One of the selling points of the automatic transmission is that it is easier to drive. For the driver, an automatic transmission is simpler to handle than a manual transmission. In order to facilitate this ease of use, there is more work to be done internally within the transmission, in as certain processes are automated (hence the term “automatic”). But does this mean it’s harder to repair an automatic transmission as opposed to a manual transmission? Are automatic transmission repairs complicated?
The Automatic Transmission
Automatic transmissions automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle is in motion. This frees up the driver from having to shift gears manually, as one would when operating a manual transmission. The transmission allows the engine to provide a range of speed and torque outputs necessary for vehicular travel. By far the most common type of automatic transmission is the hydraulic automatic transmission. Hydraulic automatic transmissions utilize fluid coupling and accomplish gear changes by hydraulically locking and unlocking a series of planetary gears. Manual transmissions use a friction clutch.
History Of The Automatic Transmission
Did you know that the automatic transmission was actually invented by a Canadian? It’s true. Alfred Munro first patented an automatic transmission way back in 1921. However, Munro’s design used compressed air and was not strong enough to ever achieve commercial application. It was not until 1940 when General Motors introduced its “Hydra-Matic” transmission in its Oldsmobile that automatic transmissions first became widely available to the public.
Signs Your Automatic Transmission Needs Repair
Your automatic transmission might require a repair if you notice it doing any of the following:
- Changing gears at high RPMS
- Slipping, grinding, or jumping when you’re accelerating and shifting gears
- Contaminated transmission fluid during a pan examination and/or if you have a fluid leak
- Your “Check Engine” light is on (seriously, don’t ignore this)
Automatic Transmission Repair
So now we know the basics of the automatic transmission, a little automatic transmission history, and some of the key signs that an automatic transmission is in need of repair, but what should we know about transmission repair? Are transmission repairs complicated? The answer is . . . it depends. Automatic transmission repairs are generally more complicated than manual transmission repairs; it all depends on what and where the problem is.
There is one important factor to this, though. Newer automatic transmission often requires a repair process that is quite complicated given that it needs specialized technology. Specifically, a computer. Most new automatic transmissions are heavily computerized such that a technician’s first step when repairing an automatic transmission is to use diagnostic technology to interface with a vehicle’s on-board computer. This process produces a code that indicates where the problem is. As part of any automatic transmission repair, the vehicle will then be taken for a road test so that the technician can monitor its behavior. After this, the required automatic transmission repair is often minor; it’s the diagnostic process that is key.
Get In Touch
If you suspect your automatic transmission is in need of repair, please don’t hesitate to get it checked out. Please contact us at Mister Transmission and we can have a look at it and give you advice on how best to care for your automatic transmission going forward. Back
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. Back
We’d all like to be the kind of person that can repair his or her vehicle on their own. The kind of person who doesn’t mind getting a bit greasy and knows their way around a monkey wrench. But it’s not often practical. Sure, it’s better to know how to change your oil, change your windshield wiper fluid, and how to pump up your tires. But automobiles can be quite complicated and most of us have jobs, families, friends, and other obligations. We can’t spend every weekend watching YouTube videos about transmission repair (hope the videos are right) and then fiddle with our transmissions. Can we? How complicated is transmission repair, anyway?
Automobiles, like all things, have changed with time. And, if you haven’t noticed over the past 20 or so years, technology can change a lot. Fast. And this is especially true of transmissions. The transmission is one of the most intricate and complex components of your automobile; so expecting to be able to repair it yourself is pretty unreasonable.
With increased computerization, transmission performance has become noticeably better than in its analog days. But this process of digitization does have some drawbacks. For one, it makes transmissions more complicated. All of this is to say, if you notice your transmission is not working properly –and you won’t always notice it, at least not right away– determining the cause of the problem can be little more than a guessing game if you don’t know what you’re doing.
It is true that many transmission repairs are relatively minor and simple matters, meaning they can be done without removing the transmission from the vehicle. But that doesn’t mean you can just start fiddling around with a wrench and expect to correct the problem. Especially if your transmission is a computer-controlled one.
For example, a computerized transmission that is not shifting properly often has a problem with its 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. Is that something you think you can fix yourself? No. Properly trained and skilled technicians use special machinery and computers to determine and repair such problems. Transmission repair is quite complicated, because even minor repairs require skill and special computerized tools.
One type of transmission problem that is easily identified is a transmission fluid leak. You can see the evidence of this underneath your car as you drive away. In such a case, your transmission will require a re-seal job. Most of the external seals can be replaced while the transmission is still in the car but, if the front seal must be replaced, the transmission must first be removed from the vehicle to gain access to it. If you’re an experienced mechanic with the proper tools and winches, go for it. If not, best leave transmission repairs to the experts.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch
The above examples are the more straightforward examples of transmission repair, and even they can be quite involved and complex. And this is to say nothing about replacing parts or complete overhauls. But if you wish to know more and perhaps have your transmission repaired or serviced, please get in touch! We’d love to take a look at your vehicle’s transmission. Back
Many of us have a habit of putting off repairs or maintenance to our automobiles. And it’s a bad habit. But it is understandable; we lead busy lives, our cars are not usually at the forefront of our minds. Until something goes wrong with them. Then they can become the banes of our existence. We try to find workarounds or put things off. But we really shouldn’t. Driving with an improperly functioning vehicle can be downright dangerous. But it can be hard to find the time. And you don’t want to be left without a vehicle for a prolonged period. But what if something is amiss with your transmission? How long do transmission repairs usually take?
Transmissions are intricate and complex machines. Therefore, transmission repair can be quite tricky. With the relatively recent increased computerization of transmissions, transmission performance has improved across all makes and models. However, it comes with a down side. These new transmissions require highly technical work. You need skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable technicians to get your transmission repaired right. But it must take a long time, right?
Not As Long As You Might Think
Yes, it’s true, transmission repair has become a more complex and intricate affair in recent years, but as with everything else in life, we must adapt. The best technicians evolve with the machinery and so do have we at Mister Transmission. We know that having to have your transmission repaired can put your life on hold. A lot of people rely on their cars for work, family obligations, and everything else, so if you need your transmission repaired, we will do our best to get the job done right and as quickly as possible.
Most minor repairs are relatively simple. We can do them without having to remove the transmission from the vehicle. For computer controlled transmissions, the most common problems affecting shifting are due to the computer sending incorrect signals due to a faulty sensor. If a non-computer controlled transmission is shifting too early or too late, it may require an adjustment to the throttle cable. Overall, these types of repairs are generally not too involved and can be done without interrupting your day too much.
More Involved Transmission Repairs
There are other transmission repairs too that, like most shifting issues, can be remedied without too much of a headache. Reseal jobs are important if you notice blobs of red oil underneath your parked car. You want to keep your transmission sealed up properly, so a reseal might be required (Replacing accessible parts is also a common type of transmission repair that we can in relatively short order in most cases).
But there are, of course, instances, when transmission repair can take a great deal longer. For example, complete overhauls, also known as rebuilding transmissions. These jobs tend to take longer because they require that we remove the transmission from the vehicle and disassemble it. We will examine every part for wear and tear and replace those parts that need it, whether it be a torque converter or the bands and clutches.
Contact Us To Learn More
But ultimately, the length of a transmission repair will vary from case to case (as will the cost). If you’ll like to get a better idea of our process here at Mister Transmission or to book an appointment for your transmission repair, please do not hesitate to contact us. Back