Some transmission repairs are inevitable; if you own your vehicle for long enough, eventually you are almost certain to need a transmission repair. But knowing the most common transmission repairs will help you care for your transmission better.
Most transmission repairs are not lengthy, complicated, and expensive ordeals. But some are. You want to avoid those repairs as much as possible and your key tool to that end is transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is used in all automatic transmissions and in some manual transmissions (other manual transmissions use a similar liquid known as “transmission oil”). Lacking sufficient transmission fluid can cause a number of problems.
Always listen to your transmission. We don’t mean this in a spiritual sense; literally listen to it. If you hear whining, whirring, humming, or any other noises that are not typical of your vehicle, you should check your transmission fluid. The same is true (even more so) if you smell burning. If your transmission fluid levels are low, top them up. But don’t just top it up; check your fluid. Transmission fluid should be largely clear with a reddish hue. Opaque or foul-smelling transmission fluid is indicative of a larger problem. You should check your fluid every month but if you find yourself having to top it up monthly, you likely have a leak.
If you’re topping up your transmission fluid every month or you notice patches of fluid underneath your vehicle after you’ve parked, you need a re-seal repair. The complexity of a re-seal job is entirely connected to where the leak is. If the leak can easily be identified while the transmission remains in the chassis, then a re-seal job is relatively easy and inexpensive. However, if the leak is difficult to find, or if the entire transmission needs to be re-sealed, then it must be removed from the vehicle and this is a much more laborious and therefore more expensive process.
A transmission is actually a series of different components working in concert. Sometimes these individual parts must be replaced. Friction surfaces such as bands and clutches are some of the most common replacements. Torque converters are a common problem part, too. Anything that can be replaced with the transmission in-car is relatively simple, but again, once the transmission comes out, it’s a more involved chore. While comparatively rare, sufficiently damaged transmissions require a complete transmission overhaul.
To learn more about transmission repairs, please contact us.