Slipping is one of the most common problems a transmission can experience. Slipping transmissions can be unnerving, frustrating, and even frightening. A slipping transmission is by no means the end of the world, but it’s definitely not something you should let go unaddressed, lest the problem worsens, endangering the health of your vehicle, as well as you and other drivers on the road. This article will address some of the causes of slipping as well as what to do about them.
Sometimes noticing a slipping transmission is easy. Other Times, the symptoms are more subtle. Indicators of a slipping transmission can manifest in a number of ways. Such indicators include delays in acceleration, a high RPM (over 3,500, for example), the inability to reverse, experiencing difficulty shifting gears, a harsh response to the shifting of gears, unusual or burnt smells, strange noises, and, of course, the check engine light switching on.
All of the above symptoms are signs of a slipping transmission. There are a varied many possible causes for slipping transmissions and the sooner you discover the cause of your slipping transmission, the better your chances of repairing it before significant damage has been done to your transmission. So what are the causes of a slipping transmission?
Low fluid levels – The single most common cause of a slipping is insufficient fluid levels. Low fluid levels can create a plethora of problems, including overheating and a lack of hydraulic pressure being produced to engage gears.
Damaged fluid – Fluid can be become damaged when it is burnt or otherwise rendered ineffective by too many contaminants from normal wear and tear. Regular fluid changes and top ups are needed to prevent transmission slippage.
Leaks – One of the common causes of low fluid levels are leaks. A transmission leak requires a reseal.
Worn or broken transmission bands – Sometimes transmission bands can break or become worn, which can cause transmission slippage, as well as engine troubles and worn down gears.
Clutch problems – In manual transmissions, clutch problems are responsible for transmission slipping up to a whopping 90% of the time (the other 10% being leaks). Automatic transmissions also use clutches but have clutch plates throughout the transmission as well as in the torque converter. These clutch plates can get worn or burnt from insufficient transmission fluid.
Worn out gears – Worn and frayed gears won’t properly link together which can cause slippage. Worn out gears should be replaced.
Solenoid problems – The solenoid is an electro-hydraulic valve. Its purpose is to control the flow of fluid throughout your transmission. Any damage or computer problems can cause incorrect amounts of fluid to be dispersed, which may result in transmission slippage.
Torque converter issues – Torque converters convert the engine’s power into torque. Transmission fluid flows through the torque converter, but if it fails to do so properly, then it can act up and transmission slipping is frequently a symptom.
If your transmission is slipping or you have any questions about slipping transmissions, or anything else to do with transmissions, please contact our transmission shop today.
It’s pretty fair to say that we all dread having to have our automobiles repaired. It’s a big inconvenience and it always seems to come at the worst possible time. (But of course, when is a convenient time to have to bring your auto in for a repair?) The natural thing for us to do is, what? Put it off, obviously.
But, deep down, we all know this is a bad idea. Putting off repairs can lead to the problem worsening and could even endanger our safety. But perhaps the bigger issue is determining what exactly requires a repair. Is that weird thing we’re experiencing an idiosyncrasy of our vehicle or a sign that a repair is needed? How do you know when you need an auto repair?
The clear signs
There are a few symptoms that are fairly clear indicators that our automobiles require a repair. If you find yourself having to press on the brakes about 200 meters before any stoplight and hear that awful squeaking noise, then for heaven’s sake, please get your brakes check. Likewise, if you wake up the entire neighbourhood with your 140 decibel muffler, you should probably get that repaired, too. And do not let small cracks in your windshield sit for too long. Those cracks can undermine the integrity of your windshield, grow over time, and shatter suddenly. As with all things, it is advantageous to go for the repair soon rather than later.
Unfortunately, not all auto repairs indicate their necessity as noticeably as weak brakes or a loud muffler. Some parts of your vehicle are more complex and are harder to notice as you drive. One of the most complicated and intricate components of any vehicle is the transmission.
It would be to your advantage to get that repaired immediately. Likewise, if your automobile falls out of gear or shifts gears for no apparent reason, your transmission is acting up. This can be very dangerous so do not delay that auto repair.
Speaking of murky, that is not how you want your transmission fluid to look. Insufficient levels or quality of transmission fluid can contribute or exacerbate just about any transmission problem. If you think your transmission might need a repair, check your transmission fluid. If you haven’t enough, top it up. If your fluid is murky or foul smelling, this is also a problem, indicating wear or damage. Transmission fluid should be a translucent reddish colour. And if you see transmission fluid pooling on your driveway as you drive away, you have a leak somewhere in your transmission. Again, it’s to your advantage to get your auto repaired as soon as possible.
Apart from a home, a vehicle is usually the most expensive thing a person will buy in his or her life. And we often rely on our vehicles to complete our daily activities, such as going to work and running errands. All of this is say that our vehicles are important and we have to take care of them. And one of the most intricate, expensive, and crucial components of our vehicles is the transmission.
To ensure a long, efficient life for your vehicle, you must properly care for it. Most people know enough to keep their tires pumped, and not to leave their headlights on, etc. But you should also know how to take care of your transmission, too. But just how do you care for an automatic transmission?
Tips on caring for automatic transmission
Here are some tips of things you can do to lengthen the life of your automatic transmission and keep it operating at peak efficiency:
Take care of your fluid – Insufficient levels of transmission fluid are bound to cause a whole host of problems, so make sure to check it regularly. How? Well, with the engine idling, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, insert it again, wait, then pull it out to get an accurate reading. If the fluid level is low, you may have a leak. The fluid itself should be a bright red, translucent colour, and it should smell faintly sweet. If it’s murky, dark coloured, or smells like rotten, take it to a shop that specializes in transmission services. Also, make sure to use the right type of fluid. Look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what type of transmission fluid you should use.
Get your cooling system serviced – The cooling system helps prevent your engine from overheating, but it also ensures that the transmission fluid pumping through the gearbox is cooled, as well. That’s why you want your cooling system running properly and should get it serviced regularly.
Don’t change gears while your car is moving – This is an offence of which many of us are guilty, but we really ought not to do it. You should always bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Otherwise, you will strain your transmission.
Regularly change your transmission filter – Some automobile’s automatic transmissions have a filter that need to be changed from time to time. Many newer vehicles don’t have a transmission filter but those that do should be changed each time you get your transmission flushed.
Avoid towing – Towing heavy loads with a vehicle that was not specifically designed to tow can cause transmission fluid to oxidize and burn, which can in turn damage your transmission.
If you have any more questions about how to care for your automatic (or manual) transmission or would like to avail yourself of some automatic transmission services, please contact our transmission shop.
There are many transmission problems that can be caused or exacerbated by an inadequate quantity or quality of transmission fluid. If you are driving around with either very old or not enough transmission fluid (or worse still, both), you are accelerating the wear and damage on components within your transmission. Taking the time to change it out when necessary could save you loads of time and money in the end by extending the lifespan of your transmission.
When to change your transmission fluid
Just when you should change out your transmission fluid will vary depending on what kind of transmission you have, what vehicle you drive, where you drive, how you drive, and how much your drive. But for a very rough estimate, for an automatic transmission, you ought to change your fluid every 50,000-100,000 kms. 100,000 kms is in the far reaches of the acceptable range, mind you. The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association suggests every 50,000 kms or every two years.
For manual transmissions, you should change the fluid about every 50,000-90,000 kms, however, under intense use, some manufacturers suggest changing it as often as every 25,000 kms. The reason for the difference between automatic and manual transmissions is because they take different fluids. Automatic transmissions take –get this– automatic transmission fluid. For manuals, it is a bit more complicated. They might take any of a variety of oils: regular motor oil, heavyweight hypoid gear oil, or even automatic transmission fluid in some cases. Your owner’s manual will tell you which is best for your transmission.
How to change your transmission fluid
To change out your transmission fluid, first let your car idle for a few minutes. After turning your ignition off, raise and secure the vehicle. Lay down at least a two-gallon catch pan, then carefully remove the bolts from one side of the transmission pan and then the other bolts, allowing the pan to tilt and drain. Once you’ve removed all the bolts, lower the pan and dump the remaining fluid into the catch pan.
After that, remove the old transmission filter and O-ring. The filter contains fluid, so keep the drain pan underneath. Install the new transmission filter, and make sure that the O-ring is in the appropriate place. Attach the new gasket to the pan with oil-soluble grease – not gasket sealer or adhesive.
Screw in all the fasteners finger-tight. Torque the pan bolts to spec in a spiral pattern starting at the center. Maximum torque is often about 12 pounds per foot. Then, lower your automobile and fill the transmission with the recommended amount of fluid. Finally, turn your engine on to check for leaks.
As you can see, changing your transmission fluid is quite involved. If it seems like much of a hassle for you, please contact us at Mister Transmission and we’d be happy to do it for you. We can also “flush” your transmission fluid out, taking out more metal shavings and debris.
Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of your transmission. Your transmission requires fluid to operate properly. Without fluid, it won’t work. It’s as simple as that. But transmission fluid itself can be quite complex. It can tell you lots about your transmission’s health and efficiency. If you know how to read it. That’s why transmission fluid is so important to transmission service. Not only must the fluid be serviced itself, but it can also indicate what else in your transmission might require service.
Let us begin with the basics. What do most people know about transmission fluid? They know that it’s the fluid that works in the transmission to keep it operating properly. Every transmission needs fluid. As such, they know that patches or streams of fluid underneath their vehicle is certainly not a good sign. Such a sight indicates that your transmission has sprung a leak and requires service immediately.
Furthermore, most people (we hope) know that transmission fluid should be changed regularly. At Mister Transmission, we can change your transmission fluid for you as part of the routine transmission service that we offer. Changing your fluid will help ensure that your transmission keeps running at optimal levels for years to come.
Everybody wants to know how often they should change their transmission fluid. But of course, there is no one answer to this question. Just how frequently you should change your transmission fluid depends on the make and model of your vehicle, how much you drive, where you drive, and a number of other factors. You should consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for more information, or you can bring in your vehicle for transmission service to Mister Transmission and we can help you figure it out. For a very rough number, the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association recommends changing your transmission fluid about every 50,000 kilometers or every two years. But again, this is just a rough estimate.
As part of our transmission service, we at Mister Transmission perform a multi-check inspection. In doing so, we examine multiple facets of your transmission for problems. Including your transmission fluid. If the the fluid is a clear red colour, your transmission is probably working well. However, discoloured fluid and/or fluid with an unpleasant odour indicates that your transmission has experienced wear and damage.
As part of our pan examination, we check for metallic particles and friction material. We expect to find these in all transmission fluid, but an inordinate amount of particles or material indicate wear and damage. As part of our transmission service, we will survey the amount of particles and material present in the fluid and then determine further action from there. If a minor adjustment cannot fix the problem, we will suggest an inspection service to determine exactly what is going wrong inside your transmission.
If you have concerns about your transmission’s fluid or would like to know more about transmission service in general, please get in touch with us today. We will do our best to have your transmission up and running perfectly in no time.
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...