“When do I need to change my transmission fluid?” It’s one of the most common questions that we get asked here at Mister Transmission. It’s a good question to ask. Your transmission fluid is vitally important to the wellbeing and efficacy of your transmission. But the answer to that question is nuanced; there’s not one simple answer. However, this article will attempt, in the broadest terms possible, to describe the times and situations when you should change your transmission fluid.
Checking Your Transmission Fluid
Your transmission fluid is important for two reasons. First, your transmission won’t work without it, so that makes it pretty important. Depleted or degraded transmission fluid can damage your transmission and reduce its efficiency. But beyond that, your transmission fluid is key to demonstrating if you have a transmission problem. For example, if you have degraded transmission fluid then there is probably something wrong within your transmission to have caused this.
That is why checking your transmission fluid is key to maintaining your transmission. You should check your transmission fluid every month. Use your dipstick to check your transmission fluid levels. If it is low, top it up. If you find that you’re topping up your fluid every single month, you probably have a leak somewhere. Good transmission fluid is reddish-clear and has a neutral odour. Foul smelling and/or opaque fluid is a sign of a problem. If you see such fluid during your transmission check, you should bring your vehicle in to have your transmission fluid changed and to have your transmission checked for problems.
Sometimes there are issues with your transmission that you can’t tell by yourself. This is why bringing your vehicle in for regular transmission service is important. At Mister Transmission we provide a Multi-Check Inspection, an exhaustive inspection of your transmission. The last step of the Multi-Check Inspection will determine the condition of your transmission.
Regular Transmission Fluid Changes
Some transmission manufacturers boast that the fluid in their transmissions need never be changed because it is a completely closed system. These claims don’t stand if there is something wrong with your transmission, though. Even so, sometimes transmission technicians will recommend changing the fluid in such transmissions anyway, just to be safe. Most auto manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid every 45,000 to 90,000 kilometres. That’s a big range. At Mister Transmission, we recommend erring on the smaller side of that range. If you regularly drive in harsh conditions or drive a truck that tows material, you will probably want to change your transmission fluid even more frequently than that,
Ultimately, every vehicle, transmission, and drivers are different. There is no universal rule that pertains to all vehicles, so ask your transmission technicians what they think. If you notice that your transmission fluid is damaged, have it changed and have your transmission inspected. If you’ve gone 45,000 kilometres without incident, you might as well have it changed just to be safe.
If you have more questions about transmission fluid, please contact us.
There are two types of motorists out there: those that don’t give a second thought to what kind of transmission is in their model of vehicle, and those that spend hours exhaustively researching every component in their vehicle or the vehicle which they are considering purchasing. With all the contradictory information available on the internet, the person who spends all the time researching might end up as confused and lost as the person who did no research. But don’t worry. We at Mister Transmission are here to help. For example, if you drive a Dodge, what do you need to know about your transmission? Do Dodge transmissions require a special service?
Dodge is a brand of American automobile manufactured by FCA US LLC (Chrysler). It was founded in Auburn Hills, MI, by the Dodge brothers in 1900, making Dodge one of the first American automobile manufacturers. Dodge was acquired by Chrysler in 1928 and some of their most popular models include the Ram Pickup, the Grand Caravan, the Challenger, the Charger, and the Durango.
Dodge Automatic Transmissions
Dodge automatic transmissions use sensors to determine when they should shift gears and then changes gears accordingly by using internal transmission fluid pressure. An interesting fact is that automatic transmissions have to be momentarily disengaged from the engine internally in order to shift gears, an automatic transmission’s different speeds are attained by creating different gear ratios. The key component in this for Dodge transmissions, as with all transmissions, is the torque converter which transfers power from the engine to the transmission via “fluid coupling”. For this process to work properly, you need the full amount of automatic transmission fluid. Again, this is not unique to Dodge transmission service, but you should regularly check your transmission fluid levels.
Dodge Transmission Service
Dodge transmissions might require service for a number of reasons. However, the most common cause of failure in Dodge transmissions is a malfunctioning torque converter. Torque converters that are not functioning properly can cause shifting problems. The torque converter in a Dodge transmission (or indeed, any automatic transmission) fulfills the same role as the clutch does in a manual transmission. The torque converter controls how much fluid is passed on to the transmission and allows your engine to continue running while at a full stop.
If you suspect the torque converter in your Dodge transmission is malfunctioning, don’t delay bringing it in for a transmission service. Without a transmission service, the torque converter in your Dodge transmission will repeatedly fail for weeks, or maybe even months, but it will eventually completely break down. If this happens, the transmission fluid in your Dodge transmission can get contaminated with metal debris, which in turn might cause serious damage to your transmission. If this happens, your Dodge transmission will need a more extensive repair or even a complete rebuild.
Symptoms Of Problems With Dodge Transmissions
Some signs that the torque converter or any other component of your Dodge transmission requires service include:
Transmission slipping, grinding, or jumping during acceleration when the car is shifting gears
In today’s globalized world, a single automobile can have parts made in different countries. Therefore, it can pay to know a bit about which parts are in your vehicle. If you drive a Ford, you probably want to know a bit about the key components inside it. And one of the most key components of all is the transmission. So how are Ford transmissions? Do they require extra service?
Ford Motor Company
The Ford Motor Company was founded 116 years ago in Dearborn, MI, by Henry Ford. Ford’s “assembly line” technique of auto manufacturing revolutionized the industry and led to the Model T being one of the first ubiquitous makes of vehicle on the market. This same method of workers focusing on individual parts instead of a whole vehicle, led to the development of different parts being in different vehicles and is therefore partly responsible for why there are so many different transmissions out there today.
If you drive a Ford vehicle, what kind of transmission are you using? Well that depends on what Ford vehicle you’re driving. If you drive a Ford Expedition or a Lincoln Navigator (Lincoln is Ford’s luxury brand) then you’re probably driving a Ford 6R80 six-speed transmission. Interestingly, many Ford vehicles produced in the past ten years use a transmission that is also present in GM vehicles because Ford & GM co-manufactured transmissions such as the 6F35 (Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Ford Escape), the 6F55 (Lincoln MKS, Ford Flex, Ford Taurus SHO), and the 10R80 Ford-GM 10-speed automatic transmission (in 2017 Ford F-150s, Ford Expeditions, and Ford Mustangs). If you’re driving a hybrid Ford vehicle, then you’re using the HF35 hybrid transmission.
Do Ford transmissions need more service?
So, do the transmissions in Ford vehicles require more transmission service than transmissions in Mazda’s, Kia’s, Chryslers, Audis, etc.? It’s hard to say, but the answer, usually, is “no”. There are subtle, but sometimes significant differences between different makes of transmission, but these differences rarely have as much effect on the efficacy or lifespan of the transmission as how you use it. Do you use your vehicle for a lot of towing? Do you go too fast too quickly, not giving your transmission a chance to warm up? Do you neglect servicing your transmission fluid often enough? All of these actions will have a greater effect than the type of Ford transmission you drive. However, there is a notable exception to this.
The DPS6 Powershift transmission
The 2012-16 Ford Focus and 2011-16 Ford Fiesta sedans have the DPS6 Powershift transmission. And this transmission has been, shall we say, problematic. At the time of writing, there exists a number of lawsuits against the Ford Motor Company regarding this transmission. The lawsuits allege that this transmission is defective and is susceptible to a whole host of problems.
If you think your Ford transmission requires service, or if you drive any other make of car, you can contact Mister Transmission today.
Whenever the transmission in our vehicle acts up or stops working, we bemoan our rotten luck. “Oh, great”, we think, “Now I got to deal with this.” But as we stand by the side of the road cursing a blue streak about our misfortune, it’s often the case that, actually, we’re partly to blame for this. And deep down, we know this, even if we don’t want to admit it.
Of course, you can do everything right, and treat your vehicle properly, and it can still break down on you. If you drive your vehicle for long enough, you will invariable incur problems. But it’s far more frequent that our transmission requires a repair partly because we neglected it in some way. And don’t worry, we’re not here to shame you. We all lead busy lives and the health of our transmission is rarely at the forefront of our minds. But, if you do treat your transmission correctly, you can avoid big (and costly) problems in the future. Here are five of the most common mistakes that can ruin your transmission.
Neglecting Your Transmission Fluid
If you do any reading about transmissions, you will quickly discover that transmission fluid is pretty important. All automatic transmissions require transmission fluid. Manual transmissions commonly use transmission oil. If your automatic transmission fluid levels are insufficient, you’re going to have problems. Make it a habit to check your transmission fluid regularly. If the levels are low, top it up. Furthermore, inspect the fluid. Transmission fluid in good condition should be clear with a reddish hue and should have no prominent odor. The darker the fluid and the fouler the smell, the likelier it is that you have a problem that requires transmission service.
Using the Wrong Type of Transmission Fluid
You can also use the wrong type of transmission fluid. This is another common mistake. Using the wrong fluid means you’re not getting the most out of your transmission and can, over time, have a deleterious effect on it. Synthetic transmissions are generally the better kind of fluid, but every transmission is different. Next time you bring your transmission in for service, ask the technician which fluid is best for your transmission.
Letting Your Transmission Overheat
If the fluid inside your transmission gets too hot, then not only can it not do its job properly, it actively damages the transmission as it’s running. Transmission overheating can be caused by a number of problems. Primary among them is, again, bad (or a lack of) transmission fluid. Other factors that can contribute to overheating include transmission slipping, a defective solenoid pack, if your vehicle is involved in heavy towing, lots of stop and go driving, or a hot climate.
Going Too Fast Too Furious
Conversely, cold climates can also harm your transmission. You need to let your transmission warm up a bit before driving hard. Going hard without first giving your transmission a chance to warm up can really take a toll on it. If you want to avoid needing extra transmission service, take it easy.
Neglecting Transmission Service
Transmissions require regular service. You should bring your transmission in for service at least every other year. If you’re behind on your transmission service, please contact Mister Transmission today.
If you don’t know a lot about how vehicles work –which is OK, by the way; you don’t have to know all the inner workings of the automobile in order to drive one responsibly– you may find it odd that there are shops dedicated entirely to one component of the vehicle. Sure, there are other shops that specialize in specific, external parts of the vehicle, such as auto glass and tires. But this makes more sense intuitively because the technology and equipment required to service these parts are entirely different from other vehicular components. But you don’t, for example, have entire shops dedicated to servicing and repairing just the steering column or just the carburetor. So why a transmission? What does a transmission shop actually do?
We use the singular article “a” when talking about “a transmission” not because a transmission is a single part but because it is a collection of parts. And all of these parts have to work in harmony to make your vehicle go. The transmission transfers power generated by the engine to the axles, and then on to the wheels. Without a working transmission, your car won’t go. And without each of these parts of the transmission, your transmission won’t work properly, or maybe even at all.
All of this is to say that the transmission is incredibly intricate and complex. Knowing how to rotate tires or to gap a spark plug does not immediately qualify a technician to repair a transmission. Transmission service and repair requires a transmission expert. And where can you find a transmission expert? At a mister transmission shop.
In short, a full transmission and driveline repair shop services, maintains, repairs, and replaces transmissions. But how do they do all of these things? Well, for starters, mister transmission shops have trained and skilled expert transmission technicians. Mister transmission shops also have all the proper equipment, tools, and technology to service and repair transmissions. For transmission service, a mister transmission shop will have a rigorous testing procedure to discover and diagnose any problems your transmission might have. Mister Transmission, for example, has an exhaustive and thorough Multi-Check Inspection.
If a problem is discovered, then a transmission repair is in order. A transmission repair can be a very simple matter. Perhaps replacing a part that is easily accessible or perhaps even as straightforward as changing out the transmission fluid. Sometimes a repair involves using special technology only available at transmission shops that allow the technicians to interface with your vehicle’s onboard computer. And sometimes transmission repairs are very big ordeals that require the removal and disassembly of the transmission entirely or even replacing the transmission.
Transmission and Driveline Repair Shops
Transmission shops can also repair drivelines in addition to transmissions. The driveline is the part of the vehicle that takes the power created by the engine and transfers to the axles. The axles turn and therefore turn the wheels. Drivelines can become worn and damaged over time, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it. Regular inspection by a technician at a mister transmission shop can spot this wear and tear and prevent it from developing into a major problem.
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...