Transmission systems are among your car’s most complex systems and transmission work should be trusted to professionals who have up-to-date training and experience. When you need repairs to your transmission in the Alberta area, Vancouver, or other BC cities such as New Westminster and North Vancouver, the transmission specialists are at your neighbourhood Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres.
Automatic Transmission Fluid Replacement
As essential to your transmission system as blood is to your body, the automatic transmission fluid is appropriately bright red in colour. The fluid is not only the hydraulic fluid, by which the transmission functions, but also the lubricant, sealant and cleansing agent for the transmission system. Should you see a puddle of this fluid on your driveway or garage floor, bring your vehicle to your nearest Minit-Tune & Brake to find and repair the source of the leak and replace the fluid.
If the puddle is black and gives off a burnt odour, your Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre mechanic will flush the system, change the automatic transmission fluid and check for any components that may need repair.
Symptoms of Transmission Problems
In addition to puddles of fluid, you should be alert to other unusual symptoms while you drive, such as:
- Shaking or jerking motions
- Check engine light is on
- Burning odour from overheated transmission fluid
- Delay or hesitation when you change gear
- Unusual noises which may vary depending on the make of the vehicle
- Noises when the car is in neutral
- Car seems to shift gear or changes to neutral by itself
Transmission problems should never be ignored. Many repairs, such as replacing automatic transmission fluid or sealing a leak, can be done quickly and at little expense at your Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres. Whether you need routine inspection and service of your transmission systems or you need transmission work in Vancouver (or anywhere across BC and Alberta), there’s a Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre near you for reliable auto maintenance and repairs.
Simply put, transmission fluid is your transmission’s life-blood. It keeps your transmission running smoothly, reducing friction and heat, and enables your car to shift seamlessly between gears. It also prolongs the life of your transmission system because its lubricating effect keeps all internal parts fresh and intact.
Unlike motor oil exchange requirements, your transmission fluid does not need to be changed as often. Depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle, as well as whether it is equipped with an automatic or manual transmission, the general recommendation is that you have a transmission fluid exchange every 2 or 3 years. Of course, general recommendations are simply guidelines so, if you’re concerned about the state of your current transmission fluid, bring your car to the nearest Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre location, and we’ll provide a thorough inspection.
This gets a little tricky, as there are very few obvious tell-tale signs of transmission fluid problems – that is, until it’s too late and your transmission breaks down. However, here are a couple of hints, based on transmission type, that could give you an idea of something wrong:
- Automatic Transmission: If you notice that your normally smooth ride gets choppy when your gears shift, or the amount of time between gear shifts increases, it may be an indication that your fluid is no longer effectively coating your system.
- Manual Transmission: Red flags for manual vehicles include clunking sounds, or waiting for your transmission to catch, among others. Unfortunately, by the time these symptoms appear, damage to your system may have already occurred, which highlights the importance of having your fluid checked periodically.
There are a few other things to look out for as well, such as colour, smell, and fluid levels. If, when checking your fluid, you notice that it looks cloudy or brown, or even has a slight burnt odour, you should probably bring your car in for a transmission fluid exchange. The most obvious red flag would appear as low fluid levels. If your level is low, the transmission fluid cannot perform optimally.
A transmission fluid exchange consists of a set of steps performed to clean and revitalize your transmission system, including:
- Draining of old transmission fluid
- Refilling your transmission fluid system with brand-new, high-quality fluid that meets the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) specification
- Replacing the transmission filter, if required
Some experts believe that it’s not a very good idea to exchange transmission fluid on an older car that seems to be running smoothly because the belief is that old deposits are actually “holding things together”; while others feel that new fluid, with fresh additives, will return an older vehicle’s transmission to its original optimally operational state.
Personally, our opinion is that, since it costs much less to exchange your transmission fluid than it does to rebuild or replace an entire transmission system, you should get your transmission and fluid serviced on a regular basis, according to recommendations in your owner’s manual – it will save you loads of money in the long run.