You may drive a vehicle with one of the best made transmissions in the world. You may take excellent care of your vehicle and your transmission. You may check your transmission fluid every other month. And you may never change from drive to reverse with your foot still on the accelerator. And yet still –still– your transmission will almost certainly need a repair over the course of its lifespan.
Part of the reason for this is merely the destructive nature of time. It wears down everything. But more specifically, transmissions are highly intricate and complex. Each transmission is a series of parts working in unison to make your vehicle go. If any one of those parts fails you, your transmission will need a repair. Here are four of the likeliest transmission repairs that your transmission will need some day.
A Transmission Fluid Change
While you may not consider it a “repair” per se, transmission fluid changes are required relatively frequently. And they are important. Some transmissions have (or claim to have) entirely closed systems such that the fluid never needs to be changed. If your auto manufacturer boasts this claim, you should discuss it with a technician to make sure it’s legitimate.
However, most auto manufacturers recommend changing the transmission fluid every 24,000-48,000 kms. And this holds true for both automatic and manual transmissions. Changing the transmission fluid requires that the old fluid be flushed out and new fluid poured in. It’s incredibly important to do, as well, because regular fluid changes reduce the likelihood of needing the other repairs on this list.
Because transmission fluid is so important to the transmission, you want to make sure you have enough of it. Usually this means you just have to top it up every so often. But leaks are also a fairly common occurrence. Leaks can happen for any number of reasons, but they usually relate to stress, wear, and tear on the vehicle. Never ignore patches of reddish liquid lying under your vehicle after you pull away. You need to get these leaks resealed as soon as possible.
Sensor and Solenoid Pack Problems
A big part of the transmission is shifting from gear to gear. As such, many transmission problems pertain to shifting. Modern transmissions are computer controlled. When such a transmission is experiencing shifting problems, it is often the result of the onboard computer sending incorrect signals. This can be caused by a faulty sensor or possibly because the transmission is not reacting to the command because of a bad connection or defective solenoid pack.
Replacing Accessible Parts
The parts that are the most easily accessible (ie: can be serviced without removing the transmission from the body of the vehicle) are also the likeliest to need to be replaced because they are more exposed. They suffer more wear and tear. However, the parts that are accessible are different in every transmission, so the parts themselves vary.
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If you would like to learn about transmission repairs, please get in touch with us.
Mister Transmission offers the best transmission repair services money can buy. Having said that, you still don’t want to bring your vehicle in for a transmission repair if you can avoid it, regardless if you’re bringing it to Mister Transmission. Of course, it would be foolish to think you can drive a vehicle for its whole lifespan and never require a transmission repair. Nevertheless, you want to minimize the number of repairs needed as much as possible. To do that, you need to know the root causes of transmission problems. So…what are they?
Transmissions are incredibly intricate and complex, more so than most folks think. This is because, to many people, the transmission is one part of their vehicle: the transmission. But in actuality, the transmission is a series of parts working in concert to deliver the power generated by your engine to your wheels. And when even just one of those parts is not working, that can render your whole transmission ineffective. What this all means is that a lot can go wrong with transmissions. Even the best built transmissions can run into problems because they are inherently complex.
Common Transmission Problems
While it can sometimes be exceedingly tricky to pinpoint the exact problem with a transmission, there are several common transmission problems that we hear about at Mister Transmission all the time. Here are some of these common transmission problems:
Hard Gear Shifts When you shift gears, you expect the change to occur smoothly. But this is not always the case. Sometimes drivers notice resistance to the gear change. It can be difficult and it is sometimes accompanied by odd clunking and whirring noises. This is not good.
Slipping Some transmissions have the opposite problem. Sometimes it’s really easy to shift gears. Too easy. So easy in fact that your transmission does it for you. You can be driving along the highway and all of a sudden your transmission slips into neutral. This is definitely not good.
Rejected Changes Similar to slipping, sometimes a transmission can “reject” the driver’s gear change. For example, you might change into reverse only to have your transmission switch you right back into drive. All of these problems are annoying at best and dangerous at worst.
Smells like Burning This one is fairly obvious. If ever any part of your vehicle smells like it’s burning, you should get it checked out. Unless you just “burned rubber” out of the parking lot. Which you definitely shouldn’t do, by the way.
Fluid Leak As you pull out of your driveway, if you see a patch of liquid underneath your vehicle, you have a problem. Do not ignore it.
Transmission Fluid Problems
This last point is important. Not every transmission problem is caused by an issue with your transmission fluid. But there is no transmission problem that cannot be caused or worsened by a transmission fluid problem. If you’re low on transmission fluid, top it up. If your transmission fluid is damaged or burned –smells unpleasant, looks opaque– bring in your vehicle for a fluid change. And if you suspect you have a leak, bring in your vehicle for a transmission re-sealing.
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If you would like to learn more about the causes of and solutions to common transmission problems, please contact us today.
Complicated systems require regular maintenance and service to perform optimally. That’s why you go to see a doctor at least once a year for a checkup, even if you don’t feel anything is wrong. (Or, at least, you should.). It’s why apps and operating systems require periodic updates. And it’s why your vehicle’s transmission needs regular transmission service to keep working properly.
The transmission is a collection of parts that work together to transfer power from the engine to your tires. Because it is a collection of parts, it is quite complex and intricate. If there is something wrong with just one part, that can render the whole transmission ineffective. What’s more, problems have a tendency to spread within transmissions. A problem with one component can affect another which affects another and on and on. This is why it’s always best to nip problems in the bud as much as possible. It never pays off to procrastinate and to keep driving with a transmission problem. And that’s why transmission service is very important.
Regular transmission service ensures that any transmission problems that are hiding or bubbling under the service can be corrected before they become full-blown catastrophes. Regular transmission service will save you a lot of time and money in the long run as it can extend the lifespan of your vehicle and can prevent big transmission problems occuring at highly inopportune times.
What goes into Transmission Service?
But what actually goes into transmission service? Just what are those technicians doing when they are servicing transmissions. Every transmission shop will have a slightly different way of doing things. However, we at Mister Transmission are confident that we have devised the most exhaustive and effective transmission service available. The backbone of our transmission service is our Multi-Check Inspection.
The fluid check indicates the first sign of possible wear and tear. A transmission in good condition will have clear red fluid. Discoloured fluid with an unpleasant odour indicates internal wear and damage which occurs as you drive your vehicle.
The road test consists of two segments: a stationary test and a 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: Neutral Switch Engine RPM Throttle Linkage Modulators Transmission Mounts U-Joints Fluid Retention Electronic Controls This will determine if a minor adjustment will correct the problem of your transmission.
The pan examination is the most important part of the Mister Transmission Multi-Check. It offers a partial look inside your transmission. In all pans, we expect to find at least some metal particles and friction material. However, an excessive amount indicates internal wear and tear. 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 suspect that there might be something wrong with your transmission and that it needs servicing, or if you have simply gone too long without transmission service, then please contact us today.
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.
There are a million things that can go wrong with a transmission. A transmission is a set of numerous different parts all working together to transfer power from your engine to your wheels and make your automobile move. Because the transmission is so complex, there is lots that can go wrong over time and it’s not always easy to figure out what the problem is. Having said that, the problem is often relatively minor.
So many transmission problems can be caused by an insufficient level or quality of transmission fluid. So, the first thing to do when experiencing transmission problems is to check your fluid. If you haven’t got enough, top it up, and if the fluid is damaged (an opaque colour; foul smelling) you will have to get the fluid changed. If the fluid is fine, sometimes there is an issue with your vehicle’s on-board computer or a minor adjustment is required. Sometimes you will need to have a part replaced and, hopefully, that part will be accessible with the transmission still inside your vehicle.
Major Transmission Problems
But what if your transmission problem is a bigger one? What if the problem is not your fluid nor your computer? What if your problem cannot be fixed by replacing an accessible part? What do you do then? Are you totally out of luck?
If none of the above can fix your problem, then you might be looking at a complete transmission overhaul. Acomplete overhaul involves the removal and disassembly of the transmission in its entirety. Every part of the transmission is inspected for wear and damage, then cleaned in a special cleaning solution. If the part is deemed to be too damaged for use, then it is replaced with another part.
Parts with friction surfaces, such as bands and clutches, are replaced,as are all seals and gaskets. The torque converter is also replaced, usually with a remanufactured one. Technical service bulletins are checked to see if the auto manufacturer recommends any modifications to correct design defects that were discovered after the transmission was built. Auto manufacturers often make upgrade kits available to transmission shops to resolve these design defects.
There is an alternative to the transmission overhaul. The other option is to replace your transmission with an entirely different one, one that has already been rebuilt or remanufactured. So, to answer the title question, yes, it is possible to replace an entire transmission. And people sometimes choose this option.
Transmission repairs pretty much never come at convenient times. It’s usually an unexpected development and money is usually a concern. Transmission overhauls and transmission replacements are generally the costliest transmission repairs.
Because of the money involved, we at Mister Transmission often caution our customers against transmission replacement. Used transmissions often have questionable histories that could create a whole new set of challenges. New transmissions, meanwhile, are mostly aftermarket transmissions billed as new but are in fact rebuilt transmissions with new parts. Regardless, whether you choose a transmission overhaul or a transmission replacement, we at Mister Transmission will do the job as quickly as possible to get you back in your vehicle with a safe and reliable transmission.
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If you would like to learn more about transmission replacement, 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...