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.
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.
To learn more about drivetrains, please contact us.
Many people are concerned with money first and foremost, so let’s not beat around the bush here. How much does transmission service cost? The answer to that is . . . I don’t know. It depends on the type of transmission you have, how old it is, how damaged it is, if there’s a problem with the transmission, if that problem can easily be identified, and, of course, to which transmission shop you go for your transmission service. If all you need is your fluid changed, maybe you can get your transmission serviced for under a hundred dollars. If your transmission needs to be inspected for a suspected problem, this will cost extra.
When Should A Transmission Be Serviced?
A transmission should be serviced whenever you notice a problem with your transmission. Is your transmission slipping out of gear and into neutral? Is your transmission grinding when you change gears? Are you hearing funny whirring or humming sounds? Are you seeing patches of transmission fluid underneath your vehicle after you have parked? All of these are signs that your transmission needs to be serviced.
But transmission service is not just about transmission repair. It’s also about transmission maintenance. It’s about taking preventive measures. As such, transmissions should be serviced regularly. To find out how regularly you should check the manufacturer’s manual for your specific vehicle and/or ask a transmission expert at Mister Transmission. Speaking generally, if you’ve driven over 100000 kilometers since you’ve last had your transmission serviced, you should bring it into a Mister Transmission shop.
Is Transmission Service Necessary?
Yes, absolutely. It may not be necessary right now for your transmission, but it will be eventually. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes, so why procrastinate? Transmissions need regular service and maintenance if they are to have a long life. They are simply too important and too intricate –there is so much that can go wrong with all of the different components within a transmission– that you can’t just leave transmissions alone and hope for the best.
How Do You Service Your Transmission?
There are certain things you can do at home to service your transmission. The most obvious is checking your transmission fluid. But now more and more vehicles do not have a dipstick, check it every month if you can and if your levels are low, top them up. If you find yourself topping up your fluid something is wrong. Bring it in for service. Also, look at the fluid and give it a whiff. Transmission fluid should be translucent with a reddish hue and a neutral smell.
Slipping is one of the most common symptoms of a failing and damaged transmission. Unfortunately, it’s also very annoying. And, what’s more, it can be quite dangerous. So, what are conscientious drivers supposed to do? What can one do? How do you stop a transmission from slipping?
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Slipping Transmission?
You stop a transmission from slipping by bringing your vehicle into a Mister Transmission repair shop. There are just far too many possible causes of a slipping transmission that trying to diagnose the problem and fix it yourself would be almost impossible. And just letting it continue to slip is not an option. So, you have to get it fixed. But what will that cost you?
That question, as you might guess, is impossible to answer without knowing the specifics of your case. Broadly speaking, there are a few universal truths. Slipping, like all transmission problems, doesn’t get better over time, it gets worse. That means the cost of fixing any problem can only increase over time. Even if you’re not sure if your transmission is slipping, you should bring it in. What would you rather do? Bring it in now for a free Multi-Check inspection to diagnose a problem and pay for a minor repair or pay for a transmission overhaul?
Is It Cheaper To Rebuild Or Replace A Transmission?
If left to progress of its own accord, whatever is causing your transmission to slip can do serious damage to your transmission. If this happens, or if the cause of your slipping transmission cannot be identified, your transmission might need to be rebuilt or replaced. A transmission rebuild, which is also known as a transmission overhaul, consists of the removal of the transmission from the chassis and its dissection, piece by piece. Every piece is inspected and then either cleaned or replaced. A transmission replacement is the complete replacement of a transmission with another, usually refurbished transmission.
Which is better? A transmission rebuild or replacement? Which costs more? Again, individual cases will vary, but generally a transmission rebuild is cheaper. Depending on which parts need to be replaced, a transmission rebuild might cost you a couple thousand dollars. A replacement could cost as much as $8000. And we at Mister Transmission usually caution our customers against choosing a transmission replacement. Replacement transmissions have unknown provenances and this can cause more problems and more transmission slipping in the future.
Can Old Transmission Fluid Cause Slipping?
Yes, it can. Old or damaged transmission can do your transmission more harm than good. More than old transmission fluid, though, a lot of transmission slipping is caused by low levels of fluid. Make sure to check your fluid levels regularly and top it off when necessary.
Can You Drive A Car With A Slipping Transmission?
You can, but if you’re driving anywhere but to a transmission repair shop, you’re being foolish. Transmission slips are not just annoying and not just a sign of damage to your transmission, they are dangerous. Transmission slipping can cause your vehicle to crash and could end up killing you, or somebody else. Why take that chance?
To learn more about transmission slipping, please contact us.
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.
To learn more about torque converters, please contact us.
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)
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.
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...