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.
If you know anything about transmissions, you probably know that there are different types of transmission. You almost certainly will have heard about manual and automatic transmissions. You may not have heard of CVT transmissions, however. When buying or leasing a new or used vehicle, one of the things you should definitely consider is the transmission. But why type of transmission is better for you? Just what are the differences between a manual and automatic transmission? And what’s the deal with this mysterious third type of transmission?
The Manual Transmission
The transmission is the part of your vehicle that transfers the power generated by your engine to the axles, which turn the wheels, which makes your vehicle go. As you can see, it’s pretty important. But not all transmissions are the same. There are three basic types of transmission. The original type of transmission is the manual transmission.
The manual transmission, which is also known as a “standard transmission” or a “stick shift”, is a type of transmission that utilizes a driver-operated clutch to regulate torque transfer from the engine to the transmission. The clutch is typically engaged or disengaged by a foot pedal or hand lever. Because they are the simplest, mechanically speaking, of the three types of transmissions, they also often have the longest lives, because there is less to go wrong. They also often offer the best fuel economy and manual transmission vehicles are typically a bit cheaper. Some drivers even enjoy driving them more.
The Automatic Transmission
Manual transmissions are mechanically simpler, but they are more complex to use. Many drivers either don’t know how to drive a manual transmission or do not like the extra work involved. For such drivers, the best type of transmission is an automatic transmission. This type of transmission can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, meaning the driver does not have to shift gears manually.
Controlling a vehicle at low speeds is typically easier with an automatic transmission rather than a manual, because of a side effect of the clutchless fluid-coupling design called “creep” that causes the car to want to move while in a driving gear, even at idle. Fun fact: the automatic transmission was invented by Alfred Horner Munro of Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1921.
The CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission
The continuously variable transmission (CVT), also known as a shiftless transmission, is a variant of the automatic transmission that can change seamlessly through a continuous range of effective gear ratios as opposed to a fixed number of gear ratios. The CVT’s belt-driven design offers approximately 88% efficiency, which is lower than that of a manual transmission, but this can be offset by lower production cost and by enabling the engine to run at its most efficient speed for a range of output speeds.
If you would like to learn more about the three types of transmission and what goes into the service, maintenance, and repair of your type of transmission, please get in touch with us and we can tell you everything you need to know.
We tend to take out vehicles for granted. It’s a sin of which many of us are guilty. We only stop to appreciate how complex these machines are –and how much we rely on them– when something goes wrong. And fixing broken vehicles is rarely cheap. The same goes for transmissions. If your transmission ever gets into such a bad state that it has to be overhauled or completely replaced, you are looking at a fairly expensive procedure. You want to avoid that and get the most out of your transmission for as long as you can. Here are five tips to extend the life of your transmission.
Check your Fluid
One cannot overstate the importance of transmission fluid to an automatic transmission. For a manual transmission, transmission oil is used, and it is equally as vital. Simply put, your transmission cannot run without transmission fluid. Furthermore, a lack of fluid or poor quality fluid can wreak havoc with your transmission. It can cause a whole host of problems and make other problems even worse. Because of this, checking your transmission fluid regularly is integral to extending the life of your transmission.
So get out your dipstick and check those levels. And while you’re at it, give the fluid an inspection and a good whiff. Damaged transmission fluid will look opaque as opposed the regular clearish red it ought to be. It will also smell bad. Foul smelling and opaque transmission fluid is a sign of problem, so if you discover this, bring your transmission into a mister transmission shop as soon as possible. You should also consider using a synthetic transmission fluid.
But the times when you discover problems should not be the only times you visit a mister transmission shop. Regular service is also key to extending the life of your transmission. Transmission technicians can look inside your transmission and notice things you can’t. That’s why you should bring your transmission in for service about every 30,000 miles or every two years.
Add an External Filter
All transmissions come with a filter. Some of these filters can filter particles very well; others struggle. But adding an external filter is never a bad thing for your transmission. The additional filter can help to trap even more contaminants, which can help to keep the fluid cleaner for longer.
Overheating is a major problem for transmissions. Your vehicle’s radiator is tasked with cooling everything down. Maintaining the cooling system is important so you should have it checked out regularly at a mister transmission shop; preferably every other year. The maintenance in question includes replacing the antifreeze, checking coolant levels, inspecting for leaks, checking the thermostat, and testing the pressure on the radiator cap.
Don’t drive in such a way as to put a strain on your transmission. Remember that the transmission takes time to warm up, so drive your car easy on a cold start. There are other little things you can do to help, too, like using your emergency brake when parking on an incline (which you should always do anyway) and try not to rest your hand on the gear lever while driving.
If you would like to learn more about how to extend the life of your transmission, please contact us.
Transmission service. What is transmission service? How often do transmissions need servicing? Can you service your own transmission? Why do transmissions need servicing? Is transmission service a big deal or a small deal? Seriously, what is transmission service?
Most of us who drive an automobile have a vague understanding of how it works. And that’s alright. Do you understand the inner workings of your computer? Your smart phone? Your television? Do you even really know how indoor plumbing and heating work? Unless you’re a specialist in any of these fields, the answer is probably no. And that’s OK, because if and when something goes wrong with any of these things, there are experts you can see to fix them for you. The same is true for transmissions. But it doesn’t hurt to know the basics. This is transmission service 101.
How Transmissions Work
The transmission is a fairly important component of your vehicle. Important in the sense that without it, your vehicle won’t work. At all. So, you need a transmission. And you need it in good working order. Your engine is what generates the power. Your axle turns the wheels and the tires roll along the ground, propelling you vehicle. But how does the power of the engine get into the wheels? The answer: the transmission.
The transmission transfers power from the engine to the wheels. The transmission is what allows you to shift gears: drive, reverse, neutral, etc. But not only is the transmission integral to your vehicle, it is also arguably the most complex and intricate component of your vehicle. Because it is not just one component but a multitude of components and parts that must all work together properly to allow you to seamlessly shift gears. And if just one part is not operating properly, you could have a big problem on your hands. And how do you diagnose such problems? How do you prevent such problems? With transmission service.
Transmission service is the best way to stay on top of the complicated, interconnected system of parts that is your transmission. Often when a problem is pronounced enough for you to notice, it’s been brewing for a while. By bringing your transmission in for regular service and maintenance, you can avoid incurring transmission problems at really inconvenient times. You might also save money and avoid dangerous situations.
You should always bring your vehicle in for transmission service as soon as you can after you notice a problem such as a transmission fluid leak, grinding when shifting gears, or your transmission slipping out of gear. Even when everything seems fine, it could be a good idea to get your transmission serviced just to make sure everything is all right. For a very general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to have your transmission serviced every 15 months or every 25,000 kms.
How Transmission Service Works
At Mister Transmission, we pride ourselves on our Multi-Check Inspection. Our free Multi-Check Inspection is the best transmission service you can get.
To learn more about Mister Transmission’s free Multi-Check Inspection please click here.
To learn more about Mister Transmission’s transmission service, 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...