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!
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.
Next to your vehicle’s engine, there’s no more important component than the transmission. Simply put, the transmission works hand-in-hand with the engine. Gears shift so that the appropriate amount of power is delivered to the wheels to ensure you’re able to drive at a target speed. But transmissions can experience a number of issues, such as gears slipping, rough or delayed shifting, or leaking fluid. Your transmission is often repairable, but at a significant cost. What’s more is that replacing a transmission that’s beyond repair can cost thousands of dollars. The good news is that staying on top of maintenance schedules and paying attention to the way you drive can keep your car’s transmission healthy and running well.
Here’s a look at how to keep it running smoothly:
Adjust Your Driving Behaviors
Simply changing your driving habits can help preserve your transmission for longer. For instance, don’t put your car into drive from reverse – or vice-versa – until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Otherwise, you’re likely putting unnecessary strain on your transmission. Additionally, don’t tailgate other drivers or engage in a driving style where you’re constantly “riding your brakes”. Finally, it can be helpful for your transmission to have time to “warm up” during the winter months before you put your vehicle in gear. If you don’t have a remote car starter, just give it a minute after you start your engine every morning.
Check Your Transmission Fluid
Just as your engine needs oil to operate effectively and efficiently, your transmission relies on a special fluid. But similar to engine oil, this fluid can leak or dirty over time. We’ll get into the importance of transmission flushes in the next section, but it’s worth it to get into the habit of regularly checking transmission fluid levels – especially in older vehicles. Refill as needed and have any leaks repaired immediately.
Have Your Transmission Flushed
A good rule of thumb is to have your vehicle’s transmission flushed once every 30,000 miles, though it’s always best to refer to the owner’s manual for your particular vehicle. Similar to changing your vehicle’s engine oil, flushing the transmission will evacuate any dirty, old or burnt fluid from the system for fresh new fluid. Flushes can simply help extend the life of the vehicle transmission. On top of flushing transmission fluids, replace your filter as well.
Don’t Put Excessive Wear and Tear on the Engine
Aggressive driving, towing and driving on underinflated tires put excessive strain on the engine. These driving patterns result in more wear and tear and poor gas mileage. But these types of behaviors also have a trickle-down effect on the transmission.
Have it Routinely Inspected
In addition to the points that we ticked off above, the best way to maintain the health of your transmission is to make sure that you’re having it checked out when you take your vehicle in for routine repairs or oil changes. A professional can perform a thorough diagnostic check on the component, checking it for leaks, monitoring fluid levels and fluid quality, and looking out for any other issues that may need to be addressed.
Keep Your Car’s Transmission Healthy with Trans Works Transmissions
The best way to keep your car’s transmission healthy is to stay on top of repairs and inspections. You can always rely on our trained professionals when you need basic maintenance, or a transmission repair done.