• A Car Owner’s Guide to Selecting Automatic Transmission Fluid

    If you take your car to a transmission service shop in Bethesda for routine maintenance, you can leave it up to the professionals to select the best fluid for your automatic transmission. However, if you’re the do-it-yourself type you will need to choose your own transmission fluid when changing out the old fluid. It’s recommended that you leave this maintenance service to the professionals, but if you insist on changing your own transmission fluid make sure you choose the right fluid to prevent damaging your car’s transmission. Here are some important things to know about selecting automatic transmission fluid for your vehicle.

    When to Change Transmission Fluid

    First and foremost, when talking about transmission fluid it’s important that you know when you need to change the fluid inside your transmission. Generally, transmission fluid should be changed every 24,000 to 36,000 miles, or approximately every two to three years. Refer to your car’s owner’s manual for more specific transmission fluid change interval information related to your make and model. You can also ask your transmission technician for a recommended fluid change interval based on the condition of your transmission.

    Automatic Transmission Fluid Types

    There are two main types of transmission fluid, Dextron and Mercon. Your owner’s manual will tell you which type of transmission fluid your vehicle uses. You will also need to decide between synthetic and conventional transmission fluid . Synthetic fluid is more expensive than conventional oil, but it performs better at higher temperatures and provides better overall protection. However, if you drive an older vehicle the transmission might not be designed with synthetic fluid in mind.

    Transmission Fluid Brands

    When it comes to brands, there’s little difference between the major transmission fluid brands. If you want a specific brand recommendation, check with a transmission repair shop in your area or ask for a recommendation at the auto parts store you frequent to purchase fluid.

  • Understanding a Delayed Engagement

    Although transmission failure can sometimes occur suddenly and without warning, in most cases there are lots of subtle signs that precede the event. One such sign of impending transmission trouble is a delayed engagement, in which there is a delay between when you shift into drive or reverse and when the vehicle actually gets out of neutral and into gear. This often occurs when the internal seals on the clutches and bands wear down or become hard from infrequent fluid replacement. Although delayed engagement can be an inconvenience at first, ignoring the problem can result in bigger transmission issues later on.

    If you’re experiencing any sort of transmission slippage or delayed gear engagement, visit a transmission repair shop serving Silver Spring, MD and the surrounding areas to have the problem diagnosed. There could be any number of problems causing delayed engagement or other drivability issues, so let a transmission repair specialist have a look so you can get b ack on the road without any drivability or performance issues.

  • Checking Your Manual Transmission Fluid

    You don’t have to be a transmission repair expert to keep your transmission in great shape. Routinely checking the fluid, for example, can clue you in to potential problems with your transmission and help you avoid running on low fluid which can strain the transmission and shorten its life. But how exactly do you check the transmission fluid anyways? You can see how by watching this video from an ASE-certified master mechanic.

    If you notice your transmission fluid is very dirty or smells burnt, visit a transmission repair shop in Montgomery County MD for a transmission flush service . This will completely flush out the dirty, slugged-up fluid so fresh transmission can be added to the system. Clean fluid is essential to transmission lubrication, and a well-lubricated transmission runs better and has a longer lifespan than transmissions that become worn down due to poor lubrication.

  • How to Tell When Your Car Needs a Transmission Flush

    Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to get a transmission flush every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first. However, depending on the age and condition of your transmission and other factors such as how you drive and how well you maintain your transmission, there may be times when you need to get a transmission flush sooner. If you recognize any of these common signs, visit a transmission shop in Rockville, and Bethesda for a transmission flush service.

    Problems Shifting Gears

    Regardless of whether you drive an automatic or manual, problems shifting gears is an indication that the transmission fluid contains too much dirt or sludge which is causing a sluggish response in the gearbox. For automatic transmissions, you may notice that the vehicle changes gears faster or slower than normal. In manual transmission vehicles, you may it very difficult to change the gears at all. In either case, visit a transmission repair shop to find out if a flush is the answer to the problems you are experiencing.

    Vehicle Surging

    Another tell-tale sign of a transmission in need of a flush and fill is unexplainable surging of the vehicle. Transmission fluid that is very dirty or full of sludge does not allow for adequate flow through the transmission, which can cause the vehicle to surge forward for no good reason. This problem is usually most noticeable when the vehicle slows down and comes to a stop at a light or stop sign.

    Dirty or Burnt-Smelling Transmission Fluid

    As a part of maintaining your vehicle, get in the habit of inspecting the transmission fluid on a regular basis. If the fluid looks very dirty or smells burnt, visit a transmission repair shop in Silver Spring, MD for a flush service so you can have fresh fluid added for optimal performance, lubrication, and efficiency.

  • What Does the Transmission Do?

    Drivers have lots of questions about transmissions, but perhaps the most important one to answer is about how transmissions work. Although you aren’t expected to know the name of every component that makes up the transmission (there are thousands) or the scientific principles that make transmission work, knowing the basics of what your transmission does and how it operates can help you identify when something is wrong and understand the importance of visiting an experienced transmission repair shop in Rockville and Bethesda for all your transmission service needs.

    Tra nsmissio n Componen ts

    The first step in learning about how transmissions work is to understand the main components inside your transmission. Learning about these components can also help when talking to your transmission repair mechanic about the problems you are experiencing or the services recommended for your transmission. The main components that make up an automatic transmission include:

    • Planetary gear sets that provide the various forward and reverse gear ratios
    • Hydraulic system which pumps fluid through the valve body to control clutches, bands, and planetary gear sets
    • Torque converter which acts like a clutch to allow the vehicle to come to a full stop and stay in gear while the engine is running
    • Governors, modulators, or throttle cables that monitor speed and throttle position in order to determine when to shift gears higher or lower

    Torque Conversion

    Without getting too much into the physics and scientific principles that underlie the workings inside a transmission, the main duty of an automotive transmission is to convert torque created by the engine into forward or reverse acceleration. Transmissions essentially connect the engine to the front or rear wheels so the vehicle will move, and then disconnects when the vehicle is stopped so the engine doesn’t stall. In manual transmissions, this is accomplished by pressing in the clutch.