AUTO TRANSMISSION SERVICES
A transmission system in which the gears are operated by the driver by means of a stick shift and clutch pedal. Manual transmissions are generally preferred for high-performance driving, or as a lower-cost alternative to more expensive automatic transmissions. They are also simpler, and less costly to repair as well.
The modern automatic transmission consists of many components and systems that are designed to work together in a symphony of clever mechanical, hydraulic and electrical technology that has evolved over the years into what many mechanically inclined individuals consider to be an art form. We try to use simple, generic explanations where possible to describe these systems but, due to the complexity of some of these components, you may have to use some mental gymnastics to visualize their operation.
The main components that make up an automatic transmission include:
- Planetary Gear Sets which are the mechanical systems that provide the various forward gear ratios as well as reverse.
- The Hydraulic System which uses a special transmission fluid sent under pressure by an Oil Pump through the Valve Body to control the Clutches and the Bands in order to control the planetary gear sets.
- Seals and Gaskets are used to keep the oil where it is supposed to be and prevent it from leaking out.
- The Torque Converter which acts like a clutch to allow the vehicle to come to a stop in gear while the engine is still running.
- The Governor and the Modulator or Throttle Cable that monitor speed and throttle position in order to determine when to shift.
- On newer vehicles, shift points are controlled by Computer which directs electrical solenoids to shift oil flow to the appropriate component at the right instant.
- Manual transmission suffer from wear mainly in the synchronizers. The synchronizers make shifting easier and help to prevent gear clash. Over time the synchronizers, which are made of brass, can wear out causing hard shifting and grinding.
- Automatic transmissions can also wear out, causing slipping and uneven shifting patterns.
- Universal joints can wear and cause vibrations while driving. Many newer universal joints are sealed and can not be lubricated, leaving replacement as the only option.
- Change the fluid in your transmission at recommended intervals. Your owners manual will give you a time schedule in miles and or months. If you tow a boat or trailer be prepared to change the fluid even sooner. Most owners manuals will give you recommend intervals for severe use like towing or off-road use.
- Do not “ride” the clutch if you have a manual transmission. Learn to release the clutch in a smooth motion without revving the engine too much. Revving the engine too much while pulling out can cause premature wear on the clutch.
- If you do tow a boat or trailer, consider getting a transmission cooler for your automatic transmission. Temperatures can approach the boiling point in severe conditions. Most newer trucks come equipped with transmission coolers if sold with a towing package.
- Make sure your universal joint are lubricated at oil changes if they are the type which can be lubricated. When replacing universal joints try to find replacements with lubrication fittings so you can lubricate in the future.
- If you have a front wheel drive car, avoid applying the gas to the floor while the wheels are turned at full lock. This puts stress on the universals and can cause premature failure. This can happen when stuck in the snow and trying to get out.
If you are noticing a vibration in the car while driving, make sure to describe when it happens. While accelerating?; braking?; Maintaining speed?; When turning? It is time to head over to AME and get you transmission and drivetrain inspected for:
- Transmission fluid
- Cleaning and/or replacement of filter
- Plus adjustments as necessary