The Basics of Troubleshooting Your Transmission

Unexpected problems arise with your car’s engine the longer you drive it. If taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop immediately is not an option, knowing basic transmission troubleshooting can be an advantage. It is also a way for you to further prevent expensive repairs or replacements in the future.

Before bringing your car to the shop, you can perform automatic transmission troubleshooting as a cost-effective first step. It is essential to identify the root of the problem as it allows you to get it repaired as quickly as possible at the lowest price. You can follow these steps for basic transmission troubleshooting when you encounter issues with your vehicle:

Try To Determine the Problem First

You know your car best, so you will be the first person to notice when something is off. There are several indicators that can help you determine whether your car’s transmission is having problems. If your car seems to be shifting gears more frequently or if it feels sluggish or jerky when you accelerate, this could be a sign that the transmission needs attention. 

Another obvious indication of trouble is an oil leak under your car. Additionally, if you notice a burning smell or notice that the fluid level in the transmission is low, these may also indicate an issue with your transmission.

Check the Transmission Fluid

Most transmission issues are caused by either ineffective fluid or low fluid levels. With this in mind, you must check both the fluid level and condition. A simple dipstick test can help you determine whether or not you need to add more fluid. On the other hand, if your fluid is contaminated, black, or burnt, you may need a complete fluid change.

Check On-Board Diagnostic Codes

If your transmission fluid is not the cause of your problems, checking on board diagnostic codes on your car can be a great way to troubleshoot problems. This uses an OBD2 scanner to analyze information stored by the computer in your car for any potential issues. Overall, checking on board diagnostic codes is a useful tool for anyone who wants to stay on top of their car’s health.

Read a Repair Manual or a Website

If there are no OBD codes that raise concern, the next step is to refer to a repair manual or website for your vehicle’s make and model. They often offer in-depth details about your car and how to fix it. You have to pay extra to access some of these specialized manuals, there are also several websites and mechanical forums that provide free information.

Bring Your Vehicle to a Professional Mechanic

If you still haven’t figured out what is wrong with your automatic transmission, consider a repair shop. This can help prevent further damage as some advanced issues inevitably require professional help. 

Go Beyond Basic Transmission Troubleshooting

Though knowing basic automatic transmission troubleshooting is undoubtedly a useful skill, getting your vehicle immediately repaired should be a priority. The best way to prevent further auto issues is to bring your vehicle to Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI. Contact us today to make an appointment!


Should I Repair or Replace My Transmission?


If your car has been around for a while, it may almost be time to repair or replace the transmission. There are many factors to help determine which route you need to take. For example, how old is your car, and how many miles do you have on it? Have you had a lot of repairs done previously?

Dealing with transmission problems can be expensive, but it’s extremely important to keep your car running and keep you safe. Therefore, you should address any problems with it immediately. To help figure out if you should repair or replace the transmission, here are some things to consider:


Transmission Repair

For some transmission issues, they might be small enough to be an easy fix. Maybe you just need to replace your transmission fluid or repair some leaks. These fixes are quick, and you might be able to even do it yourself. If you’re not comfortable doing it on your own, hire a mechanic to take a look and replace what’s needed. However, a repair may end up costing more in the long run if there are underlying problems. It’s best to check the following before you decide to repair your car’s transmission:

The Age of Your Vehicle

When the transmission is too old, it may be hard to find parts for it. If your car is getting up there in age, it may not be worth repairing. Your mechanic may also charge you more if it is hard to find parts. It may be time to just replace the transmission, or even the whole car. On the other hand, if your car is under any type of warranty, a repair may be covered.

Vehicle Manufacturing Cost

The cost of your car also comes into play when deciding whether to repair or replace the transmission. Some vehicles are more complex, and more expensive to repair than others. If you have a high-end vehicle, parts and labor will be more expensive in both the repair and replacement of the transmission.

Transmission Replacement

Transmission failure is a clear sign that you have to replace a transmission. However, it may not always be that obvious. If you’re experiencing transmission issues, here are some factors that may have you leaning towards a replacement:

Car’s Repair History

If you have been constantly repairing your car, it may be time to just replace the transmission. You may be getting repair after repair and still not fixing the real problem. The number of previous owners may play a role in deciding whether or not to replace your transmission. If there has been a lot of wear and tear on your transmission that you are unaware of, more issues could keep popping up.

Your Transmission’s Mileage

As your transmission accumulates mileage, it starts to wear down. If you’re at or over 100,000 miles, your transmission may be nearing the end of its lifespan. You should get a comprehensive checkup to see if a replacement is necessary.

Ask an Expert Whether You Need to Repair or Replace Your Transmission

Deciding on whether to repair or replace your car’s transmission can be difficult. You have to consider a lot of factors such as the age and make of your car, repair history, and transmission mileage. If you need help determining the best solution, you can reach out to us at Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI. Our specially trained mechanics will address your car’s problems efficiently.



Five Things that Cause Transmission Damage

A car’s transmission is very important, as it is responsible for your vehicle’s movement.  While you can’t prevent regular wear and tear, you can avoid any major damage by taking care of it and avoiding bad driving habits. Additionally, being aware of the things that can damage your transmission will help you save money on transmission repairs. Here are a few things that can damage your transmission:

Neglecting Transmission Fluid

To keep your transmission from causing friction, you’ll need to change your transmission fluid. Your transmission may end up damaging itself without the necessary lubrication. However, the right transmission fluid keeps your car’s transmission from overheating and shutting down.

Accordingly, you’ll want to check your transmission fluid levels from time to time. It also helps to check for leaks, since they can lead to your car breaking down or overheating while driving. 

Using the Wrong Transmission Fluid

Your transmission needs a certain type of fluid to keep it running smoothly. Each kind of transmission fluid has different levels of viscosity and mixes that help the car operate properly. 

Using the wrong transmission fluid can cause problems for your car. For instance, your vehicle may not get the cooling properties it needs, causing it to overheat and shut down. Using the wrong transmission fluid can also affect your transmission’s performance and create friction with your car’s other parts. 

Going Beyond Your Car’s Tow Limit

Even if your vehicle is built to tow, you still need to be careful. It’s best to stick to the indicated weight limits so you can keep your vehicle from overexerting itself. 

Going beyond your vehicle’s tow limit can lead to your car overheating and shutting down. Additionally, it can also accelerate the wear and tear of your transmission. You may need to get it repaired or replaced if that happens.

Shifting Gears Before Stopping

There are moments when you shift from drive to reverse quickly without stopping. While some people think that isn’t much of a problem, it can evolve into a bigger issue. The damage may range from a couple of cracks and scratches on your gears to having parts pop out of place. You’ll need to go to a transmission mechanic to get them fixed or replaced. 

Putting Off Repairs

It’s a common mistake for people to put off transmission repairs for several reasons. You may be too busy to address these issues, while others think issues won’t get worse. However, transmission problems can escalate further if left alone for a long time. They can lead to more costly repairs and even a full replacement depending on the damage.

For that reason, you’ll want to have your vehicle’s transmission checked periodically to make sure it has no issues. You’ll also want to have a professional inspect your car if you notice anything strange or out of place. 

Hire the Right People To Address Your Transmission Repair

Partner with our highly-trained mechanics from Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI to handle your transmission-related issues. Contact us now for more information.



There are many ways you can take care of your car’s transmission. Some car owners get into the nitty-gritty bits of maintenance to practically handle the repairs on their own. Sadly, not all car owners can do the same. Others still prefer a professional auto mechanic to check their vehicles. 

Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways you can maintain your transmission without having to overhaul it completely. The methods below can help car owners prevent transmission-related incidents from happening. 

Don’t Switch Gears Too Quickly 

Your transmission has a lot of mechanisms that work whenever it is being used. These parts need each other to operate efficiently. The last thing you would want is for any of those to get knocked out of place. Such incident usually happens when you change directions too fast while driving. Shifting gears suddenly can cause some parts in your transmission to get displaced. 

To prevent any unnecessary wear and tear to your vehicle, come to a complete stop before changing your gears. Rough transitions might cause your car’s engine to seize up and malfunction. 

Check Your Transmission Fluid Regularly 

Like the oil pan in your car, your transmission fluid also has a dipstick of its own. Make sure that the fluid levels are still good and have no discoloration. The latter is a sign that you need to get your fluid changed. Old or unchanged fluid can significantly damage your transmission system and cost you a lot of money. 

Aside from changing your transmission fluid, you would also want to check if it is leaking from your car. This is easy to notice, and once you do, you should bring your vehicle to professional mechanics. They will be able to patch this up easily and quickly. 

Use Your Hand Break When Parking Inclined 

To avoid causing strain on your transmission system, make sure to engage your hand brake or emergency brake. Doing so helps turn the front wheels to the right or left while ensuring your vehicle doesn’t roll down. On the chance that it does, the slight turn of your front wheels will cause it to get caught in the curb instead of going downhill. 

You should also be careful not to overuse your break in slow-paced traffic. This can add unwanted strain to your engine and transmission system and cause other transmission-related incidents.

Take Note of Your Vehicle’s Maintenance Schedule 

You can actively take care of your vehicle by taking it to the shop for regular maintenance checks. Keep a tab of your schedule to ensure your vehicle gets the necessary check-ups it needs while also preventing any on-road accidents from happening. 

Hire the Right Team To Repair and Rework Your Transmission 

For all of your transmission-related concerns, contact Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI. Our highly trained mechanics will be more than happy to assist in all of your transmission concerns, from partial reworks to full repairs. Get in touch with us for more information.