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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Transmission Problems Caused by Battery Terminal Corrosion

Car Batteries and Your Transmission Every so often you notice it: The transmission shifts a little late, or maybe it seems to miss a gear entirely. Then it’s okay again… for a little while. Worst of all, there’s no rhyme or reason behind the condition. One minute it’s fine, the next it’s not. So you pop the hood and you notice it: A big mountain of corrosion on the battery terminals. You’ll have to take care of that, but it can’t have anything to do with the transmission, right? Wrong. In fact, there’s a good chance you just found your transmission problem. That’s because nearly every shift on today’s transmissions is operated electrically through a computer system. And that computer...

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Winter Hazards and Your Transmission

Winter Conditions and Your Transmission Winter conditions vary geographically, but there are a few conditions that are common to most of the US and Canada during the winter months. How you deal with those conditions can have a dramatic effect on your transmission. Cold Temperatures — For a good part of the Northern Hemisphere, winter means cold weather. As temperatures drop, fluids thicken, reducing their ability to lubricate. In most of the US, you can deal with this simply by driving slowly for the first few miles, until your engine and transmission reach normal operating temperature. Avoid letting your car idle for extended periods. Sure, the passenger compartment will be nice and toasty by the time you get ready to go,...

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