Tag Archives: Automatic Transmissions

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Torque Converter?

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Torque Converter?

The torque converter is a key component of your automobile. It needs to be working properly if you’re going to have a smooth ride. If it’s not working, you’re in trouble. The torque converter is a type of fluid coupling (also known as a hydraulic coupling) that transfers rotating mechanical power generated by the engine to a rotating driven load. The torque converter is an alternative to a mechanical clutch and in a vehicle with automatic transmission it connects the power source to the load. The torque converter is usually located between the engine’s flex plate and the transmission.

Torque converters can multiply torque. Simple fluid coupling can match rotational speed but cannot multiply torque, so using a torque converter allows for more power. Some torque converters are also equipped with a “lockup” mechanism which rigidly binds the engine to the transmission when their speeds are nearly equal in order to avoid slippage and a resulting loss of efficiency. In short, the torque converter is important. So how do you know if you have a bad one?

What Happens When A Torque Converter Goes Bad?

How can you know if you have a bad torque converter? What are the symptoms of a bad torque converter? Well, if your transmission has been slipping out of gear, this could be a symptom of a bad torque converter. This typically happens when you switch gears and your transmission slips into neutral of its own accord. Moreover, sounds such as shuddering, clunking, whirring, and humming are rarely good news. These could all be signs that something is amiss with your torque converter.

Your transmission tends to get hot, but heat is also the enemy of transmissions. Overheating is a problem that affects many transmissions and this can be caused by a faulty torque converter. High stall speeds are also a symptom of a bad torque converter. The trouble with all of these symptoms, though, is that there could be something wrong with your torque converter long before you notice any of them. That’s why monthly transmission fluid checks are crucial to maintaining a healthy transmission. Dirty transmission fluid –that is opaque or foul-smelling transmission fluid– can be a symptom of a bad torque converter.

What Causes Torque Converter Failure?

But what are some of the causes of all the aforementioned symptoms of a bad torque converter? Many problems can be caused by excessive friction which is usually a sign that a torque converter’s needle bearings have become damaged. Faulty seals are also a prime suspect; they allow fluid to leak and become contaminated. Faulty clutch solenoids are also common causes of torque converter failures.

Can A Bad Torque Converter Damage A Transmission?

Yes, absolutely. Bad torque converters can cause overheating, friction damage, and transmission fluid degradation. The longer these problems continue, the more damaged your transmission will get.

Does A Torque Converter Come With A Transmission?

Yes. Provided it’s an automatic transmission. Your transmission won’t be able to transfer power from the engine to the axles without a torque converter. In a manual transmission, the equivalent is the mechanical clutch. Sometimes a torque converter has to be replaced independent of the transmission.

Mister Transmission

To learn more about torque converters, please contact us.

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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.

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

 

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