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!
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:
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 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.
The transmission is one of the most vital components of any vehicle. An auto transmission can be tricky to maintain since it’s not treated as one part but as a network of interlocking components. It’s the same reason why transmissions can be expensive to purchase or repair.
For some, it seems that incorporating used transmissions is a viable alternative to getting a brand new one. However, there are a couple of risks that you will need to be aware of should you ever consider a secondhand transmission. Below are a few of the dangers that go with incorporating used transmission systems into your vehicle.
Potential Mechanical Problems
Used transmission systems do not function at the same level as new ones. There’s a lot of mechanical slack in them, and they generally don’t perform as smoothly. Some used transmissions tend to experience trouble on the road where the gears don’t shift, and the car suddenly stops moving. Random car breakdowns can be a hassle, especially if you’re far away from repair shops.
Lack of Information on the Transmission System
Some secondhand transmission systems tend to be pieces straight from a junkyard. Whoever sells a used transmission might not even know where the equipment has been and what kind of damages it has sustained. However, some sellers will be nice enough to test the transmission system if it still works. That may be a good sign to some but can still be risky.
It’s also impossible to tell how many miles are left in a used transmission. Used transmissions tend to be short-term solutions instead of getting a new unit that can benefit you better in the long run. A new one can be more expensive, but it’s safer. Getting your transmission remanufactured is another viable solution as well.
Residue From Old Transmission Fluid
Old transmission systems tend to have residual fluid on them. The residue can be dangerous and lead to different kinds of accidents. The fluid can end up combusting and injuring whoever is in the vehicle. This can also affect the other parts of the car and impair its overall performance, making repairs even more costly than they should be.
A Short Warranty
If you do take a chance on incorporating a used transmission system into your vehicle, there’s a chance that you might not get a warranty. If you do get one, it’ll only be for a short period. Some of these short warranties will only last for a few months – 12 months at best. However, this might not even be enough to cover for all of the technical difficulties that could come up.
Keep in mind that used transmission systems tend to be inactive for a long time. That usually causes some form of aging in the transmission, which will eventually affect the other components of the vehicle.
Hire a Reliable Team for Your Transmission Concerns
For excellent auto transmission services, hire our expert mechanics at Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI. We’ll cover everything you need for all your transmission-related concerns, from cars, light trucks, trucks, and even motorhomes. Contact us now for more information.
Being able to do vehicle repairs is quite a handy skill when the situation calls for it. However, whether you should be the one attempting to fix your car should depend on a few factors. Some of these include the severity of the damage to your vehicle and the equipment you need, just to name a few. From these, you can determine if you need a professional mechanic to help or if you can manage the repairs on your own.
Among the parts of a vehicle, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the transmission because a car is unusable without it. Essentially, this complex piece of machinery gives your vehicle the ability to move. While some car owners can fix this component well on their own, there are a few points to consider as to why you need a professional mechanic to help you repair and maintain it.
Professional Mechanics Deal With the Complexity of the Repairs
While it sounds like a single component, the transmission is actually a network of interlocking parts. Each can experience troubles of its own and be difficult to manage without a mechanic. It takes more than just a good eye for car troubles to fix the transmission. You’ll need equipment that can determine the exact issue and solve it quickly.
Professionals mechanics usually have computer programs and other tools that allow them to diagnose the transmission trouble immediately. This step alone can save you hours of trying to investigate what the trouble might be on your own.
They Save Time for the Vehicle Owner
Mechanics aren’t only trained to solve the technical difficulties they’re presented with – they also do it quickly. One problem with handling transmission repairs on your own is that it can take a copious amount of time to get them done. Having a professional work on your vehicle’s transmission will definitely speed up the repairs.
Hiring a mechanic also means that you don’t have to get your hands dirty. It takes the more complex part of the problem away from you, allowing you to sit back and have your hired mechanic handle everything.
They Provide Warranties for the Vehicle Owner
Transmission repairs have two warranties: one for the car and another for the repairs done by the mechanic. Your car will be covered by the first warranty so long as a mechanic is doing the repairs.
The second warranty is given by your chosen mechanic to ensure adequate repairs and to cover for any damage sustained during the procedure. This helps customers save money and keeps them from spending too much on transmission repairs.
They Take Away the Stress of Doing the Repairs Alone
The stress from having transmission trouble and it’s downstream impact to your ability to get where you need to go can be overwhelming. However, this stress can be reduced by having a mechanic work for you from the very beginning. This guarantees that the repairs will be done quickly and thoroughly and that every penny spent will be well-spent.
Hire the Right Team to Repair and Maintain Your Transmission
To ensure quality and thorough service for your vehicle’s transmission, hire experienced mechanics from Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI. We have everything you need for all your transmission-related concerns. We cover cars, light trucks, trucks, and even motorhomes. You can trust our team to get the job done right.
To make sure your vehicle always performs in top condition, it’s imperative to check on every single component regularly. One important part of your vehicle that needs extra attention is the transmission. However, many car owners make common mistakes that affect its service life, resulting in premature failure.
Here are some things you should avoid to keep your transmission in great shape:
Neglecting Your Transmission Fluid
An automatic transmission requires fluid to lubricate its many parts, cool itself from heat, and provide hydraulic fluid pressure. If the fluid is insufficient, your transmission will have to work harder to compensate, leading to overheating. To prevent this, regularly check your fluid levels. If they’re low, there’s a possibility that you have a leak that needs to be fixed immediately.
In addition to fluid levels, also pay attention to its color. Normal fluid should be clear and pink in color. If it’s deep red or brown, this means it’s old and should be changed.
Using the Wrong Type of Fluid
There is a common misconception that all transmission fluids are the same. However, some transmissions need specific types to perform in top condition. Each fluid has a different level of viscosity and additives that serve the component. Get help from experts to make sure you’re using the right fluid for your transmission.
Ignoring Issues Until It’s Too Late
If your transmission has been showing problems, such as strange noises when you’re changing gears or dark fluids staining your driveway, you shouldn’t ignore them. Seek the help of professional technicians immediately to get it checked and fixed. Driving your vehicle despite these red flags can put you at risk.
Driving Too Hard Immediately
When the weather is too cold, the viscosity of your transmission fluid becomes thicker, which will make lubricating parts more difficult. It can lead to slipping, shifting problems, and more. To give your transmission a chance to warm up, turn on your engine for at least than 30 seconds before driving.
Not Going for a Transmission Service
One of the best ways to keep your transmission in top condition is to have it serviced by professionals periodically. If you miss routine check-ups for your car, dirt and contaminants will build up and cause your transmission to work slower. This results in problems over time.
Experts recommend getting your transmission serviced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Depending on driving conditions and how often you use your car, this is equivalent to 2 to 5 years. Having professionals check your vehicle regularly also prevents costly repairs in the future.
Turn to Us for All Your Transmission Needs
Is your vehicle’s transmission not working right? Then bring your car to us at Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI. You can rely on us to provide top-selling certified transmission units and have them installed by experienced specialists. We use state-of-the-art tools for our services, from transmission repairs to full rebuilds. Call us today.
Your car’s transmission is vital as it transfers power from the engine to the wheels. A poorly maintained car transmission relieves your car’s engine power to move or speed up. Your car revs without getting the expected response when you step on the gas. The transmission fluid allows the gears in the gearbox to shift smoothly without any audible grinding noise or tear. It is, therefore, necessary to identify transmission leaks and have them quickly repaired.
How to Identify a Transmission Leak?
A simple method of identifying a transmission fluid leak is to check beneath your car or on your driveway or garage for any dark spots or red liquid spills. Driving with a transmission fluid leak is not dangerous. However, in time the fluid leakage will cause damage to your car resulting in costly part repairs or replacement of the entire transmission system. It, therefore, is advisable to visit your local mechanic as quickly as possible to check out your vehicle. What type of leaks will you or your mechanic identify?
Types of Transmission Leaks
Transmission leaks are rooted in different parts of the transmission. The leaks source can be from: –
1. Cracked Transmission Pan Leaks
A transmission pan located beneath your car holds the necessary transmission fluid. Your car’s aluminum transmission pan can be damaged by road debris or the pan hitting a hard object like a rock as you drive. For example, a low-wheel vehicle on a rough or rocky road will not have enough clearance to avoid large rocks and thus can easily damage its transmission pan. The crack or puncture in the transmission pan will cause leakage of the transmission fluid.
2. Worn Out Transmission Pan Gasket Leaks
A Pan Gasket leak is one of the most common fluid leaks due to worn-out or loose pan bolts. The transmission pan gasket gets exposed to enormous heat and eventually can crack thus, allowing transmission fluid to leak. Additionally, the pan gaskets can leak if they were not correctly aligned or tightened during installation.
3. Cracked Transmission Cooling Lines Leaks
Transmission cooling lines transfer transmission fluid to and from the car’s transmission to a cooling chamber usually located inside a radiator. The transmission cooling lines made of rubber, steel, metal or a combination of both are located beneath the car and are susceptible to damage due to road debris or wear and tear over time. Once damaged, they need replacement to stop the leakage of transmission fluid.
4. Torque Converter Issues
A torque converter is a device located between the engine and the automatic transmission. It works together with the car’s transmission to transfer engine power to the rear wheels of an automatic car. It also pumps oil throughout the car’s transmission system. If there is a crack on the torque converter’s body or an issue with its needle bearing, the transmission fluid will leak out.
With everything considered, when you notice a transmission leak, it is not a simple matter of adding more fluid to your transmission. The more you delay having your leak fixed by a professional mechanic, the more costly the vehicle repairs.
Picture the scene: You are reversing out of your driveway, you put your car in gear to drive away, and all of a sudden, you hear the dreaded ‘loud clicking’ sound before your engine sounds normal again. Yes, that sound is coming from your transmission. If you continue running your car on a damaged car transmission, the cost of replacing the car transmission or building one can be quite expensive. The costs could range from $1200 to $5000, depending on the type of fix your transmission needs.
Your car’s transmission is a very delicate component that needs attention to function effectively. It is very wise to properly maintain your transmission when you notice minor issues with it. The English proverb, ‘Prevention is better than the cure’ does come to mind.
So, with this in mind, what are five main causes of transmission failure that proper maintenance could prevent?
- Lack of Maintenance
It is that simple. Every car has a manufacturer’s guide on maintaining the car’s engine, transmission, fluid, and filters at the recommended time and mileage. The secret of having your car transmission out-lasting your car’s lifespan is having the correct car maintenance knowledge and putting it into practice. Having your car’s transmission routinely checked on schedule will prevent unnoticed transmission failures and protect against serious problems.
- Transmission Fluid Leak
Have you noticed any red liquid puddles under your car? If so, it indicates that your car’s transmission is leaking from one of your cooler lines, a gasket, or a seal. Fluid leaks depriving your transmission of the much-needed fluid, which eventually will cause damage to your car due to overheating. Therefore, it is not advisable to add more transmission fluid to repair the problem. The problem will only get much worse and more expensive. Thus, it is crucial to get your transmission fluid leaks fixed quickly.
- Transmission fluid contamination
Does your car delay moving for a few seconds after shifting gears into drive or reverse? It is one of the first signs that your transmission fluid is contaminated. With time materials in the transmission system wear out and flow into the transmission fluid and contaminate it. The transmission fluid color changes from red to brown or yellow. Having routine car service where your transmission fluid is changed is advisable.
- Clogged Transmission Fluid Filters
Transmission filters relate to transmission fluid contamination as they act as guards for the transmission. When these filters clog, they cannot filter out debris and prevent the fluid from cooling and lubricating the car’s transmission. In time, this causes the car’s transmission to overheat or completely fail. Having your filters checked will prevent damage to the car’s transmission.
- Worn Clutches
Have you observed that when you shift gears and accelerate, the engine only revs up without moving any faster? It is one sign that your clutches are worn. Clutches shift gears while driving, transferring the power of an engine to the transmission. When they fail to do so, it’s vital to have worn-out Clutches changed to prevent total damage to the car’s transmission.
As a rule, you should replace the clutch in a manual car every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. However, if you don’t treat your car right, you can end up wearing it out a lot sooner. You may unconsciously have a number of bad habits that are harmful to your car’s clutch. Here are a few habits to avoid.
Putting the Car in Gear While Stopped –
When you’re at a stoplight, or otherwise not moving for at least the next 20 seconds or so, then your car should be in Neutral. Leaving it in gear, or putting it in gear too soon (before the light turns green) will cause damage. Whenever you come to a stoplight, put the car in Neutral and take your foot off the clutch pedal until it turns green.
Riding or Slipping the Clutch –
The only time the clutch pedal should be pressed is as you’re shifting gears. Don’t leave your foot on the pedal in anticipation of your next shift. That includes while you’re driving, as well as while you’re stopped and in neutral. It’s easy to let your foot stay on the pedal without even thinking about it, or to drive with the clutch sort of half pressed. This is called riding the clutch, and it causes damage over time. Some people also leave the pedal half pressed between shifts deliberately, in an attempt to go faster. Not only does this not actually work to build speed, it causes overheating. To save your clutch, be aware of where your foot is and when you are and aren’t shifting gears, and only press the clutch when you need to.
Leaving Your Hand on the Gear Shift –
Just like leaving your foot idly on the clutch, it’s easy to leave your hand idly on the gear shift while driving, in anticipation of the next gear. Doing this results in undue pressure, which can keep the rotating collar from rotating and cause significant damage.
Clutch Balancing –
When you’re driving up a hill or incline, your car needs an extra boost of power to keep it moving forward. The clutch gives it more power, so the temptation is, when driving uphill, to use the clutch, in combination with the accelerator. This WILL give the car more power. It will also cause the clutch to slip and overheat. When driving on a hill, use the break, not the clutch.
Shifting Gears Too Fast of Too Slowly –
Some drivers, particularly ones inexperienced with a manual transmission, will shift gears very slowly. This will cause many of the problems listed above that come with lingering on the pedal when you shouldn’t, such as overheating and other damage. Likewise, you shouldn’t release the clutch too quickly. This gives your car a jerky motion as it moves, and can also cause stalling, both of which will damage both the engine and the transmission over time. It should always be a smooth, fluid transition from one gear to the next. Look for the clutch’s bite point, when the two plates meet. Right at the bite point, the engine’s sound will change, and the front of the car will lift up a tiny bit. With practice, you’ll be able to hear and feel the bite point of your car easily, which will help you make smoother, more fluid gear shifts.
Taking care of your clutch and breaking your bad habits is important. Not only will it help your clutch last longer, it will give you a better, smoother driving experience overall. And when you do finally need to replace your clutch, you can call us, to make sure the job is done right.
Contact us to learn more!