Tag Archives: Transmission Repair

The Transmission Specialists

At Mister Transmission, taking care of our customers and getting them safely on their way has been our top priority since day one. That’s something that will never change, even as cars become more complicated.

Specializing in transmission service

And speaking of complicated: that’s exactly what today’s transmissions are! It’s also why many general car repair facilities and car dealerships choose not to offer transmission service as part of a car’s preventative maintenance schedule.

Why not? It’s not because they don’t want to. After all, it’s an extra service that they could be selling. It’s because today’s transmissions are so complicated. Not so long ago, a 4-speed transmission was normal for most vehicles, and even then it required a carefully trained mechanic to skilfully handle the specifics of transmission service. These days, 6-speed transmissions are normal, with 7, 8 and even 9-speed transmissions are on the way. There are also many new models with Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs), which represent a whole new level of transmission sophistication.

Diagnosing high-tech transmission problems

However, all of this talk about complex and sophisticated transmissions doesn’t mean that there are more transmission problems. In fact, at Mister Transmission, the opposite is true. Why? Because, although many customers immediately think that a shifting problem must be the transmission, often the problem is something else. Vehicles today have complex on-board computer systems, so it may be that the sensors in the computer system are malfunctioning and sending the wrong messages to the transmission, leading to shifting problems. Examples of such issues can include faulty throttle positioning sensors or issues with wireless accelerated pedal positions.

At Mister Transmission, we specialize in transmission service and repair, so we are able to diagnose these problems quickly and accurately through computer diagnostics and road testing. More often than not, the result of this testing process is that our technicians can tell a much-relieved owner that the problem isn’t with their transmission at all, but with something else that’s simpler and less costly to repair.

Of course, if the problem is their transmission, our technicians will identify the root of the problem, and clearly explain options and solutions. They will educate customers to help them understand the issue and allow them to make informed decisions about their transmission repair.

Ultimately, while transmissions will indeed become more sophisticated and complicated as the future unfolds, one thing will never change: our commitment to being the honest and dependable transmission service experts that customers trust, year after year.

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Transmission Repair Options

Your car’s transmission has failed or is in need of repair. What do you do now?

Are you faced with a failed transmission and the dilemma of deciding which transmission repair option is best for your vehicle? It’s a tough spot to be in but here’s good news: you have options aplenty.

Depending on the age, make, and model of your car, light-duty truck, van, or SUV – and whether your vehicle features an automatic or a manual transmission – your decision will likely be determined by a multitude of factors including cost, quality, and when you need your wheels back.

In general, you have six options to choose from, including:

A New Transmission

Many people believe when they buy a new transmission to have installed in their vehicle, that they are getting a brand new factory-made one. That is usually not the case. Brand new transmissions are not available from the manufacturer, your automotive dealer, or any other source. New transmissions are only used in the production of new cars and trucks. Thus, when you purchase a “new” transmission, you are, in fact, getting one that has been remanufactured. Be advised the price tag affixed to a so-called new transmission and a remanufactured one may not be the same.

A Rebuilt Transmission

Whether you call it a rebuilt, refurbished, reconditioned, or overhauled transmission, the result is the same.  A rebuilt transmission is a transmission that has been disassembled and inspected, all the worn or damaged parts are replaced, and then the transmission is reassembled to factory specifications. Some components will be replaced as part of this process: new gaskets, steel clutch plates, seals, friction clutches, filter, and bands.

The term “rebuilt” is used in a shop setting where the customer’s transmission is removed from the car, rebuilt and then reinstalled. It is a custom process performed by an experienced, technology-savvy technician. One of the major benefits of having your transmission rebuilt is that often there are new updated components that can be installed. These updated components often address common weak points of the transmission; thus they are less likely to fail in the future.

A Remanufactured Transmission

A remanufactured transmission, aka a “reman”, is the same as a rebuilt transmission, except that the work is done in a factory instead of an auto repair shop.

There are two common practices employed in remanufacturing. One uses a team of workers skilled in a specific area of the repair. One technician does the teardown and inspection, one does the cleaning, and several others will assemble and restore certain components. Lastly, another more senior technician will reassemble the transmission. Alternatively, a single technician skilled and experienced at rebuilding a specific model of transmission or family of transmissions will do all of the work. For instance, there may be a Ford transmission specialist, a Chevy transmission specialist, a Nissan transmission specialist, and so on. In either instance, the transmission is tested on a dynamometer and then shipped to a retail outlet for sale (including new auto dealerships).

A Repaired Transmission

A repaired transmission is one where a specific component is replaced or fixed. For example, if an input shaft broke or a solenoid failed, those parts can be replaced without rebuilding the entire transmission. That includes instances where a transmission may have sprung a leak. In such a case, the external seals would be replaced to resolve the leaking problem.

A Used Transmission

Another possibility today is to have a used transmission installed. Used transmissions have become a viable option because insurance companies will often write off the expense of a car simply because the airbags deployed during a relatively minor accident. The rest of the car may be in terrific condition, with very low mileage. A used transmission may cost hundreds less than a rebuilt model, but they come with a limited warranty. Moreover, whenever you buy a used transmission from a junkyard, you never truly know what you’re getting. You may save a few dollars in the short-term, but ask yourself, “what are the long-term implications of buying a used transmission?”

Are you experiencing transmission troubles or have questions about your vehicle’s transmission? Visit the Mister Transmission location nearest you and get the expert help you need.

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How Much Will It Cost to Fix My Transmission?

Transmission repairs can be costly. Determining what you can expect to pay to get your vehicle back on the road depends on these factors

Of all the components that comprise your vehicle’s engine, the transmission is quite possibly the most complex. All mechanical devices need to be serviced and repaired occasionally. If your transmission has failed and is in need of a repair, or if you’ve noticed warning signs that something’s amiss and suspect a repair is required, the first thing that’s likely to pop into your head is, “How much will it cost to fix my transmission?”

Fair question. But there is no single answer. It depends on many factors ranging from the type of transmission your vehicle has (manual or automatic, five-speed or six-speed), to how old or how many kilometres it has driven, to whether or not it is under warranty. It could be that your vehicle’s transmission fluid level is too low or that the fluid viscosity is the wrong type for your car. Or it’s possible your transmission has failed and it must be rebuilt or replaced.

Spotting Potential Problems Early is Key to Keeping the Cost Down

As transmission repairs can prove to be costly, it’s wise to be aware of what the warning signs are before a total breakdown occurs. If you recognize a potential problem before it unfolds, you can potentially save yourself a lot of money, and certainly a lot of stress.

If your car has an automatic transmission or gearbox, some of the most common symptoms to be mindful of include:

  • Delayed engagement. When shifting from “Park” to “Reverse” or “Drive”, there’s a delay before the gear shifts. Thus, even if you rev the engine, the vehicle doesn’t move right away.
  • Gear slippage. Also known as transmission slippage, when the gear changes for seemingly no reason while driving, and when it does, the sound of the engine will change.
  • A burning smell. If your car’s transmission fluid is well beyond its best before date, it won’t smell pleasant (think rotten eggs or rotting fish). Furthermore, if the fluid hasn’t been changed in a long while, is low, or if the transmission fluid is overheating it will begin to give off a noticeable burning smell.
  • Unusual noises. When your car is in park or idling in neutral, if you hear unusual noises like rattling, clanging, or grinding sounds, it’s possible you may need to have worn out parts replaced like the bearings or gear teeth.

If your car has a manual transmission, be wary of these common warning signs:

  • Leaking fluid. Transmission fluid is red in colour (or it should be). If you find a pool of red liquid beneath your car, chances are your transmission is bleeding its vital fluid. Without fluid, the transmission will overheat and eventually seize up.
  • Gear failure. If you notice your car isn’t changing gears smoothly, and the clutch feels wrong or different when you’re driving, the clutch may be dragging, the hydraulic system may be failing, or the clutch may be warped.
  • Inability to change gears. If you can’t change from one gear to another with ease or at all, that’s a clear sign something is very wrong with your transmission. It’s possible the synchronization may be off between the clutch and gearbox.
  • Faulty shift lever. If the shift lever becomes hard to move while switching gears, any number of issues could be behind this problem from having the wrong type of fluid in your transmission to damage done to internal components such as the shift rails or shifting forks.

One of the easiest signs to spot that something might be wrong beneath the hood regardless of the type of vehicle you drive or the transmission it has is on your dashboard: the engine warning indicator. If the engine warning light illuminates, it’s recommended you have a mechanic check to see what the cause is. It might not have anything to do with your transmission, but it’s better to be sure than to be sorry.

Last but not least, get the transmission fluid and filter changed as often as is recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. It is the best preventative maintenance you can have performed on your transmission. Doing so will help prevent full-on breakdowns and expensive repairs over time.

Are you experiencing transmission problems? Call the experts at a Mister Transmission near you to book a service appointment, and ask for your free 21-point multi-check inspection.

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Our 3-Phase Transmission Repair Process

At Mister Transmission, we have a proven, customer-focused approach to transmission repair, and it involves three key phases: assessment, explanation and service. To illustrate these phases, we can look at an actual scenario involving a transmission that wouldn’t reverse, and on occasion would slip into overdrive.

Our transmission assessment process

We began by listening carefully to our customer’s concerns and asking helpful, clarifying questions to really get a sense of the problem. Indeed, even though our customer wasn’t a car repair expert (which makes sense, since that’s our job!), he certainly helped us get a better idea of the nature of the problem from a driver’s perspective.

From there, we performed a series of probing diagnostics using the car’s on-board computer system and our in-shop tools. This process was both efficient and comprehensive.

We then performed a road test to confirm both what our customer and the computer were telling us. And indeed, we verified that a transmission problem existed.

Following the road test, we hoisted the car using a unique hoist that has been specifically designed for transmission repair – and which is not found in most other transmission shops or dealerships. After lowering the pan, we found that due to severe overheating, the transmission’s clutch plates had burned, had started flaking apart, and had released a significant amount of black, sooty debris. Plus, we saw that the plates had welded together and wouldn’t release, which explained why the car wouldn’t reverse.

Based on these initial findings, we carefully inspected the whole transmission – front to back, without skipping even the smallest section – to check for additional damage, and that’s precisely what was found. Again, the overheating transmission was the culprit. In addition to burning the clutch plates, the debris mentioned earlier also clogged the valve body and the filters, and burned the overdrive bands right down to the metal.

 

Our explanation process

Our next step was to explain the results of our assessment. Unlike some transmission shops, we pride ourselves on clear, jargon-free communication. We never want a customer to drive away thinking to themselves “I’m not really sure what I just paid for, or why.”

After discussing various options and solutions, our customer agreed that rebuilding the transmission was the most effective and safest way to proceed.

Our transmission service process

While the idea of burned plates and an overheating transmission may seem a bit scary, this story had a happy ending. That’s because when we rebuilt the transmission, we used brand new original equipment parts, and we also changed the spring pressures on the shuttle valves. This was done to open up some of the holes and allow for more lubrication, which would help to better cool the overdrive band and help it to last longer.

Since this customer did a lot of towing – which can seriously heat things up inside the transmission – we advised him to add an auxiliary cooler. At a small cost, this was a smart way to avoid major transmission service in the future.

Exceeding customer expectations

Ultimately, as is illustrated by the above scenario, our 3-phase transmission repair process is built around our customers and their needs. It’s the kind of value added approach that ordinary transmission shops or are not always able to provide, but it’s something we do, because we always work to exceed our customer’s expectations – every visit, every time!

Want to know more?
Visit one of our locations!

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