Some Engine Problems Can Seem Like Transmission Problems

Engine Problem or Transmission Problem? You’re driving down the road, when all of a sudden a light on the dash starts flashing. And now the car barely accelerates; the transmission seems to be starting in high gear and it won’t shift. Oh, no! You’re going to need a new transmission! No, probably not. Those conditions usually indicate a computer system problem, not a transmission failure. The fact is, nearly every system in today’s cars is controlled by computer, and most of those computers are networked together, sharing information as you drive. That level of control makes for really efficient operation and performance. But it also creates a problem: That integration between the control systems means that a problem in one...

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How Do I Know If I Need A New Transmission?

How Do I Know If I Need A New Transmission? Your transmission suddenly isn’t shifting right. So what’s wrong with it? Do you need your transmission rebuilt? Good question. Unfortunately, the answer is: No one knows. At least, not yet. To find out what’s causing your transmission problem, a technician is going to have to perform a series of tests. Basically, these tests are designed to answer the simple question: “Is it inside or outside?” That is, is the problem inside the transmission, or in one of the many control systems that operates the transmission? That’s because there’s a lot more to transmission operation than the transmission itself. Nearly every transmission on the road today is controlled by a computer...

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Transmission Fluid Exchange Service: Yes it’s a Real Service

Transmission Fluid Exchange Service You just took your car in for its regular transmission service. You have the transmission serviced about every two years, because you’d like to avoid having to spend money on a rebuild. The service writer asks, “Would you like a complete fluid exchange service at the same time?” You smile. You know that’s a scam. If it weren’t, it’d be recommended in your owners manual. They’re just looking for a way to charge you more money, right? Not even close. A transmission fluid exchange is more than just a real service: It’s a worthwhile addition to your regular maintenance routine. Here’s why: During the more familiar transmission service, the technician removes the pan and replaces the...

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The Color And Smell of Automatic Transmission fluid

What Your Transmission Fluid Can Tell You There’s a lot you can learn about the condition of your transmission just by examining the fluid. New transmission fluid is usually transparent, and relatively odorless. A few years ago, virtually every transmission fluid was red; technicians would aptly describe a transmission with exceptionally clean fluid as being “cherry.” Today, many manufacturers have begun to stray from the traditional red color. Transmission fluids may be green, yellow, some may even have a bluish tint. But in virtually every case, clean fluid will look clean and smell clean. So checking the fluid’s color and giving it a little sniff is a great indication of whether your transmission is in good shape, or in need...

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