Tips & Advice
How often does the transmission fluid need to be changed?
Around the 30,000 mile mark is a good time to change your transmission fluid. If your vehicle is driven hard or used to tow or pull trailers, the added strain on the transmission might mean checking and/or changing the fluid more frequently is a good idea, sometimes as often every 15,000 miles. Consult your owner’s manual to find the suggested mileage range for transmission fluid changes. If your transmission is having issues, check the fluid yourself, or get to a professional who can – you may need to top off the fluid or change it--especially if the care has broken down and has a burning smell.
What is the difference between an automatic and manual transmission?
An automatic transmission is one you put in drive and it shifts through the gears automatically. In a manual transmission you push down on a clutch (usually the far left pedal) and shift gears manually. Many manufacturers have completely phased out the manual transmission.
How much does it cost to replace a car transmission?
It can cost anywhere from $2,000-$3,500 (give or take) to replace a transmission; a used/salvage can cost anywhere from $800-$1500; rebuilt can cost anywhere from $1,000-$6,000. What determines that amount depends on several factors. First, what type of vehicle is it: a small passenger vehicle, a large truck or a Porsche? What kind of rates is your mechanic charging? Do you have warranty coverage or protection? These variables will determine what you’ll be paying. Once you find a good mechanic, discuss your options. Before you go in, do some research to have an idea of what to expect. If you have a car with an expired warranty, you can buy aftermarket warranties for most cars.
How much does it cost to repair a car transmission?
Different problems and the severity of any damage to your transmission will determine the costs. If you are low on fluid and just need a service, you can get out for around $100. More severe problems, like a bad torque converter or broken gear, could mean removal or disassembly of the transmission, which can cost serious money. In some cases, transmission replacement might be a better option than removing, repairing, or replacing. You can find new, used, and rebuilt transmissions for nearly any car, which might be cheaper than a very expensive repair.
What is a slipping transmission?
A slipping transmission is when you put your foot on the gas to accelerate, and there is a noticeable delay or hesitation before the transmission kicks in. This can be due to low transmission fluid or other conditions. Low fluid pressure is a prime culprit in slipping transmissions, but can also be a symptom of other problems, depending on the type of transmission.
What are the signs of transmission problems?
The primary signs of transmission problems include lack of response (transmission slipping), gear grinding, burning smell (the fluid may be too hot and burning), clunking when putting the transmission into gear, rough or difficult shifting, or a dashboard warning light coming on to tell you something is wrong. Most of these are basic common sense--meaning you will clearly notice the warning signs as they are pretty obvious.
What are the primary components of a car transmission?
The primary components of transmissions are planetary gear sets, torque converters, the hydraulic system, and electronics. Also, the transmission is filled with fluid. Manual transmissions have a clutch and all associated parts. The gears are what the driver will notice the most. The drive shaft exits the transmission to the axles or wheels to deliver the power.
What does a car transmission do?
A transmission transfers the engine’s horsepower to the wheels. The engine produces power, which is fed to the transmission, and the power is transmitted to the axles through a series of gears. Larger gears (like first and second) are designed for lower-end torque and power, like accelerating from a stop. Higher gears like fifth (and sixth or seventh on higher-end cars) are smaller and designed for top-end speed--when you no longer need low-end torque. Transmissions can be either manual (you use a clutch and manually shift) or automatic (put it in gear and go).