Slipping is one of the most common problems a transmission can experience. Slipping transmissions can be unnerving, frustrating, and even frightening. A slipping transmission is by no means the end of the world, but it’s definitely not something you should let go unaddressed, lest the problem worsens, endangering the health of your vehicle, as well as you and other drivers on the road. This article will address some of the causes of slipping as well as what to do about them.
Sometimes noticing a slipping transmission is easy. Other Times, the symptoms are more subtle. Indicators of a slipping transmission can manifest in a number of ways. Such indicators include delays in acceleration, a high RPM (over 3,500, for example), the inability to reverse, experiencing difficulty shifting gears, a harsh response to the shifting of gears, unusual or burnt smells, strange noises, and, of course, the check engine light switching on.
All of the above symptoms are signs of a slipping transmission. There are a varied many possible causes for slipping transmissions and the sooner you discover the cause of your slipping transmission, the better your chances of repairing it before significant damage has been done to your transmission. So what are the causes of a slipping transmission?
Low fluid levels – The single most common cause of a slipping is insufficient fluid levels. Low fluid levels can create a plethora of problems, including overheating and a lack of hydraulic pressure being produced to engage gears.
Damaged fluid – Fluid can be become damaged when it is burnt or otherwise rendered ineffective by too many contaminants from normal wear and tear. Regular fluid changes and top ups are needed to prevent transmission slippage.
Leaks – One of the common causes of low fluid levels are leaks. A transmission leak requires a reseal.
Worn or broken transmission bands – Sometimes transmission bands can break or become worn, which can cause transmission slippage, as well as engine troubles and worn down gears.
Clutch problems – In manual transmissions, clutch problems are responsible for transmission slipping up to a whopping 90% of the time (the other 10% being leaks). Automatic transmissions also use clutches but have clutch plates throughout the transmission as well as in the torque converter. These clutch plates can get worn or burnt from insufficient transmission fluid.
Worn out gears – Worn and frayed gears won’t properly link together which can cause slippage. Worn out gears should be replaced.
Solenoid problems – The solenoid is an electro-hydraulic valve. Its purpose is to control the flow of fluid throughout your transmission. Any damage or computer problems can cause incorrect amounts of fluid to be dispersed, which may result in transmission slippage.
Torque converter issues – Torque converters convert the engine’s power into torque. Transmission fluid flows through the torque converter, but if it fails to do so properly, then it can act up and transmission slipping is frequently a symptom.
If your transmission is slipping or you have any questions about slipping transmissions, or anything else to do with transmissions, please contact our transmission shop today.
Apart from a home, a vehicle is usually the most expensive thing a person will buy in his or her life. And we often rely on our vehicles to complete our daily activities, such as going to work and running errands. All of this is say that our vehicles are important and we have to take care of them. And one of the most intricate, expensive, and crucial components of our vehicles is the transmission.
To ensure a long, efficient life for your vehicle, you must properly care for it. Most people know enough to keep their tires pumped, and not to leave their headlights on, etc. But you should also know how to take care of your transmission, too. But just how do you care for an automatic transmission?
Tips on caring for automatic transmission
Here are some tips of things you can do to lengthen the life of your automatic transmission and keep it operating at peak efficiency:
Take care of your fluid – Insufficient levels of transmission fluid are bound to cause a whole host of problems, so make sure to check it regularly. How? Well, with the engine idling, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, insert it again, wait, then pull it out to get an accurate reading. If the fluid level is low, you may have a leak. The fluid itself should be a bright red, translucent colour, and it should smell faintly sweet. If it’s murky, dark coloured, or smells like rotten, take it to a shop that specializes in transmission services. Also, make sure to use the right type of fluid. Look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what type of transmission fluid you should use.
Get your cooling system serviced – The cooling system helps prevent your engine from overheating, but it also ensures that the transmission fluid pumping through the gearbox is cooled, as well. That’s why you want your cooling system running properly and should get it serviced regularly.
Don’t change gears while your car is moving – This is an offence of which many of us are guilty, but we really ought not to do it. You should always bring your vehicle to a complete stop before changing gears from ‘drive’ to ‘reverse’ or vice-versa. Otherwise, you will strain your transmission.
Regularly change your transmission filter – Some automobile’s automatic transmissions have a filter that need to be changed from time to time. Many newer vehicles don’t have a transmission filter but those that do should be changed each time you get your transmission flushed.
Avoid towing – Towing heavy loads with a vehicle that was not specifically designed to tow can cause transmission fluid to oxidize and burn, which can in turn damage your transmission.
If you have any more questions about how to care for your automatic (or manual) transmission or would like to avail yourself of some automatic transmission services, please contact our transmission shop.
In sports, it is often said that the best defence is a good offence. If we extrapolate from this aphorism and translate the meaning to the context of vehicle care, it is best to remain ever vigilant with regards to transmission problems. The best way to avoid major problems with your transmission is to anticipate them and head them off at the proverbial pass. If you notice a small problem, get it fixed by a professional Transmission Shop before it becomes a big problem. And do whatever you can to avoid the development of problems in the first place. It may take some time and effort, but if you can anticipate transmission problems before they occur, you will save yourself a lot more time and effort in the long run, as well as money.
Automatic transmission problems
But just how do you anticipate problems with your automatic transmission? How can you know if things are about to go pear shaped? Well, the first thing you need to do is arm yourself with knowledge. You need to know what some common automatic transmission problems are before you can anticipate them. So let’s first go over some of the most common symptoms of problems with automatic transmissions:
Slipping – transmission slipping from one gear into another
Rough shifts – hearing or experiencing bumps or jolts when you shift gears
Delayed shifts – when your transmission lags behind you when you shift gears
Leaks – when you see transmission fluid underneath your vehicle after you’ve parked, you have a transmission fluid leak
Warning light – an obvious one, but still far too often ignored; a warning light (such as “Check Engine”) could indicate a problem with your transmission.
If you experience any of the above problems, bring your vehicle in for inspection and repair immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of the problem worsening, which could you leave you with a larger repair bill, stranded by the side of the highway, or worse still, in a collision.
Prevention is better than cure
Just like you should eat your daily serving of vegetables and avoid junk food in order to maintain good health for the future, so too should you take care of your vehicle to prevent future problems. Most any transmission problem can be caused or exacerbated by insufficient levels or poor quality of transmission fluid. This is why you should check your transmission fluid regularly. If your fluid is a reddish translucent colour, you should be OK. If your transmission fluid is dark and smells funny, you should change it. You can change your transmission fluid yourself, or bring it into the shop if you would rather not spend time on it yourself.
Also, just like with your body, you shouldn’t deprive your transmission of regular checkups. At Mister Transmission, we have our Multi-Check Inspection that methodically tests all aspects of your transmission and can find any problems with your car’s transmission, including problems you may not have even noticed yourself.
If you think your transmission is due for an inspection or you suspect you’re already experiencing automatic (or even manual) transmission problems, please bring your vehicle into the shop or contact our transmission shop today.
A “transmission rebuild” might sound like a generic term to the uninitiated; something that could cover just about any kind of transmission repair. But this isn’t so. To a transmission shop, a transmission rebuild connotes a specific type of job. The rebuilding of a transmission is not a small job. It’s not the inspection or replacement of one or two parts. A transmission rebuild is also known as a “complete overhaul”, which might give you an idea of the scope of work involved. But just how does a transmission shop rebuild a transmission?
Transmission repair shops
Any credible transmission shop will go through a series of processes before deciding that a transmission rebuild is the best option. At Mister Transmission, we have our Multi-Check inspection, in which we put your transmission through the paces of four different tests in the hopes of determining what (if any) issues your transmission is experiencing. In doing this, we might determine that the fix for your transmission is a relatively easy and non-invasive one.
If however, the Multi-check Inspection either does not clearly reveal the problem, or it indicates that the problem is with a part that within your transmission that is inaccessible, we will have to remove the transmission from the body of the vehicle. This is where things get more involved.
If your transmission is experiencing a problem that cannot be solved with a minor adjustment, a re-seal, or the replacing of an accessible part, then it will have to come out. We can remove the transmission from your vehicle to get a better look at it and see what is amiss. The transmission rebuild, or complete overhaul, consists of the removal and disassembly of the transmission in its entirety. We will inspect every part for wear and damage, then clean each part in a special cleaning solution, or replace it with another part depending upon its condition.
Parts that have friction surfaces, such as bands and clutches, will be replaced, as well as all seals and gaskets. We will also replace the torque converter, most often with a re-manufactured one. We will check the technical service bulletins to see if the auto manufacturer of your transmission recommends any modifications to correct design defects and flaws that were discovered after the transmission was built. Automobile manufacturers frequently make upgrade kits available to transmission shops to resolve these design flaws.
The goal is to get your transmission working, good as new. Indeed, depending on how much wear and damage we find, your transmission could easily be more new than old, if the majority of pieces are new. Whether or not you consider it to be a new transmission or your old one is really a philosophical question. But we’re not here to debate the problem of the Ship of Theseus; we’re here to fix your transmission! And the transmission rebuild is the most complete, and exhaustive type of transmission repair we can offer. This is because, with the disassembly, inspection, replacements, and reassembly, there is nowhere for problems to hide within the transmission; we’re bound to root out any issues.
If you think your transmission might require a rebuild, or if you have any other issues, please bring your vehicle into the shop or contact our transmission shop today.
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...