Transmission Service: Is Every Shop The Same?

Transmission Service: Is Every Shop the Same? If you look through any newspaper, you’ve probably seen ads from your local quick lube center or convenience store offering transmission fluid exchange services. And in many cases, these stores offer to service your transmission for much less than a transmission repair shop will. So is there any reason you should take your car to a transmission shop for service? Yes, there is. In fact, there are a few. Probably the most important reason to take your car to a transmission shop for service is because a service is supposed to be more than simply draining the oil. Service time is when little problems are supposed be found and fixed… before they become...

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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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ATF Fluid: What Type Is Right For My Car?

What Type of Fluid is Right for My Car? Automatic transmissions use a special type of oil, called Automatic Transmission Fluid, or ATF. This fluid has a number of duties in the transmission, including lubrication, cooling, and clutch application. ATF even provides the connection between the engine and transmission, through a hydraulic coupling called a torque converter. And, when squeezed between the clutches, ATF acts as a “glue,” providing additional friction and holding capacity to drive the vehicle. So ATF is a very versatile fluid. That’s why maintaining that fluid can be so critical to transmission life. Several years ago there were only two types of fluid on the market: Type A and Type F. Conventional wisdom said that Type...

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Do ATF Additives Really Work?

Do ATF Additives Really Work? As you stroll along the isles of your local auto parts store, you’ll probably stumble across a section dedicated to automatic transmission fluid additives. The labels on these additives offer promises that range from simply making your transmission last longer, all the way up to a rebuild in a can. The question is: Do these additives really work? In most cases, unfortunately, the answer is no. In general, the additives that you’ll find on the shelves of a consumer-oriented parts store won’t really deliver on their extravagant promises. So what do these additives do? In general, they soften and swell the seals in your transmission. Over time, the seals inside an automatic transmission can become...

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