• What is Downshifting?

    changing gear

    If you are learning to operate a manual transmission, there are some techniques you need to familiarize yourself with. Upshifting is important for accelerating, but downshifting is equally important for slowing down and preventing your vehicle from stalling. Whenever you let off the gas or apply the brake but do not bring your vehicle to a complete stop, you will need to downshift to match the engine’s RPM and speed.

    When learning to drive a stick shift, you will undoubtedly put a lot of wear and tear on your clutch. Fortunately, Superior Transmission is here to keep your manual transmission in tip-top shape. Visit our website to learn why we are the premier transmission maintenance and repair shop in Washington D.C., or call us at (301) 358-6288 to schedule a service appointment for your vehicle.

  • Checking Your Transmission Fluid

    Transmission fluid cools and lubricates a vehicle’s transmission. In some cars, it also provides the pressure that is necessary in order for the transmission to change gears. To learn how to check your vehicle’s transmission, watch this brief video clip.

    In order to determine whether or not your car has ample transmission fluid, the engine must be turned on. For safety purposes, your vehicle should be idling in park. Aside from ensuring that these two conditions are met, checking your transmission fluid is a matter of reading the transmission dipstick for fluid levels and assessing whether the fluid is dirty.

    Refer to your owner’s manual to determine how often you should change out your transmission fluid, but check it more frequently than that so that you can detect leaks should they occur. If you are experiencing transmission problems and do not believe that low transmission fluid levels or dirty fluid are to blame, call Superior Transmissions at (301) 358-6288. We proudly serve the greater Washington, D.C. area, and can service or repair both manual and automatic transmissions.

  • Understanding How Manual Transmissions Work

    The assemblage of parts that enables a car to change gears and transmit power from the engine to a live wheel axle, the transmission is one of the most important parts of any vehicle. While all vehicle transmissions serve the same basic functions, manual transmissions work a bit differently than automatic and continuously variable transmissions (CVT) because they require more driver engagement. To get a feel for how manual transmissions work, take a look at the answers to some frequently asked questions about manual transmissions below.

    Automatic gear close-up

    What Happens When I Change Gears?
    When you move from first gear to second or from fourth to third, the transmission increases or decreases the gear ratio between your car’s engine and drive wheels. This keeps your car’s rpms low enough to prevent your engine from redlining. Switching to a new gear at the right time can also make your ride smoother and increase fuel efficiency.

    What Does the Clutch Do?
    The clutch connects and disconnects the engine to and from the transmission. Engaging the clutch disconnects the engine from the transmission so that your car can run even if it is idling in one place. Disengaging the clutch connects the two again so that the transmission can transmit power from your car’s engine to a live axle.

    What Happens When I Put My Car into Reverse?
    When you switch your car into reverse gear, it changes the direction in which the layshaft rotates. This signals to your wheels to spin in the opposite direction, enabling you to back up until you switch into a numbered gear.

    If you drive a stick shift and you suspect that there is something wrong with your car’s transmission, arrange to have your car evaluated and serviced as soon as possible. To speak with a transmission repair expert in the Washington, D.C. area, call Superior Transmissions at (301) 358-6288. We are the D.C. area’s premier transmission repair and maintenance specialists.

  • How Often Should You Change Your Transmission Fluid?

    Auto mechanic working under car

    The life of a new transmission fluid is dependent on operating temperatures, which are dependent on your vehicle, its state of repair, and how you drive it. If you have an older car, chances are that you should change your transmission fluid several times per year. Most new cars only require a change every 30,000 miles, which is less than once per year for most drivers.

    No matter what type of car you drive, it is important that you consult your owner’s manual and change your transmission fluid at least as often as the manual recommends. If your vehicle is due for a transmission fluid change and you would like to have your transmission checked while you are it, call Superior Transmissions at (301) 358-6288 to schedule an appointment with an experienced transmission specialist in the Washington, D.C. area. If your vehicle’s transmission needs to be repaired or replaced, it is better for you to know so that you can make arrangements for your transmission work before changing your transmission fluid.

  • The Benefits of Manual Transmissions

    Shifting Hand

    Automatic and continuously variable transmissions are by far the norm among new cars, but 6.5% of cars in the United States are still sold with manual transmissions. That’s because drivers still know that manual transmissions come with a slew of benefits. Whether you are interested in learning how to drive a stick shift or deciding between a new car with a manual or automatic transmission, the following article on the benefits of manual transmissions should prove useful.

    Easier to Maintain
    Despite what you might think based on how they operate, manual transmissions tend to be much less complex than automatics. This means that fewer things go wrong in the first place, and that transmission repairs tend to be cheaper. On a manual transmission, the stick shift is the only repair item frequently seen, and that component usually doesn’t require changing for thousands of miles under ideal conditions.

    Better Fuel Economy
    Speaking of saving money, fuel economy is usually much better in cars with a stick shift. Power losses from the torque converter and hydraulic pump can rob an automatic-equipped car a small percentage of its fuel efficiency. That means that under some conditions, drivers can experience as much as 15 percent better fuel economy with manual transmissions.

    Better Sense of Control
    Last but not least, stick shifts are simply more fun to drive. Because the driver is charged with shifting the gears himself, driving a stick shift is more of an active experience compared to the passive experience of driving a car equipped with an automatic.

    If your car is equipped with a manual transmission, bring it to Superior Transmissions for all of your transmission service and repair needs. Our transmission shop serves the Metro D.C. area with the highest quality transmission maintenance and repair services. Call us today at (301) 358-6288 to schedule transmission service for your vehicle.

  • How Long Do Transmissions Last?


    Automatic and manual transmissions are incredibly well built, but they don’t last forever. With proper transmission maintenance and repair, your transmission will last longer than those that are neglected. So, how long exactly do transmissions last? That’s difficult to say for sure, as there are many factors that affect the life or your car’s transmission. Here is a look at these factors and what you can do to get the most of your automatic or manual transmission.

    Factors That Influence Transmission Longevity
    As we said earlier, there are numerous factors that affect the life of your transmission. How it is being used is a big factor, as transmissions used in SUVs and pickups that regularly tow boats and trailers tend to develop problems faster than transmissions that only see city and highway driving. Making sure to use the correct fluid will also influence how long your transmission lasts.

    Taking Care of Your Transmission
    The best way to prolong the life of your transmission is to take care of it the best you can. For starters, transmission fluid needs to be checked and changed on a regular basis (typically every 15,000 miles). You should also get in the habit of checking the belts and hoses connected to the transmission. And be sure to bring your car in for transmission service at the first sign of trouble to limit the damage done to your transmission.

    Transmission Repair vs. Replacement
    Depending on the extent of the damage to your transmission, you will be able to choose between rebuilding your transmission and purchasing a new or used replacement transmission. Your transmission shop will be able to discuss the pros and cons of rebuilding and replacing your car’s manual or automatic transmission.

    For the very best transmission service in Washington D.C., bring your car to Superior Transmissions. Whether your transmission needs to be serviced, repaired, or replaced, you can trust our team of experienced technicians. Visit our website to learn more about our transmission repair services, or call us at (301) 356-6288 to schedule service for your car.

  • Locating Your Transmission Dipstick

    Just as motor oil is crucial to the engine, transmission fluid is vital to the performance and longevity of your car’s transmission. To monitor fluid level inside your transmission, you will need to learn how to use and read the transmission dipstick. In this video, you will learn how to locate your car’s transmission dipstick and how to read the marks indicating when it is time to add more fluid.

    Experts recommend replacing your car’s transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 miles. If you are looking for a transmission service shop in Washington, D.C., come to Superior Transmissions. We offer a wide range of transmission maintenance and repair services. And with more than 30 years of experience, we deliver transmission services you can trust. If you have any questions, please contact us online or call us at (301) 358-6288.

  • Transmission Trouble Signs: Dragging Clutch

    CVT Transmission

    The good news about failing transmissions is that they are typically very easy to spot. As long as you pay attention to how your car drives (and even sounds) you will be able to catch transmission problems early enough and avoid further damage. One common sign of a problem with the transmission is a dragging clutch. If you drive a stick shift, you will not be able to shift gears because the clutch will still be spinning along with the engine. A grinding noise also accompanies the stuck clutch.

    Fortunately, this problem is not that costly to fix. If your clutch is dragging, bring your car to Superior Transmissions. Our expert transmission repair mechanics can have your car back on the road in no time. We provide the D.C. area with high quality transmission maintenance and repair services at affordable prices. Contact us online or call us at (301) 358-6288 to schedule transmission service for your vehicle.

  • Great Cars that Still Offer Manual Transmissions

    Up until the most recent decades, many automotive manufacturers offered cars that were equipped with either manual transmissions or automatic transmissions. With their ease of operation, automatic transmissions have taken over the driving world. However, some car companies are still building cars that are equipped with manual transmissions. If you are looking for a vehicle that will keep you fully connected to the open road, here is a look at some great cars that still offer manual transmissions.

    changing gear

    Mazda Miata
    The Mazda Miata is a fun and sporty vehicle that will provide you with a driving thrill. Since 1989, Mazda has been building the Miata with a five-speed manual transmission. This transmission allows drivers to take advantage of the full performance range of the vehicle. If you are shopping for a fun sports car, the manual Mazda Miata may be a great choice for your driving needs.

    Subaru BRZ
    Subaru’s vehicles are known for their quality and ease of maintenance. The Subaru BRZ is a fun sports vehicle that contains a standard six-speed manual transmission. With its 200 horsepower engine, the Subaru BRZ will allow you to tear up the road in style.

    Audi TT
    The Audi TT is built with the driving enthusiast in mind. This luxurious sports car offers a high-performance engine that is ready for the road or the track. As recently as 2012, the Audi TT was only available with a six-speed manual transmission. With its responsive performance and lighting-fast acceleration, the Audi TT is a car lover’s dream vehicle.

    At Superior Transmissions, we offer a full range of repair services for all types of transmissions. Whether your car has a manual transmission or an automatic transmission, we can restore your transmission to perfect driving condition. To learn more about the transmission repair services that we provide to the Washington D.C. area, call (301) 358-6288.

  • Identifying Signs of a Slipping Transmission

    There are several signs and symptoms of a slipping transmission. When your automatic transmission is slipping, this transmission problem could be caused by loose bands or low transmission fluid. You may find that your vehicle has a hard time accelerating, or that the tachometer increases without the car going faster. For a complete overview of the signs of a slipping transmission, watch this video from ehowauto.

    When you notice the signs of a slipping transmission, be sure to contact Superior Transmissions of Washington D.C. Our transmission repair experts can diagnose and repair all types of manual and automatic transmission problems. To set up an appointment for your car today, call us at (301) 358-6288.