You may drive a vehicle with one of the best made transmissions in the world. You may take excellent care of your vehicle and your transmission. You may check your transmission fluid every other month. And you may never change from drive to reverse with your foot still on the accelerator. And yet still –still– your transmission will almost certainly need a repair over the course of its lifespan.
Part of the reason for this is merely the destructive nature of time. It wears down everything. But more specifically, transmissions are highly intricate and complex. Each transmission is a series of parts working in unison to make your vehicle go. If any one of those parts fails you, your transmission will need a repair. Here are four of the likeliest transmission repairs that your transmission will need some day.
A Transmission Fluid Change
While you may not consider it a “repair” per se, transmission fluid changes are required relatively frequently. And they are important. Some transmissions have (or claim to have) entirely closed systems such that the fluid never needs to be changed. If your auto manufacturer boasts this claim, you should discuss it with a technician to make sure it’s legitimate.
However, most auto manufacturers recommend changing the transmission fluid every 24,000-48,000 kms. And this holds true for both automatic and manual transmissions. Changing the transmission fluid requires that the old fluid be flushed out and new fluid poured in. It’s incredibly important to do, as well, because regular fluid changes reduce the likelihood of needing the other repairs on this list.
Because transmission fluid is so important to the transmission, you want to make sure you have enough of it. Usually this means you just have to top it up every so often. But leaks are also a fairly common occurrence. Leaks can happen for any number of reasons, but they usually relate to stress, wear, and tear on the vehicle. Never ignore patches of reddish liquid lying under your vehicle after you pull away. You need to get these leaks resealed as soon as possible.
Sensor and Solenoid Pack Problems
A big part of the transmission is shifting from gear to gear. As such, many transmission problems pertain to shifting. Modern transmissions are computer controlled. When such a transmission is experiencing shifting problems, it is often the result of the onboard computer sending incorrect signals. This can be caused by a faulty sensor or possibly because the transmission is not reacting to the command because of a bad connection or defective solenoid pack.
Replacing Accessible Parts
The parts that are the most easily accessible (ie: can be serviced without removing the transmission from the body of the vehicle) are also the likeliest to need to be replaced because they are more exposed. They suffer more wear and tear. However, the parts that are accessible are different in every transmission, so the parts themselves vary.
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Transmission fluid is (almost literally) the lifeblood of the transmission. An automatic transmission simply won’t work without transmission fluid. Now, you would have to have a very large leak to have absolutely no fluid in your transmission. However, you still need to have the right level and the right quality of transmission fluid or else you’re inviting transmission problems to happen. To have your transmission in perfect working order, you might require a transmission fluid change.
Transmission fluid works as a lubricant and it 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. Some manual transmissions also use transmission fluid, but some use engine oil or gear oil.
Transmission Fluid Problems
Not all transmissions are the same; not even all automatic transmissions. But all transmissions experience wear and tear that can cause debris to collect in the fluid. Furthermore, there can be problems within transmissions that cause the fluid to be damaged or degraded, and this in turn can cause further problems.
And then there are leaks. Any transmission can fall foul of a leak. The key sign of a leak is a patch of reddish liquid that has collected underneath your vehicle as it is parked. Leaks have to be patched and the lost fluid needs to be topped up.
Symptoms of using Poor Quality Transmission Fluid
If the fluid in your transmission is lacking in either quantity or quality, you will begin to notice symptoms in how your transmission operates. You may experience a temporary delay while shifting gears. Your transmission may take a moment to register the gear shift. Your transmission might also grind or clunk when you shift. Alternately, your transmission might slip from one gear into another (usually neutral) which can be very dangerous. And without enough fluid, your transmission can become overheated.
Transmission Fluid Changes
You should periodically check your transmission levels using your dipstick. Sometimes you can lose some fluid without experiencing a leak. In this case, you can top of the transmission fluid yourself or you can bring it into a transmission shop for a top up.
Transmission fluid changes can sometimes be a bit more complicated. Typically a fluid change is required when the fluid has become degraded or burned. You might be able to tell this yourself. Normally, transmission fluid is translucent with a reddish hue. If your fluid is opaque and/or has a foul smell to it, it is probably damaged. Also, transmission fluid can pick up too much impure matter from wear and tear within your engine. If this is the case, it has probably been detected by a technician during a pan examination.
How Transmission Fluid Changes Work
You might be able to do a transmission fluid change on your own, depending on the type of transmission you have. But sometimes it is necessary (and always a lot easier) to bring it in to a transmission shop. Here, technicians can flush out the bad transmission fluid and change it with new, better quality fluid.
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If you would like to learn more about transmission fluid changes or if you’d like to bring in your vehicle for a transmission fluid change, please contact us today. Back