is responsible for transferring the power of your engine to the drive shaft and wheels so that your car can move within its optimal range of revolutions per minute (RPM). The transmission maintains this optimal range by shifting transmission gears as you drive faster or slower.

 
The main transmission parts that need to work together are:
  •     Planetary Gear Sets
  •     Hydraulic System
  •     Torque Converter
  •     Computer
Planetary Gear Sets

Manual transmissions use a clutch to connect the engine and transmission. They require the driver to shift the transmission gears, which means actually moving the gears in a somewhat linear, sliding transfer to engage with the coordinating gears needed to maintain the proper RPM ratio. Automatic transmissions keep the transmission gears in one place, in a more circular structure. This is not unlike a small solar system, hence the name Planetary Gear Sets.

Using the combination of an outer ring gear, a central “sun” gear, and two or more smaller “planet” gears, which are all constantly meshed together, the transmission takes over the gear shifting from the driver. Much like the solar system, the sun gear is in the centre and remains stationary and the smaller planet gears engage with it and the ring gear to keep the car moving smoothly.

The ring gear is connected to the input shaft, which brings power from the engine. The planet gears exist within a casing or carrier that is connected to the output shaft which carries power to the drive train and wheels. The planet gears are also connected to a clutch pack. The sun gear is connected to a drum, which is connected to the other half of the clutch pack.

Transmission clutch packs are a series of disks, half with splines on the outside edge, and half with splines on the inside edge. These alternating disks are made to fit together to lock and turn together. They do this using hydraulic functionality.

Hydraulic System

All of the transmission parts are constantly submersed in transmission fluid. This fluid is manipulated to create pressure, which pushes the transmission clutch pack together at the right time. A complex system of tubes moves the fluid around the transmission and torque converter to create this pressure. The transmission hydraulic system has three main purposes: to help control transmission gear shifting, to lubricate the transmission parts to prevent friction damage, and to keep the transmission cool. The fluid pressure within the transmission must be maintained at all times to prevent damage.

The tubes that transfer the transmission fluid have two major external seals at the front and back. The seal at the front protects the connection with the torque converter and the rear seal contains the fluid where the transmission meets the output shaft. Seals are made of neoprene. Within the transmission exists another type of seal, called a gasket, which connects and protects two stationary transmission parts. Gaskets may be made of any of a variety of materials, such as rubber or silicone. Seals and gaskets can harden over time, which might cause leaks and a drop in transmission fluid pressure, both of which can lead to damage to the transmission.

Torque Converter

When driving a manual transmission, the driver must engage the clutch or shift into neutral when the vehicle comes to a stop, such as at a red light, or the engine will stall. The torque converter in an automatic transmission allows the engine to continue running when the vehicle is stopped yet still in gear. Torque is defined as a force that causes rotation. The torque converter uses the pressure of the transmission fluid to control the rotation of its parts. When you are stopped at that red light, one half of the torque converter is turning while the other is stationary. When you accelerate, the fluid pressure forces the other half to spin in conjunction with the first half so that vehicle moves forward.

Computer

In most cars today, a computer controls the transmission’s function allowing all vehicle systems to work together for optimum fuel economy and power. As many as 30 sensors read all of the various factors such as vehicle speed, engine temperature, engine speed, etc, that control transmission gear shifting to ensure the optimal shift points are used.

The many transmission parts in your vehicle may remain a puzzle, but understanding some of the basics can help you to have a more informed conversation with your transmission mechanics before leaving it in their capable hands.

As Gene Lewis at the Moncton Mister Transmission says,

“We’re the specialists, transmissions are all we do.”

 

If you are experiencing a problem with your vehicle’s transmission, please contact your local Mister Transmission and book an appointment for our FREE 21-Point Multi-Check Inspection.

For a more in-depth explanation, please visit our Transmission School

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What is a Shift Kit?

Today’s customers demand a transmission which shifts smoothly, is durable, and delivers excellent fuel economy all at the same time.

To accomplish these benefits we would install what is known as an automatic transmission shift kit, which is probably one of the most misunderstood upgrades in the automotive world.

Many people know the words, but not many fully understand what a shift kit truly does or why it’s desired. In short, an automatic transmission shift kit modifies the transmission’s shift timing in order to dramatically increase shift firmness and durability of the transmission components.

This is desirable because the automobile manufacturer’s engineers sometimes allow far too much shift overlap (when the transmission is actually in two gears at once) in an effort to increase shift smoothness. It’s this overly smooth, disconnected feeling that earned early automatic transmissions the label “slush box.”

While the extended shift overlap creates a very smooth shift, it also reduces the efficiency and durability of the transmission by making the friction surfaces work overtime. The added friction also creates excessive heat, which prematurely wears out seals and clutches.

Transmission shift kits can reduce this overlap time while improving the overall shifting action. By better utilizing the energy normally turned into heat by slipping during extended overlap, shift kits allow you to instead use that inertial energy for forward motion with quicker shifts, therefore you’re also able to notice improved city fuel economy.

Most vehicle owners are willing to live with the faster shift patterns in exchange for the extended durability and added fuel economy. Plus, the fact that shift kits can be installed in a few hours without removing the transmission from the vehicle makes them a logical upgrade.

We carry a variety of shift kits for most makes and models and would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. However, due to the fact that one misplaced shift valve or spring can result in a malfunctioning or damaged transmission, it’s highly recommended that you allow the experts at Mister Transmission to perform the installation of a shift kit for you. To have a shift kit installed in your vehicle’s transmission, please contact your local Mister Transmission.

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Trouble Changing Gears

Is your vehicle’s clutch dragging or are you experiencing gear shifting trouble? Don’t let it ride. See a transmission technician immediately

Nothing can ruin your day quite like a dragging clutch or experiencing gear shift problems while you’re driving to work.

Whether your vehicle is struggling to find the right gear, is stuck in gear, or you hear grinding or other noises when shifting, it may be a sign the clutch is not working properly.

What Causes a Dragging Clutch?

Typically, a dragging clutch on a vehicle with a manual transmission is the result of the driver “riding the clutch” or other driving-related errors. On an automatic transmission, the cause of gears slipping can be the result of a broad range of mechanical or electrical malfunctions.

A clutch that fails to disengage from the flywheel causes gear shifting problems. The clutch allows the driver to change gears manually, or in an automatic car, the gears change as the vehicle accelerates. The longer a gear shifting problem occurs, the greater the overall damage will be to your car’s transmission.

Newer vehicles with electronically monitored shifting systems should be checked for any wiring problems, as any electronic issues with the sensors can affect how the transmission operates. On older vehicles that aren’t governed by an onboard computer, shifting too early or too late sometimes requires adjustment to the throttle cable. That is rare, as cables do not go out of alignment unless the vehicle has been in an accident, or were damaged during other repair work.

Talk to Canada’s transmission maintenance and repair experts at Mister Transmission. For more than 50 years, Mister Transmission has kept Canadian motorists on the road by ensuring the transmissions in their vehicles are in tip-top shape. If you have a question about your transmission solenoids or want to book a service appointment, contact the Mister Transmission service centre nearest to you.

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