Transmission fluid is important. Without transmission fluid, your vehicle won’t move. If you have an insufficient amount of transmission fluid, you’re going to have problems. To avoid transmission problems, there are a few things you should know about transmission fluid. Here are six facts about transmission fluid.
1). Transmission Fluid is Automatic Transmission Fluid
The term “transmission fluid” is actually a shorthand for “automatic transmission fluid”. When we talk about transmission fluid and how it works, we are speaking specifically of automatic transmission vehicles. Standard transmission vehicles use a variety of different transmission fluids mostly a heaver consistency.
2). You Should Check your Transmission Fluid
There is no transmission problem that cannot be caused or exacerbated by an insufficient level of transmission fluid. If you don’t have enough transmission fluid in your vehicle, you’re going to have problems. That is why if you see patches of reddish liquid underneath where your vehicle was just parked, you should bring your vehicle to a mister transmission shop as soon as possible to reseal any transmission leaks. Furthermore, you should get your transmission fluid levels checked regularly.
3). Quantity and Quality
When you check your transmission fluid levels, don’t just check for the quantity of transmission fluid you have. Check the quality of your transmission fluid, as well. Burned or otherwise damaged transmission fluid can be just as bad for your transmission as low levels of fluid. Damaged transmission fluid also suggests there is something wrong with your transmission such that it is damaging your fluid, so if you see damaged fluid, bring your transmission in for inspection.
How can you tell if your transmission fluid is damaged? Transmission fluid in good working order will have a clear, reddish hue and be odorless. The more opaque your fluid, the worse your damage. If your transmission fluid has an unpleasant smell, that is another bad sign.
4). The Type of Transmission Fluid Matters
There are many different types of transmission fluids out there. Each is better suited for certain transmissions than they are others. Always check your vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommendations to get the best transmission fluid for your vehicle.
5). Synthetic Transmissions
Synthetic transmission fluid has changed the game somewhat. Synthetic transmission fluids are superior to more traditional types of transmission fluid. This is true specifically for newer vehicles. Unless you’re driving a particularly old vehicle, it will probably require you to use a synthetic transmission fluid.
6). Transmission Service
Transmission flushes are necessary when you have a significant amount of damaged transmission fluid in your transmission. But what about otherwise? Are regular transmission services necessary? The answer is: yes. You can’t expect to drive your vehicle forever with the same transmission fluid. But whether your fluid needs to be serviced every 50,000 km or every 150,000 km depends on your vehicle, its age, how often you drive it, where you drive it, and other factors. That’s why it’s best to consult a mister transmission expert.
Whenever the transmission in our vehicle acts up or stops working, we bemoan our rotten luck. “Oh, great”, we think, “Now I got to deal with this.” But as we stand by the side of the road cursing a blue streak about our misfortune, it’s often the case that, actually, we’re partly to blame for this. And deep down, we know this, even if we don’t want to admit it.
Of course, you can do everything right, and treat your vehicle properly, and it can still break down on you. If you drive your vehicle for long enough, you will invariable incur problems. But it’s far more frequent that our transmission requires a repair partly because we neglected it in some way. And don’t worry, we’re not here to shame you. We all lead busy lives and the health of our transmission is rarely at the forefront of our minds. But, if you do treat your transmission correctly, you can avoid big (and costly) problems in the future. Here are five of the most common mistakes that can ruin your transmission.
Neglecting Your Transmission Fluid
If you do any reading about transmissions, you will quickly discover that transmission fluid is pretty important. All automatic transmissions require transmission fluid. Manual transmissions commonly use transmission oil. If your automatic transmission fluid levels are insufficient, you’re going to have problems. Make it a habit to check your transmission fluid regularly. If the levels are low, top it up. Furthermore, inspect the fluid. Transmission fluid in good condition should be clear with a reddish hue and should have no prominent odor. The darker the fluid and the fouler the smell, the likelier it is that you have a problem that requires transmission service.
Using the Wrong Type of Transmission Fluid
You can also use the wrong type of transmission fluid. This is another common mistake. Using the wrong fluid means you’re not getting the most out of your transmission and can, over time, have a deleterious effect on it. Synthetic transmissions are generally the better kind of fluid, but every transmission is different. Next time you bring your transmission in for service, ask the technician which fluid is best for your transmission.
Letting Your Transmission Overheat
If the fluid inside your transmission gets too hot, then not only can it not do its job properly, it actively damages the transmission as it’s running. Transmission overheating can be caused by a number of problems. Primary among them is, again, bad (or a lack of) transmission fluid. Other factors that can contribute to overheating include transmission slipping, a defective solenoid pack, if your vehicle is involved in heavy towing, lots of stop and go driving, or a hot climate.
Going Too Fast Too Furious
Conversely, cold climates can also harm your transmission. You need to let your transmission warm up a bit before driving hard. Going hard without first giving your transmission a chance to warm up can really take a toll on it. If you want to avoid needing extra transmission service, take it easy.
Neglecting Transmission Service
Transmissions require regular service. You should bring your transmission in for service at least every other year. If you’re behind on your transmission service, please contact Mister Transmission today.
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.
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...