A well-operating transmission is vital to the functioning of your car, and keeping it tuned up and properly functioning is critical to avoiding significant transmission repairs. Bring you vehicle to Suburban Tire Auto Repair Centers every 30,000 miles for a transmission fluid exchange and check-up to keep it running smoothly, and ensure the transmission lasts for the life of the vehicle.

What Does a car’s Transmission Do and How Do They Work?

Your vehicle’s transmission makes it go. It takes the energy generated by the pistons in your internal combustion engine and transmits it to your tires, so the vehicle moves.

The pistons in your engine spin up to several thousand revolutions per minute. Your tires cannot spin that fast (if they did, you would be in real trouble) so your transmission gears down the rotations per minute and then transmits the power to the wheels so you can drive at a manageable speed. Today’s all-wheel drive vehicles have many gears in their transmission that help them deliver the right amount of power to each wheel position. The “transmission” of the energy to each of the wheels at the proper rotational speed is how this part of the car got its name.

Automatic Transmission vs. Manual Transmission vs Constant Velocity Transmissions (CVTs)

For those of you still driving a 1979 Volkswagen Bus, you know what a manual transmission is all about. The transmission of power to the wheels is controlled by the driver, who shifts through the gears by hand using a stick-shift and pressing the clutch pedal. It is up to the driver to determine when the transmission shifts gears. Manual transmission aficionados think it is fun and adds a sporty quality to their driving style, but these cars are a dying breed and made up only 1% of new vehicle sales in 2019.

The other 99% of today’s cars come equipped with an automatic transmission, and 10% of these vehicles have a special kind of transmission called a Continuously Variable Transmission or a “CVT”. The standard transmissions function similarly to a manual transmission and have a limited number of gear ratios, but the shifting process is controlled by the vehicle’s computer and uses pressure changes in the transmission fluid to change gears. CVTs change seamlessly through a continuous range of gear ratios. From the viewpoint of the driver, the CVT and Standard Automatic Transmission function seamlessly with the engine so the driver doesn’t have to shift gears manually.

How Do I Maintain My Transmission?

No matter what type of transmission you have, they all need to have the correct amount of clean transmission fluid in their systems. Unlike engine oil, transmission fluid should never burn off, but the fluid does not stay good forever. Over time, the fluid can become contaminated with sludge and metal shavings. Suburban Tire Auto Repair Centers recommend that you flush the transmission fluid and put in fresh fluid every 30,000, or whenever recommended in your owner’s manual.

However, if you have gone an exceedingly long time without flushing the transmission, say 100,000 miles or more, power flushing the transmission fluid may dislodge sludge and metal fragments that had been adhered to the inside of the transmission case and could clog the system within a few thousand miles. Fresh Transmission fluid has lots of detergents in it that will scour the inside of the transmission case and cause any dirt particles to go into suspension. This can eventually lead to a clog that causes the transmission to fail. To prevent this, we recommend doing a complete drain and refill of the transmission which requires dropping the transmission pan and replacing the filter. Then after driving for several hundred miles, the detergents in the trans fluid have scoured the inside of the case, flush out the transmission fluid so all the sludge is out of the system.

Transmission Repairs & Services

If you see a puddle of red liquid on the ground under the middle or front of the car, that is a sign that your transmission has developed a fluid leak. This should be repaired asap. The ASE Certified Technicians at Suburban Tire Auto Repair Centers can handle regular transmission maintenance services such as fluid flushes, as well as more complex transmission repairs. Some of the Transmission Services we offer are replacement or repairs of:

  • Bearings, gaskets, and seals
  • Entire Transmissions
  • Torque Converters
  • Transmission cooler lines
  • Other driveline components such as CV Shafts, driveshafts, and differentials.

How Much Will It Cost to Fix My Transmission?

Vehicle transmissions are complex systems, so it is difficult for even veteran mechanics to determine why a transmission is acting up without taking the car for a test drive and inspecting the system. So that we can give you an honest and accurate estimate, we really need to inspect your vehicle before pricing out a transmission repair. That way we can take the time to diagnose the cause of the transmission problem and figure out what repairs are necessary, then develop an accurate quote for your approval. This type of work requires our more advanced technicians, and since their tire is limited, we recommend that you plan to drop the vehicle off with us for any transmission work necessary.