Transmission Services

Checking the transmission fluidAn automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios the vehicles moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually. Most automatic transmissions have a defined set of gear ranges, often with a parking pawl feature that locks the output shaft of the transmission.

Besides automatics, there are also other types of automated transmissions such as continuous variable transmissions (CVTs) and semi-automatic transmissions that free the driver from having to shift gears manually.

By using the transmission’s computer to change gears, if for example the driver was redlining the engine. Despite superficial similarity to other automated transmissions, automatic transmissions differ significantly in internal operations and drivers “feel” from semi-automatics and CVTs. An automatic uses a torque converter instead of clutch to manage the connection between the transmission gearing and the engine. In contrast, a CVT uses a belt or other torque transmission schema to allow a “infinite” number of gear ratios instead of a fixed number of gear ratios. A semi-automatic retains a clutch like a manual transmission, but controls the clutch through electro-hydraulic means.


While there are many little parts inside your transmission, it is essentially made up of a few key parts of systems.

This is the cone shaped metal case that you can see when you peek underneath your car. If you have a front –wheel-drive car it’s stuck on the side of the engine under the hood. If your car is rear-wheel-drive, the transmission will be mounted underneath the car behind the engine.

Even though you are not shifting them, an automatic transmission has gears. They are broken into main gears and planetary gears. You need all of these to be able to drive.

Transmission fluid is very important to an automatic transmission. All of the magic happens in the fluid. Most cars come with red transmission fluid, good to know if you are looking for a leak.

All of that fluid has to be clean for your car to shift gears at the right time. Keep things fresh, your transmission has a filter to catch any gunk. Now that you know a little about what’s happening in there, you can try to figure out why your transmission is acting up, or at least understand what your mechanic is talking about.

It is important to check your transmission fluid at least twice (2) a year. Not only can a low fluid level cause your car to shift poorly, it can eventually lead to transmission damage and a costly repair. If your car seems to be losing fluid on a regular basis, you may have a leak.

Your transmission filter is vital to its performance. If you haven’t replaced your filter in a while (or ever for a lot of us). Be sure to do this before you start talking about rebuilds or replacements. Most transmission problems cannot be fixed by the average do-it-yourselfer. There are just too many specialized tools and pieces of equipment you’ll need and buying this expensive gear just to screw up your first three tries at fixing the thing just doesn’t make too much sense.

When your transmission gets tired enough, you’ll have to have it rebuilt. It’s true. For some makes and models of car, it’s true a little too often but that’s neither here nor there. The important thing is checking any other possible causes to your problem before you take the transmission apart, which is very expensive. If you haven’t replaced your filter yet, do it. This fixes a nice percentage of transmission problems. If your filter is good and nothing simple is out of adjustment, be prepared to drop some serious cash on the rebuild. The good news is that most shops warranty a transmission rebuild for a nice amount of time. Small consolations as you’re handing over the credit card, but at least you know that it will get fixed and stay fixed.

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160 Rio Lindo Ave
Chico, CA 95926

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