Keeping your transmission in tip-top shape calls for computer-savvy technicians and advanced transmission scan tools
When the first semi-automatic transmissions were introduced in select vehicle models in the late 1930s, few motorists could’ve known they were witnesses to the start of an evolution in how transmissions are built. More than 70 years later, the transmissions in our vehicles today are complex machines that are an intricate blend of mechanics, hydraulics, and electronics. Inspecting, maintaining, and repairing them requires the use of sophisticated transmission diagnostic tools by a professional trained in the use of high-tech systems as well as mechanical know-how.
Regardless of the domestic or imported vehicle you drive its transmission system is governed by an onboard computer. When something goes awry with your transmission – or if you suspect something is wrong – repair technicians rely on high-tech diagnostic tools to determine what may be wrong with it.
The mechanical components of a transmission still exist. However, each one is managed and monitored by the onboard computer. Conceivably, that makes transmission maintenance and service more complex in nature. In fact, it’s more beneficial for both car owners and automotive technicians: modern, computer-controlled transmissions provide drivers with more control of their vehicles, and it eases repair technicians’ diagnostic and service processes.
The computer running the transmission system sends and receives information about the transmission’s performance and operation. Technicians, using digital scanning tools, decipher that information to determine what the cause is of any potential transmission problem.
If your vehicle’s transmission system is experiencing an issue, it will log what’s known as an error fault code in the car’s onboard computer. If there your car does have a malfunctioning transmission, the technician’s scan tool will receive that error code, which will identify there is a problem. However – and this is where traditional automotive repair smarts and experience come into play – the technician will need to make a comprehensive assessment of the transmission system to figure out what is going wrong.
The good news is, knowledge is power. Once your repair technician has identified what’s impacting your transmission, they can correct it quickly, and get you and your vehicle back on the road.
And remember: the best way you can avoid a transmission failure is by ensuring preventative maintenance is performed regularly on your vehicle by a knowledgeable professional.