Automatic transmission failure is a common occurrence on many types of vehicles. Several manufactures have unique types of problems when an automatic transmission is failing. For example, Honda 5 speed transmissions usually fail in the same groups of problems such as a broken third gear snap ring, Jaguar 5 speed transmissions go through a lot of transmission solenoid packs, BMW and Mercedes have lifetime fluid, but they are built just like all the other makes so they will eventually slip and need clutches and or electronic parts.
Servicing your automatic transmission is a preventative way to keep your transmission at its optimum life. Most makes will start slipping after a high amount of miles are put on the vehicle. Even with a lifetime fluid, you are better off keeping your fluids changed and preferably with a transmission fluid flush machine that will or like a dialysis machine and remove all of the old automatic transmission fluid and replace it with fresh new automatic transmission fluid. Also replacing the transmission filter when applicable is a very good way to ensure a long lifetime for your makes transmission to last.
When you experience a transmission problem, don’t drive the car while it is messing up. You should have your car towed to the repair shop as soon as you experience an automatic transmission problem. Driving the car with a transmission problem can and will increase the cost of repairing a transmission. Some people think you can just drive home, or just drive 3 mole miles. This can cause more damage to the transmission by damaging steels, pistons, planetary gears, transmission pumps, sprags, differentials, and can put metal shavings through the entire fluid stream of the transmission which can cause electronic parts to fail as well.
When a transmission leaks, it should be repaired promptly. Driving a car with low engine oil will obviously ruin an engine and most people can relate to this. Driving a transmission in need of a leak to be repaired can cause the transmission to fail just the same. A transmission requires fluid to keep clutches applied as well as shifting the transmission. If the fluid is low, the transmission may not shift properly, or it may slip which immediately starts ruining the clutches inside the automatic transmission. Slipping clutches and low fluid can cause a transmission to even overheat and completely ruin the unit.
Using the correct transmission fluid is vital. Audi and Volkswagen’s use their own types of fluids as do BMW, Mini, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Saab, Volvo, Nissan, Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Acura, Honda and even the American cars like Chevrolet, Ford, Hummer, Chrysler and Jeep all have specifications in their fluids that must be used to be compatible with the electronic parts, seals and clutches inside the transmission. If you improperly add the wrong fluid to the transmission, you may shorten the life or immediately ruin the automatic transmission.
Replace or rebuild when a transmission fails? Which should you do. Replace a transmission means go to the dealer and buy a new transmission, or get one from a used parts salvage yard. Rebuild the transmission means to remove your transmission and replace the parts specifically designed to wear out as well as examine the parts that are not supposed to wear out. All of which the transmission re-builder has to have knowledge of how and what to check inside the transmission like a surgeon does. When the transmission is rebuilt, most manufacturers recognize specific problems with their units and require updates to correct their mistakes from the factory. This will help prolong the life of your rebuild transmission and should always be preformed when required. If a transmission is built correctly, it will last as long as a new one.
Transmission computer problems can destroy a transmission. Some vehicles like the Toyota Rav4, Lexus RX300, Jaguar 5 and 6 speed transmissions, Chrysler and GM to just name a few can destroy a transmission by applying two gears at one time which will bind up the transmission and cause a hard part failure. I some cases the manufacturer will recall the computer and require a new computer to be installed and reprogrammed. In other cases, you will find out when the transmission re-builder disassembles the transmission and he realizes the unit binded up. If the computer is not replaced in these cases the transmission will fail just the same as it did. Unfortunately, there is no machine that can tell these types of problems, only experience can. The actual circuits inside the transmission fail and even though the computer is trying to shift, the circuits will do something else.
Taking your transmission repair and or service to a quality shop should be a priority. Guy’s Automotive in Tampa Florida has been doing auto repair, mechanic work, transmission repair, and even body work for over 15 years.
By Guy’s Automotive
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