We've compiled a list of questions related to transmission repair and maintenance.  I hope you find something here you can use.
                                     --Keith

 
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet
bullet

 

How do I check the level of transmission fluid?

Check the owner's manual!  The proper  procedure varies from make to make.  For example, most, but not all, vehicles should be at operating temperature.  I can offer some tips, however.  Be sure to check both sides of the dipstick and repeat the process a few times to ensure accuracy.  If you have just added fluid, you may get different readings because some of the added fluid will have adhered to the tube; for this reason, the lowest reading is the correct one.  Also, after adding fluid, recheck the level after driving a few miles.

Will it hurt to overfill the transmission fluid?

Not really, but because transmission fluid doesn't compress, and air does, severe overfilling may make the fluid become aerated.  This could cause abnormal operation.  

How often should I service my transmission?

This is a great time to open that manual that came with your car!  Be cautioned, however, that you need to read carefully and determine what the manufacturer considers "normal operating conditions".  For the average driver under average conditions, this will be about every 25,000 or 30,000 miles.

Should I "flush" my transmission?

The only time this is a good idea is if you are changing from ordinary fluid to synthetic.  (You may want to do this if you are using the vehicle for heavy loads or for towing.)  Otherwise, replacing the entire volume of fluid is a dangerous operation because of the possibility of contaminating the valve body.  

[Back to Top of Page]

When should I drive in "overdrive"?

We now know that driving in "overdrive" in town does not lead to a greater failure rate.  You may want to avoid "overdrive" when on a highway that has lots of hills.

My transmission is acting up.  What should I do?

Check the fluid!  Low fluid is the primary cause of transmission problems.  If the fluid level is fine, bring the car to me.  Do not change the fluid!  The condition of the fluid contains many clues to help me in diagnosis.  Don't destroy the evidence!

How long should my automatic transmission last?

This really varies greatly, but a ballpark figure is 80, 000 miles.  It is not uncommon to see earlier failures in newly designed transmissions.

What is a transmission rebuild, anyway?

Taking apart the entire transmission, thoroughly cleaning and inspecting each component and replacing those that are not precisely the same shape as  new ones.

[Back to Top of Page]

Should I do the tranny rebuild myself?

If you do, you'll end up bringing it to me, anyway!  Transmission repair is unlike any other type of auto repair and requires not only a vast array of special tools, but also a level of expertise that only comes with a great deal of experience, beginning with working alongside experienced rebuilders.  Rebuilding manuals assume the reader is an experienced tranny person and leave out many important details.  

Can you diagnose over the phone?

Well, yes and no.  I can often tell you the possibilities, but no technician can give you a definitive diagnosis without driving the car first.

Will you replace my automatic tranny with a manual?

No, I won't and I don't recommend having it done at all.  In addition to the labor costs involved in such an endeavour, you would need to buy the standard transmission, the clutch assembly, clutch linkage assembly, and the shifter assembly.  Sell the vehicle and buy the one you really want.

Why won't my transmission upshift when it's cold?

The first thing you need to do is check the fluid level.  Another common cause of this problem is worn internal seals.  Worn internal seals lack elasticity and tend to stick at their "home" position when the car is cold.  Avoid the use of additives formulated to soften these seals; they usually do more harm than good.  The treatment for worn internal seals is a transmission rebuild.

 

[Back to Top of Page]

[Home]