Your car's transmission can potentially last the lifetime of your vehicle

4 septembre 2019

Your car's transmission can potentially last the lifetime of your vehicle. A lot depends on your driving habits and whether you keep the fluid levels replenished, as needed. Even then, things can go wrong. You might notice problems as the assembly tries to shift; it may have difficulty finding the right gears. You might hear a high-pitched whine while driving. You may also feel a lurching motion as your tranny shifts. All of these are warning signs that something is wrong with the assembly. The challenge is finding the problem.

Below, I'll explain why diagnosing transmission issues is challenging, even for specialists. I'll also describe a couple of problems that can cause your tranny to act strangely.

Diagnostic Codes And The Path To Resolution

Automatics are nearly always more difficult to diagnose than manual trannys. Older automatic assemblies are especially problematic because they do not produce diagnostic codes. If you own an older vehicle and your transmission begins to behave oddly, the mechanic will be forced to start from scratch when identifying the issue. Unless he is very experienced, he will basically be flying blind.

Newer cars are equipped with electronic assemblies. That means they'll produce one or more fault codes that will give the mechanic hints regarding the root cause of any problem you're experiencing. But, even after identifying the issue, addressing it may not be easy.

One of the reasons most repair garages turn away transmission issues is because it is an extremely complex assembly. Aside from minor leaks, they'll usually outsource the job to a specialist. What's more, if there are several individual components that are either failing or about to do so, the specialist will often recommend replacing the entire tranny. The reason is due to the level of work involved with repairing or replacing parts. Some components require that the tranny be disassembled.

Large Leaks

Small leaks rarely pose an immediate problem. They're relatively easy to identify by looking underneath your car, directly below your transmission. If you see a reddish fluid, it may either be fluid from the assembly or from your power steering. You can check your tranny's fluid level to verify or invalidate the leak. If one exists, you might be able to postpone repairs by keeping the fluid level replenished.

The problem with small leaks is that they turn into big leaks. When that happens, keeping the fluid level replenished becomes far more difficult. As the leakages continue to worsen, your transmission will become increasingly exposed to low fluid levels. Eventually, you'll notice slippage, a rough shift, and even long delays before the assembly can find the right gears.

When The Culprit Is The Torque Converter

Sometimes, the torque converter is the culprit rather than the transmission. There are needle bearings in this component that can suffer wear and tear. When they become severely worn, they can generate a whine-like noise similar to the one produced by a malfunctioning tranny.

Torque converter problems can actually cause your engine to overheat in some circumstances. They have a clutch that might lock up, preventing fluid from circulating within. That can lead to a loss of power and even transmission failure if the locked clutch causes the fluid to overheat. The best option at that point is to replace the component.

There are three main influences on the life of your vehicle's transmission: regular maintenance, keeping the fluid level replenished, and your driving habits. All three are simple to address. Maintenance items should be performed according to the recommended intervals listed in your owner's manual. Keeping the fluid level replenished is as simple as checking the level every three or four weeks. Your driving habits are entirely in your control. Given that replacing the transmission with a rebuilt assembly can cost thousands of dollars, it's worth caring for it air coupling Manufacturers properly.

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