Tag Archives: Manual Transmission

Is A Drivetrain The Same Thing As A Transmission?

 Is A Drivetrain The Same Thing As A Transmission?

Most of us have visions of being something of a grease monkey. Who wouldn’t want to know how to fix their own vehicle? Maybe you just bought your first car or maybe you’ve just retired and now you have the time to commit yourself to learning about automobiles. Regardless of who you are, you will find that vehicles are complicated. Like, really complicated. Forget knowing how to fix a vehicle, or even how it works, just learning the names of everything can be a real ordeal. For example, what the heck is a drivetrain? Is it the same thing as a transmission, or what?

What Is The Purpose Of The Drivetrain?

The drivetrain isn’t one single thing. It’s a group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels. The purpose of a drivetrain is to transmit power to whichever wheels drive your vehicle. The drivetrain physically links the engine to the axle(s) via a drive shaft. But this is tricky because the operating speed of the engine and the wheels are different and so they must be matched by the correct gear ratio. As the vehicle’s speed changes, the ideal engine speed must remain more or less constant for efficient operation and so this gearbox ratio has to also be changed, either manually, automatically, or by an automatic continuous variation, i.e.: via a manual, automatic, or CVT transmission.

So, is a drivetrain the same thing as a transmission? No. Well, kind of. The term “drivetrain” usually refers to all the parts that transfer power from the engine to the wheels, so the transmission is actually part of the drivetrain, along with the axles, torque converter or clutch. “Power train” usually refers to all of these and the engine.

What Can Cause A Drivetrain Malfunction?

There are many possible causes of a drivetrain malfunction. The kind of malfunction that you are experiencing will hint at what the cause is. First, there are all the standard transmission problems you could be experiencing: overheating, damaged transmission fluid or a lack of fluid, a fluid leak, or too much friction within the transmission. The torque converter can also be a cause of a drivetrain malfunction. Blown head gaskets, problematic fuel injectors, air flow issues can also cause drivetrain malfunctions.

How Do I Know If My Drivetrain Is Bad?

Is your transmission overheating? Are you slipping into neutral after changing gears? Are you experiencing grinding when you shift gears? Do you hear weird noises like humming or clunking, even when in neutral? All of these are tip offs that your drivetrain has got problems.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Drivetrain?

This question really is impossible to answer in an article that could be read by thousands of different people with hundreds of different types and configurations of drivetrain. It might be as cheap as a hundred bucks or so to inspect, find a common problem, and fix it quickly. Or it could cost you thousands of dollars if your drivetrain or transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced. One thing’s for sure: drivetrains don’t magically fix themselves and the cost of drivetrain repairs only increase over time.

Mister Transmission

To learn more about drivetrains, please contact us.

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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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6 Must-Know Facts About Automatic Transmissions

6 Must-Know Facts About Automatic Transmissions

Vehicles are complicated. Modern vehicles even moreso. It seems that ease of driving correlates with the complexity of how the machinery actually functions. Automatic transmissions are easier to drive than manual transmissions, because the transmission does more of the work for you. But just how they work can be quite confusing. If you would like to know a little more about what you’re driving every day, here are six basic facts about automatic transmissions.

1. Automatic Transmissions Are Different From Manual Transmissions

This one is kind of obvious, but there are significant differences between automatic and manual transmissions. Automatic transmissions are called such because they automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves. This frees the driver from having to shift gears manually. Like manual transmissions, the automatic transmission allows the engine to provide a range of speed and torque outputs that make vehicular travel possible. Another key difference between manual and automatic transmissions is that manual transmissions sometimes use transmission oil but automatic transmissions always use. . .

2. Automatic Transmissions Use Automatic Transmission Fluid

Automatic transmission fluid. It’s what keeps your automatic transmission running. It keeps it lubricated and helps to cool everything down.

3. Synthetic Transmission Fluid Is Usually Best

Check your vehicle’s manual to see which type of automatic transmission fluid your manufacturer recommends for your vehicle. Automatic transmissions often perform best when you use synthetic transmission fluid.

4. Check Your Automatic Transmission Fluid Regularly

Because your automatic transmission fluid is so integral to your vehicle’s performance, you should check it regularly. It’s a good idea to check your fluid every 16,000 kilometers or even every month just to make sure your levels are right and that the fluid is in good condition. If your transmission fluid looks opaque and/or smells bad, this is a sign that something is wrong. Bring your vehicle to a transmission shop.

5. Heat = Bad

Things tend to get hot under the hood of your vehicle. That’s unavoidable. But you have to be careful. Excess heat can do your transmission a world of damage. And it’s not hard to tip over that line from acceptable heat to dangerous temperatures. As many as 90% of all transmission failures can be caused by excess heat. Reducing heat means extending the lifespan of your vehicle. The best way to do this might be by installing an auxiliary cooler. This is especially a good idea if you use your vehicle for towing. An auxiliary cooler can reduce temperatures from 30% to 50%.

6. There Are Numerous Symptoms Of An Automatic Transmission Problem

Not sure if you have a problem with your automatic transmission? There are some telltale problems. You might have an automatic transmission problem if you experience any of the following:

  • Odd noises including whirring, humming, and clunking
  • If your transmission slips out of gear, typically by dropping into neutral right after you switched into drive or reverse
  • If your transmission offers resistance when you try to change gears and it grinds
  • Sudden changes in your Revolutions Per Minute (RPM)
  • Sluggish acceleration

Mister Transmission

If you have any questions about automatic transmissions, Mister Transmission would be happy to answer them. For more information or to schedule an inspection or repair for your automatic transmission, 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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