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.
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.
Have you noticed patches of reddish clear fluid on your driveway after you pull out in the morning? Have you felt odd clicking or grinding sensations coming from your vehicle when you change gears? Have you heard weird whirring noises when you change gears? Or does your vehicle just decide to change gears on its own and you slip out of gear? If so, then it is likely that you have a transmission-related problem with your vehicle. But before you get too worked up, let’s try to figure out just how bad your transmission problem is.
The first thing you should do if you think you have a transmission problem is check your transmission fluid, as insufficient levels or poor quality of transmission fluid can cause more damage to your vehicle and transmission. Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of your transmission. It keeps everything well lubricated and running smoothly – it is so important to have this checked if you are sensing you have transmission related issue.
Checking your transmission fluid is easily done. You can bring it in to Mister Transmission and we’ll do it for you quick, or you can do it yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. You want to check both the level of fluid and its quality. The fluid should be transparent with a reddish tint to it. If it is opaque or smells unpleasant, the fluid is degraded and should be flushed out and replaced.
Topping up or replacing your transmission fluid could be all the fix you need for your transmission problem. However, problems with the fluid are often a symptom of a larger problem. For example, let’s say you top up your fluid but then two weeks later, your transmission problems reemerge. You check your fluid levels once again and are aghast to discover the fluid level has dropped once again.
In such a case, you have a fluid leak. With leaks, you will probably notice patches of transmission fluid on the pavement under where you parked your car. Leaks can be a minor transmission problem…or a big one. It depends on the size of the leak. A total reseal is obviously a much bigger job than a smaller, isolated area that needs resealing. But as far as transmission problems go, it could always be worse.
Wear and Tear
If your transmission fluid is foul smelling and opaque, your transmission problem might be caused by normal wear and tear. This would require an inspection to diagnose. Sometimes it’s as simple as replacing one or two accessible parts that have worn down and impacted the transmission fluid. Sometimes, it’s a bigger problem, and a more extensive repair job is required. To be sure, please bring your vehicle to your nearest Mister Transmission and we will be happy to complete a free multi-check to properly diagnose your vehicle.
Nowadays, many transmission problems are, effectively, computer problems. If your vehicle has a computer-controlled transmission that is not shifting properly, it is often the result of the onboard computer sending incorrect signals due to a faulty sensor, or the transmission is not reacting to the command because of a bad connection or defective solenoid pack. These are not necessarily big transmission problems, but it will require a visit to a transmission shop that has the special equipment required to interface with your vehicle’s computer.
If your vehicle is experiencing what you think might be a transmission problem, please do not hesitate to contact us 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.
The transmission rebuild is a specific kind of transmission repair. For many transmission problems, the necessary solution is a relatively simple one. Maybe a change of transmission fluid or switching out a solenoid pack. Unfortunately, however, not all transmission jobs can be done so swiftly. Sometimes, a transmission rebuild will be necessary. So what goes into a transmission rebuild?
As mentioned above, the transmission rebuild is one of only many types of transmission repairs. It is also the most involved type of transmission repair. It’s a type of repair that is not meant to fix every problem. Many problems do not require such an endeavour. A transmission rebuild is necessary either when the cause of a transmission problem cannot be accurately identified or when the damage that a transmission has incurred is total or at least far reaching.
The first step in a transmission rebuild is the complete removal of the transmission from the body of the vehicle. This is necessary when the part that is thought to be causing the problem is not accessible while the transmission remains within the body of the automobile. When the suspected problematic part is replaced, this might solve the problem. However not all problems are solved so easily.
In some cases a complete rebuild is required. A complete rebuild consists of the removal and disassembly of the transmission in its entirety. Every part is inspected for wear and damage, and then it is cleaned in a special cleaning solution, or it is replaced with another part depending on its condition. Parts that have friction surfaces, such as bands and clutches, are replaced as are all seals and gaskets. The torque converter should also be replaced, often with a re-manufactured one.
Technicians will also check technical service bulletins to see if the auto manufacturer recommends any modifications to correct design flaws that were discovered after the transmission was built. Automobile manufacturers often make upgrade kits available to transmission shops to resolve these design defects.
As you can see, the transmission rebuild is a significant undertaking and takes hours of labour to complete. But it is a holistic approach; any problems your transmission has been experiencing are bound to be addressed through this process. The transmission rebuild should add a number of years on to the life of your transmission.
Rebuild or overhaul
You may have heard of transmission overhauls before. If so, you’re probably asking yourself what the difference is between a transmission rebuild and a transmission overhaul is? Well, that’s a simple question to answer. A transmission rebuild is a transmission overhaul; they mean the same thing.
If your transmission requires a rebuild, you have two options. The first is to remove your existing transmission and rebuild it, then put the rebuilt unit back in your car. The second option is to replace your existing unit with another unit that has already been rebuilt or re-manufactured.
However, used transmissions often have questionable histories that could create a whole new slew of issues. New transmissions, meanwhile, are mostly aftermarket transmissions billed as new but are in fact rebuilt transmissions with new parts.
If you have any questions about transmission rebuilds or would like to bring your vehicle in for a transmission repair or maintenance, please contact us today and we’d be happy to help you out.
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...