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.
Overheating is like kryptonite for your transmission. Transmissions work best when they can stay cool. (“Cool”, not cold. In winter, transmissions can take time to warm up.) But the engine block gets hot and this can heat the transmission. Furthermore, there are transmission problems that can interrupt your transmission’s normal cooling mechanisms and cause it to overheat. All of this begs the question: do you need a transmission cooler?
Transmission fluid is tasked with regulating your transmission’s temperature as well as lubricating parts of it. The healthy range of temperature for transmission fluid is about 71 to 93 degrees Celsius. If your transmission fluid exceeds this temperature, it will begin to burn. This is bad. Not only can burnt fluid not effectively cool your transmission, it can actively damage it, even after is has cooled down.
Clearly, overheating your transmission and thus your transmission fluid is something to be avoided. But how can you avoid it? Well, most transmissions when operating under normal conditions will not exceed this range, even on long drives. But a malfunctioning transmission? There’s no telling. This is why you must get your transmission inspected at the first sight of trouble. Don’t let leaks, whirring noises, or grinding go ignored. Bring your vehicle into a Mister Transmission repair shop as soon as you notice any problems. Furthermore, don’t put any undue stress on your transmission. Drive responsibly and easy.
If you drive a truck or other form of vehicle for work that involves towing, then you’re in danger of overheating your transmission. Just like walking back from the grocery store with all your shopping will make you hot and sweaty on an otherwise temperate day, towing heavy loads will overheat your transmission. Likewise, if you’re planning on a long road trip with a lot of stuff in your car, you could also be at risk of overheating your transmission.
In such instances as described above, you should consider installing a transmission cooler. A transmission cooler is a component that you can add on to your transmission that, big shock here, cools your transmission. It does so by cooling heated fluid that is sent through it by using the air flowing over the fins of the cooler. The cooled liquid is then sent back to the transmission in a continuous loop.
Installing Transmission Coolers
Transmission coolers are not standard issue. There are different types and sizes of transmission coolers for different types of transmissions and different sizes of vehicle. Your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is key to determining what kind of transmission cooler you need. As is the type of terrain over which you usually drive. Hilly and rocky terrain might require more of a heavy-duty transmission cooler.
The choice of where to install your transmission cooler is also tricky. You could put it just about anywhere you find space. But airflow is key; you want to install it where it will experience the most airflow and thus be the most effective.
The experts at Mister Transmission can recommend whether or not your vehicle needs a transmission cooler, what kind of transmission cooler, and can install it for you. To learn more about transmission coolers, please contact us.
Different auto manufacturers use different transmissions from one another. They also use different transmissions in different models and brands that they own and operate. Even for the many people who don’t think they know anything about vehicles, learning about your vehicle’s transmission can help you make small adjustments to prolong its lifespan, or at least to have a better idea of when it might need service. Having said all that, if you drive a Honda, what should you know about Honda transmissions and their service?
The Honda Motor Company LTD.
The Honda Motor Company LTD. was founded by Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa in Hamamatsu, Japan, in 1946 and incorporated two years later. In addition to automobiles, Honda makes motorcycles, power equipment, aircraft, mountain bicycles, and, because they’re Japanese, of course they make robots. But we’re here to discuss Honda’s automobiles and their most popular models are the Honda Civic, the Honda Accord, and the Honda CR-V, among others. Honda’s luxury brand is the Acura.
Many automakers are happy to implement transmissions made by other companies in their automobiles, but Honda rarely does this. Notable exceptions are the Acura TLX V6 model, the Acura MDX, and post-2014 Honda Odysseys and Pilots. These vehicles use a ZF 9HP nine-speed transmission manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. These transmissions are mostly fine and are surprisingly compact for a nine-speed transmission. However, there have been reports of some problems with these transmissions in Acura’s and it was even recalled for 2015 Acura TLXs. ZF has attributed most of these problems to software issues.
As for Honda-made transmissions, they have often been a bit different from the norm when it comes to transmissions. Until 2017, Honda’s automatic transmissions did not use planetary gears as almost all other automatic transmissions do. These Honda transmissions utilized traditional, individual gears on parallel axes –like manual transmissions do– with each gear ratio engaged by a different hydraulic clutch pack. These Honda transmissions preserve engine braking by doing away with a sprag between the first and second gears, relying instead on pressure circuits to change gears.
Honda transmission service
What does the above mean? Do these older Honda transmissions need more service because they don’t use planetary gears? No. In truth, the vast majority of drivers will never feel a difference. Most Honda transmissions are well-made and will need only the same standard transmission service as do all transmissions. One thing to note, though: the transmission in 2003 Honda Accords has received many more complaints than other years, so maybe avoid the 2003 Accord if you’re looking to buy a used car. Honda automatic transmission fluid is required for your Honda transmission.
If you would like to learn more about Honda transmissions, or if you think that your Honda transmission requires a transmission service, please contact Mister Transmission today. We also provide transmission service to other transmissions as well, not just Honda transmission service.
If you ever take a marketing course, they will tell you that branding is everything. You have to uniformly and successfully brand your product or service and stay “on brand” at all times. After all, what you sell is your brand. Athletic wear brands don’t sell running shoes, they sell an active lifestyle. Beer brands don’t sell IPAs and lagers, they sell good times. And auto manufacturers don’t sell cars, they sell adventure, luxury, environmental consciousness, and half a dozen other things. But is this all that brands are?
When it comes to the automobiles themselves, there are some significant differences between auto brands. We can see this in the transmission, as well. Often, these differences are subtle. Sometimes there are major differences. Knowing the differences between different automakers’ transmissions might not make a huge difference, but it can help you make the best purchase for your needs and wants or help you to take care of your transmission. In this article we will discuss Honda transmissions.
Honda Motor Company, Ltd. was founded in Hamamatsu, Japan, in 1946. In addition to automobiles, they make motorcycles, aircraft, power equipment, and more. Popular Honda cars include the Civic, the Accord, the CR-V, and their luxury brand, the Acura. As a company, Honda is doing very well. They are the world’s largest producers of internal combustion engines by volume. But how good are their transmissions?
The first thing to note about Honda transmissions is that you should really use a Honda branded transmission fluid with them. If you use non-Honda branded transmission fluid in your transmission, you might run into problems. It might sound like a cynical ploy to get you to buy their transmission fluid, and it’s kind of is, but it does have an actual effect on your Honda transmission.
It should also be noted that Honda automatic transmissions don’t have replaceable filters. Honda transmissions do have filters, but the filters are internal. The only way to change the filter in a Honda transmission to open the transmission case. Honda transmission filters are, ostensibly, lifetime filters and therefore they do not have a suggested service interval. The required maintenance with a Honda transmission is only to drain out the old fluid, clean the drain plug magnet, and refill with new Honda fluid. If you do this about every 50,000 kilometers then you should be able to avoid most transmission problems. But, like with all transmissions, if you neglectthe recommended maintenance procedures, you’re likely to encounter transmission problems.
To learn more about Honda transmissions, or about the transmissions in vehicles from any other brand of automaker, please do not hesitate to contact Mister Transmission today. We have worked on countless Honda transmissions as well as transmissions from every other major brand of vehicle.
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.
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...