Vehicles are expensive. If you own one, you want to take care of it as best you can. Apart from the cost of having to have your vehicle repaired or having components replaced when things go wrong, there’s the cost of time, as well. Car troubles never seem to come at a good time and many of us rely on our vehicles to get through our daily lives. All of this is to say, you want to avoid car problems as much as possible.
This is doubly true of your transmission. Transmissions are big, complicated, and integral to your vehicle’s operation. As such, transmissions are expensive. You need a transmission to make your car go and yet there is so much that can go wrong with a transmission due to its complicated nature. Anything you can do to keep your transmission working properly and working for longer will save you money and headaches. Here are five ways to extend the life of your transmission.
1. Drive Easy
The first thing you can do to extend the life of your transmission is to take it easy. There’s no need to shift gears hard. Come to a complete stop before shifting from drive to reverse or vice versa. On cold days it can take about five kilometers for your transmission to properly warm up. Drive easy at first.
2. Check Your Transmission Fluid
Without transmission fluid your transmission won’t work. Furthermore, if something is wrong with your transmission, you will almost certainly see evidence of it in your transmission fluid. Make sure your fluid is up to the correct level; insufficient fluid can cause your transmission to overheat. Also, give it a sniff and an inspection. Damaged transmission fluid smells bad and has an opaque colour as opposed to the desirable reddish, translucent hue. You should check your transmission fluid every month.
3. Get Your Transmission Serviced Regularly
Regular service of your transmission is also key to extending its life. You should get your transmission serviced about every 50,000 kms or every two years, whichever comes first. What goes into transmission service? Typically, transmission service consists of draining old transmission fluid, replacing the filter, cleaning the transmission pan, and putting in new fluid. Some people are comfortable doing this themselves while others prefer to avoid the hassle by letting a transmission repair shop take care of it. Some models of transmission are easier to service than others. If you have any doubts, you should leave it to the professionals.
4. Use Synthetic Transmission Fluid
Synthetic transmission fluid is often superior to the traditional variety. Every transmission is different, though. However, many transmissions benefit from synthetic fluid. Ask your local Mister Transmission experts if synthetic fluid is right for your type of transmission.
5. Stay Cool
Transmissions like to be cool. But they often get hot. What can you do to keep yours cool? First, basic cooling maintenance. About every other year you should ask your transmission technicians to replace the antifreeze, check for leaks and damage, change the hoses, and perform a radiator cap pressure test. You may also want to add an external cooler to help keep your transmission cool if you are towing anything as well.
For more tips on how to extend the life of your transmission, please contact us.
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
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.
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.
The main job of a transmission repair shop is to repair transmissions. It’s in the name: transmission repair shop. But transmission repair shops also help with transmission maintenance and can give tips on how to prolong the life of your transmission and to get the most out of it. Transmission repair shops can fix known problems and can inspect and look for suspected problems. There’s nothing regarding transmissions that a good transmission repair shop can’t do. Here are four of the major things that transmission repair shops can do.
1. Repair transmissions
We’ll start with the obvious. When you need your transmission repaired, you should take it to a transmission repair shop. Auto body shops are great at repairing and replacing multiple parts of your vehicle. But the transmission is special. It’s highly complex and very important. In fact, the transmission is a series of components working together to form one greater collective piece. You want a transmission expert repairing your transmission.
Some transmission repairs are quite simple. Sometimes the technician can figure out what the problematic part is right away. Some parts of the transmission are accessible while the transmission is still within the body of the vehicle. To replace such a part is relatively easy. However, some parts of the transmission are only accessible once the transmission is removed from the chassis. To replace any of these parts requires a more involved transmission repair.
2. Rebuild transmissions
But even removing the transmission from the chassis to replace one part is an easy job compared to a transmission rebuild. Sometimes, the problematic part of a transmission cannot be pinpointed. Sometimes, a transmission has become so damaged and so worn out that many of its components need to be replaced. A transmission rebuild is necessary in such cases.
Also known as a transmission overhaul, rebuilding a transmission requires the disassembly of the transmission piece by piece. Every piece is inspected and, depending upon its condition, it should be replaced or cleaned in a special solution. Transmission repair shops can also replace a transmission. However, we at Mister Transmission often caution our customers against this as replacement transmissions often have questionable histories.
3. Transmission fluid change service
Sometimes transmission fluid needs to be flushed out. If a transmission has suffered internal damage, this can damage the transmission fluid, which can in turn further damage the transmission. It’s a vicious cycle and simply adding more fluid won’t help. A transmission repair shop can flush out the damaged fluid and replace it with new fluid.
4. Transmission inspection
Transmission repair shops often inspect transmissions before they repair them. Technicians at the repair shop need to know just what and where the problem is before they can repair it. Many drivers come to a transmission repair shop with a suspicion that something might be wrong, but nothing more. In such cases, an inspection is definitely called for. Every transmission repair shop does their inspections differently. But at Mister Transmission, we contend that our Multi-Check Inspection is the best inspection that any transmission repair shop can provide.
If you would like to learn more about transmission repair shops and just what we at Mister Transmission can do for you and your transmission, then please contact us today.
If you are asking yourself, “Should I buy a used transmission?” then you’re probably in one of the stickiest situations in which you can be with regards to your transmission. If you are considering buying a used transmission then it follows that there is something significantly wrong with your current transmission. You don’t replace a perfectly good transmission, afterall. Replacing a transmission is a major task. It takes a significant amount of time and money; often more than other types of transmission repairs. And of course, such transmission problems rarely come at convenient times What should you do if you find yourself in such a situation? Should you buy a used transmission?
Much like we see a vehicle and refer to it as “the car”, when we refer to “the transmission”, we’re also referring to a piece of machinery that is comprised of many smaller parts and components. A lot of transmission repair has to do with these parts. There are a number of parts that are accessible while the transmission remains within the body of the vehicle. These are called “accessible parts” and if the problem with your transmission is found to be with one of these parts, then the transmission repair will be a relatively simple matter.
Other times, you may not be so lucky. There are many parts of transmission that are inaccessible. They require that the transmission be removed from the chassis in order to access them. If the problem is suspected to be with one of these parts, or otherwise if the problem remains unknown, then the transmission will have to come out. This is a bigger procedure. If you are unluckier still, the problem with your transmission might remain a mystery. Now we’re talking about a transmission overhaul.
A Transmission overhaul, which is also called “rebuilding a transmission”, involves the disassembly of the transmission piece by piece. Every part is inspected for wear and damage, then it is cleaned in a special solution, or 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, typically with a remanufactured one. The rebuilt unit is then put back into your vehicle.
Above is one option you have when your current transmission is completely damaged or the problem part(s) cannot quite be located. The other option is to simply buy a used transmission and swap it in for your damaged one. These used transmissions are usually rebuilt transmissions themselves. This might seem like the simpler, perhaps faster, and therefore the better option. But this is not necessarily so.
At Mister Transmission, we often caution our clients against opting to buy a used transmission. Used transmissions frequently have questionable histories and can create a whole new set of problems. “New transmissions”, on the other hand, are typically aftermarket transmissions billed as new, but which are in fact rebuilt transmissions with new parts. Obviously, every vehicle, every person, and every situation are different, so what might be the best choice for others may not be the best choice for you. But you should at least be wary of used transmissions.
If you would like to learn more about used transmissions, 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...