Transmission maintenance is the single most important factor in lengthening the life of your transmission. Like most things in life, if you don’t take care of your transmission, it won’t last very long. But how do you get the most out of your transmission? How can you keep it performing at peak efficiency? Here are 10 transmission maintenance tips.
Regularly Check your Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of the automatic transmission. Without transmission fluid, your transmission won’t work. There is no transmission problem that can’t be caused or at least worsened by insufficient levels of transmission fluid. In order to maintain a working transmission, it must be well lubricated, so get that dipstick out every month or two and check your transmission fluid.
Check your Transmission Oil
A big manual transmission maintenance routine will be to check your transmission oil. Fluid is for automatic transmissions, manual transmissions typically use transmission oil. The same principle applies.
Transmission Fluid Quality
It’s not just about quantity with transmission fluid. Good transmission maintenance means checking for fluid quality, too. Damaged transmission fluid can be a sign that something is wrong within your transmission and it can cause more problems itself. Damaged transmission fluid is often opaque, rather than the clear-ish red colour it should be, and it sometimes smells foul.
Service your Transmission Fluid
If your transmission fluid is damaged, it should be serviced. Even if it doesn’t seem that damaged. Transmission fluid should be serviced at regular intervals. Maybe. Some auto manufacturers claim that their transmission fluid never needs to be serviced. These claims should be treated skeptically. Talk to your technician about if and when your transmission fluid should be changed.
Look for Problems
A big part of transmission maintenance is looking for problems before they become big problems. For example, look for transmission fluid under your parked vehicle now and then. Any leaks will have to be re-sealed.
Listen for Problems
Some problems can be heard rather than seen. Listen for whining when your vehicle is in neutral or clunking and banging when you shift gears. These are sounds of trouble.
Feel for Problems
The aforementioned sounds are often accompanied by things you can feel. If your transmission grinds or clunks when you shift gears, you have a transmission problem.
We cannot stress this enough. When you see that transmission fluid on your driveway, when you hear that whining in neutral, or when you feel those gears grinding, take your vehicle into a mister transmission for a free Multi-Check Inspection. The longer you wait, the worse the problem can get.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Better than waiting for something to go wrong, bring your vehicle into a mister transmission shop for regular transmission maintenance. That’s the difference between transmission maintenance and repair. Transmission technicians can spot problems better than you can. Coming in for routine transmission maintenance means you can nip those small problems in the bud and increase your chances of avoiding major transmission repairs.
Choose the Right Transmission Shop
Your transmission maintenance is only as good as the transmission shop who performs it. At Mister Transmission, we pride ourselves on our transmission maintenance. The Mister Transmission Multi-Check Inspection is the most comprehensive transmission maintenance you will find. To learn more about transmission maintenance, please contact us.
There are two eternal truths about transmissions: they are important and they are complicated. The transmission is what allows your vehicle to move. It transfers power from the engine to the tires. No transmission means no movement. However, this is not a simple process. We think of the transmission as one entity. “The transmission”. But a transmission is actually a whole set of different components working in tandem to transfer power to your axles. If just one component is malfunctioning, that can screw up the whole operation.
This is why transmission problems are as frequent as they are. With such an intricate and complex set of components, a lot can go wrong. A lot can go wrong with tires, too. They are the only part of your vehicle that touches the road, after all (hopefully). But tires are simple. They either need to be inflated, sealed, or changed. They’re important, but simple. The transmission on the other hand? It can be quite difficult to diagnose transmission problems. Here are six of the most common transmission problems that you might encounter.
Do you Hear What I Hear?
Transmissions require that we pay attention to them. This is not something that comes naturally to many of us. For many of us, a vehicle is a tool to get from Point A to Point B. We don’t always pay attention to the process. But we should. And if we listen closely, our transmission might be trying to tell us something.
Whining, whirring, humming, and clunking noises are all signs that something is amiss. Especially if you hear these noises in neutral. An optimal transmission won’t make much noise that you could hear above an internal combustion engine. Even if you can’t feel any problems with your transmission, such odd noises could be portents of trouble to come.
Grinding and Shaking
Sometimes the noises mentioned above are accompanied by tactile sensations. If you can feel your transmission grind and shake when you change gears, you have a problem. Gear shifts should be smooth and seamless. Grinding and shaking are symptoms of a transmission problem.
Smells like Burning
There are only two instances in which you would smell a burning odour coming from your vehicle: 1) when you’ve just “burned rubber” and peeled out of a parking lot. And 2) when something has gone badly awry within your vehicle. Since you are, of course, a responsible driver, you would never do Number 1, so the cause must be the latter. A burning smell coming from your transmission is a problem indeed.
Gear Change won’t Engage
If you shift your car into drive, you expect your car to shift into drive. If that doesn’t happen, you have a transmission problem.
Your vehicle can “slip” out of gear. Usually into neutral and usually after a gear change, though not always. Not only is this a transmission problem, it is a big danger to both your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians.
Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of a transmission. Insufficient levels of transmission fluid are a very common cause of transmission problems. If you see patches of reddish liquid underneath your vehicle after you park, you have a leak and that’s a big transmission problem.
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.
Get in Touch
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.
Your transmission is one of the most important components of your vehicle. It’s so important that if your transmission is not working, your vehicle simply won’t move. The transmission itself, however, is anything but simple. Manual or automatic, a transmission is an intricate collection of parts and equipment that must work in harmony with one another to allow the energy generated by your engine to get to your wheels. Because the transmission is so important and so complex, we thought it would be helpful to explain some of the basics about how to care and maintain your transmission. Here are four things you should know about transmission maintenance.
Transmission fluid levels
Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of the transmission. Without transmission fluid, your transmission (and therefore, your vehicle) won’t work. And there is no transmission problem that cannot be caused or worsened by a lack of transmission fluid. That’s why it’s important to keep an adequate level of transmission fluid in your vehicle. You should check your fluid level with a dipstick at least once a year, especially if you suspect your transmission is having problems. Topping up your fluid is easy enough to do. You can do it yourself or bring it into your local Mister Transmission and we can do it for you.
Changing transmission fluid
It’s not just the quantity of transmission fluid that is important; the quality of the fluid is also key. Sometimes transmission maintenance means changing or flushing your transmission fluid. Fluid can become burned or degraded and this can cause your transmission to have problems. Normally, transmission fluid is clear with a reddish hue. However, damaged transmission fluid is often discoloured and can have an unpleasant odour. If this is the case for you, you may need to flush your transmission fluid. This can be done at home with certain transmissions, but it can be quite difficult. It might be best to bring it in and have a technician do it for you.
Listen to your transmission
A big part of transmission maintenance is just paying attention and being aware of your vehicle’s performance. A troubled transmission will often tell you it’s having a problem; you just have to listen to it. Is your transmission making odd whirring or loud clunking noises? Is it noisy even when it’s in neutral? This could indicate a transmission problem, and you should bring it in to one of our shops for a free multi-check and diagnosis.
There are some aspects of transmission maintenance that even the most accomplished auto enthusiasts can’t do at home. A big part of transmission maintenance is giving the transmission a thorough inspection from time to time. For this, you need the expertise and the equipment of professional technicians.
Mister Transmission offers a complete multi-check inspection. As part of this inspection we will perform the following four tests: A fluid check, a road test, a lift inspection/diagnosis, and a pan examination. These four tests will reveal what, if any, problems your transmission has. At the first sign of trouble, it’s never a bad idea to bring your vehicle in for regular transmission maintenance or get a free inspection. You don’t have to wait for something to go wrong.
Get in touch
If you would like to learn more about transmission maintenance, or if you would like to bring your vehicle in for transmission maintenance, please get in touch with us today.
You have probably heard once or twice, maybe from a friend, a coworker, or a neighbor, that they had to bring their vehicle into the shop to have their transmission serviced. And you probably said something to the effect of, “Oh yeah? I hope they get it sorted out”, and left it at that. You yourself may have even brought your vehicle in for a transmission service. But do you know what a transmission service actually entails? Do you know what those technicians are actually doing to your transmission?
If you answered “no” to the above questions, don’t worry. Not only are you in the right place to get answers, you are in good company. Many people don’t really understand the inner workings of the transmission, nor do they understand how one services a transmission. Even folks who generally have a good idea of how automobiles work and are quite handy are still relatively in the dark about transmissions.
And that makes sense. Transmissions are quite complex. They are an intricate and elaborate collection of parts all working in unison together to help you shift gears and adapt power from your engine to your wheels. And the ways in which transmissions operate are not as easy to understand as some other parts of your vehicle, such as your brakes. That’s why transmission service is a serious business and requires expertise to ensure it is done properly.
Transmission Service at Mister Transmission
The transmission needs regular service and maintenance to ensure a long life free of transmission problems. At Mister Transmission, our transmission service consists of a complete diagnosis of your transmission’s performance and general operation. We pride ourselves on our Multi-Check Inspection to provide you with a proper and complete diagnosis, which includes:
Transmission Fluid Check
The fluid check indicates the first sign of possible wear and damage. A transmission in good condition will have a clear red fluid. If your fluid is discoloured or has an unpleasant odour, this may be an indication of internal wear and damage. An unpleasant odour and discolouration, in combination with other symptoms, may require an internal inspection of your transmission.
The road test consists of two parts: a stationary test and driving test. Every position of the transmission will be thoroughly tested for slipping, noises, harsh, soft or erratic shifting, as well as late or early shift patterns.
During the lift inspection/diagnosis our technician will check the following:
The pan examination grants us a partial look inside the transmission. In every pan, there is bound to be a few metal particles and friction materials present. However, an excessive amount might indicate internal wear and damage. If that is the case, and it is determined that a minor adjustment will not correct the problem, we will recommend Mister Transmission’s inspection service. This service will determine exactly what is wrong inside your transmission.
If you are unsure if your transmission is getting the service it needs, or would like to learn more about Mister Transmission’s service options, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
Since 1963, Mister Transmission is the name Canadians trust to provide them with high-quality transmission repairs and expert service.
With franchises conveniently located coast-to-coast, Mister Transmission is the largest chain of transmission and driveline repair specialists in Canada. We're proud of our reputation and our history as Canada's premier transmission and technology experts...