Having transmission problems in your vehicle can be frustrating and costly. Most of us don’t have a good idea how an automatic transmission works or have the tools to remove and repair it if it breaks. This means if you are having transmission problems you are at the mercy of your mechanic. The reality is your transmission is a specialty part that works entirely different than any other device in your car. So just because your mechanic can change your oil and brakes doesn’t necessarily mean he can replace or rebuild your transmission. Make sure you are getting a qualified opinion from a transmission specialist.
Automatic transmission technology has gotten significantly better over the years, but for the most part your transmission is going to be the weak link in your drive train. This means that your engine, differential and axles will usually outlast your transmission. The best thing you can do to keep your transmission going strong for miles to come is to change your transmission fluid at the factory recommended intervals and use the appropriate transmission fluids. Fresh fluid helps things work properly, stay lubricated and wear more slowly in your transmission. Also making sure you have the proper fluid level in your transmission can keep it operating at the proper temperature and pressures. If you discover your transmission fluid level is dropping, you likely have a leak and should seal it using BlueDevil Transmission Sealer available here.
Here, it is important to bring up a rumor about changing your transmission fluid in an older car. In some cases, if your transmission is overdue for a fluid change, many mechanics will recommend you do not perform a transmission fluid change or flush. The reason for this seemingly counter-intuitive advice is that, over time, the old transmission fluid will deposit sludge and gunk in the passages of your transmission, around the pump, or near the seals. In some cases performing a fluid change or flush can remove this sludge and reveal leaks, worn components, change the operating pressures or other uncover other problems and cause the transmission to stop working as you expect with the new fluid. If your transmission is in this bad of shape, it is worth starting to plan on having it replaced or repaired.
If you are confident your transmission fluid is the right type, clean, and at the proper level, and you are still having transmission problems, it can be very difficult to diagnose what the problem is. Often problems come in the form of a hard or weak shift in between gears. In the end, even if you can diagnose the problem to be with a particular gear, servo or valve in the transmission, you still probably won’t be able to repair that part without removing the entire transmission. Since transmissions are often hard to get to, require the removal of a lot of other components and are heavy and cumbersome, the labor costs simply to remove them are very high. Because of the high labor costs to remove them, it often can be more economical to have the transmission completely rebuilt or replaced even if there is only a small or single problem with it once it is removed to avoid having to pay for removal again in the near future if there is another failure.
If you are having automatic transmission problems besides a fluid leak, we recommend having the work done by a transmission specialist to ensure you are getting high quality work done that you can trust. This will keep you from having to return in the future, or from being left stranded. Even though transmission rebuilds or replacement can be expensive, having a good working transmission in your vehicle can give you great peace of mind, and gives your car a significant boost in resale value.
Pictures provided by: www.cameros.net and www.shiftworks.com