How to Fix Automatic Transmission That Stays in Low Gear

On a car with standard or manual transmission, the driver has to manually shift into first gear and then after the car starts to roll, the driver has to shift manually into second, then third and so on as the speed of the car increases.

An automatic transmission meanwhile allows the car to change gear ratios automatically to shift from first, second, third and so on. The automatic shifting is made possible thanks to the series of valve and switches that control the hydraulic pressure. Most cars in the market now are available in automatic transmission.

If the automatic transmission has problem, you will notice that when you accelerate from a stop, the transmission does not shift to the next higher gear. The car seems to be dragging even though the engine speed increases. You can hear the engine screams louder than usual but the car does not really move smoothly.

This is because if there is failure in the transmission control system, the transmission stays at the low gear and the car is moving faster than it should in the low gear or first gear thus loud roaring sound can be heard from the engine.

If you put the automatic transmission selector at the “Drive” position, the normal shift from the first gear to the second gear occurs when the speed of the car reaches sixteen miles per hour. If the transmission does not shift, the engine speed will keep on increasing but the car will still not gain its normal speed.

The first thing you need to do is to check the level of the transmission fluid. Top up with the correct type of fluid if you found that the fluid is at low level. When checking the level, check also the color of the transmission fluid on the dipstick. Light green or red means there is no major problem with the transmission system but if the color is either dark brown or black, the car will need major transmission repairs.

Some cars come with an additional device installed on the transmission known as a modulator where it will create excellent vacuum to make the transmission works correctly. The transmission will not shift or there will be delay in the shift if the vacuum hose is disconnected or blocked. Just highlight this to your auto mechanic if you are not sure if your car is equipped with the transmission modulator.

Apart from the above, it is also possible that the problem with the transmission comes from a misaligned, disconnected, bent or broken transmission-shift selector linkage. This means the position indicated on which gear you are on is not tally with the actual transmission gear.

On some cars, the shift point, which is the exact speed where the transmission shift, is controlled by a cable. The transmission will not shift appropriately if the cable is disconnected or broken.

The tips above can surely help you before you agree with the auto mechanic for any major repair on the transmission system.

The Top Three Benefits of Changing Transmission Fluid

There has always been some debate on the pros and cons of changing your transmission fluid on a routine basis, per your vehicle owner’s manual recommendation. One of the many rumored suspicions is that doing so will open your car up to having dreaded transmission issues sooner. To debunk those conspiracy theories, let’s get into the meat of the topic and explore, together, why it absolutely makes sense to change it regularly; and how not doing so could actually cause your car to run sluggishly – potentially costing you precious pennies in the long run!

1) Heat is the enemy

The number one reason that manufacturers recommend you change your transmission fluid regularly is because it degrades as it continually heats up during driving. There are exhaustive studies about the precise temperatures in which its effectiveness actually wanes. Suffice it to say that most owner’s manuals duly recommend changing your fluid every 30,000 miles. There is one exception to this rule: newer vehicles using Dexron III ATF fluid can often go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be changed. As you drive, and the transmission heats up, the viscosity of your fluid changes; over time, this heat causes transmissions to burn up and this is the single-most cause of transmission repairs today – burned up transmissions.

2) Gunk and sludge

As your transmission continues to heat up and it continues to break down, your car’s transmission components begin to get bogged down with gunk and sludge. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that gunk and sludge are going to clog up your transmission gears, causing unnatural wear and tear on your vehicle’s transmission. If you want your transmission to continue to operate smoothly, it is vital to keep it clean.

3) Leaky seals and putrid odors

No, I’m not talking about a horror flick here. A well-maintained machine is one whose owner regularly checks the transmission fluid levels – yes, using the dipstick! You should ideally check your transmission fluid level when your engine is warm and idling. Transmission fluid should be bright red and should smell sweet, not putrid or rancid. It shouldn’t be brown or black or even dark red. It should look like the tip of the spindle after Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger. If your transmission fluid level is low, or the color is not right, it’s time to change your transmission fluid and check (or have checked by the mechanic) all of the seals around the transmission for leaks.

If you want your transmission to last throughout the life of the car, it is imperative that you change your transmission fluid regularly, following your owner’s manual guidelines and a few common sense rules. In today’s world of disposable everything – neglecting your transmission can be a rude awakening to your wallet. The potential costs associated with ignoring the routine maintenance guidelines on your transmission could total thousands of dollars that would be better spent on a nice, warm vacation to a sunny spot this summer.

How to Buy a Junkyard Transmission

Whenever you are faced with a potential, unexpected car repair it can be a stressful task. There are certain mechanical failures that may make you panic – mainly the engine and transmission. It is common knowledge that repairs on either of these components are very costly and you may not have the money to take the car to the shop. The good news is you need not panic as there is another option that can sometimes cut your costs in half.

If you need transmission repair there are a few options to consider:

• Take the vehicle to an auto repair shop and pay for parts and labor

• Buy your new parts from the auto store and do the repairs yourself

• Buy used auto parts and have an auto repair shop do labor

• Buy used auto parts and do the repair yourself

The first option of using a repair shop will always be the most costly option. You will pay more for parts as well as labor. Your second option will save you some money by only requiring out of pocket funds for new parts. However, be advised that new auto parts are often marked up quite a bit. Your third and fourth options are the best choices if you are looking to lower your budget significantly. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Buying used auto parts makes some people feel uneasy. This should not be a problem if you go to a trusted and experienced junkyard. There, you can often find almost-new parts and components that have significant years and miles left on them. If you need a used transmission, an auto salvage yard should be your first stop, regardless of whether you want to do the actual repairs yourself or have the transmission installed professionally. Before you go to the junkyard you should follow these steps:

• Make sure you know what you are looking for. Consult your car’s manual to determine the exact type of transmission that your car has and the specifications you need.

• Determine what actual parts you need. If you have an automatic transmission, look for other components that are needed such as a torque converter. If you have a manual transmission, you may need a new clutch in addition to the exact transmission. You can always call the car manufacturer to get full details on what you need so that you have all proper parts assembled before your repair.

• Carefully examine all parts. When you visit the junkyard, look at all of the components of the transmission. Cycle through all gears of the transmission and make sure that you do not hear any suspect noises, especially grinding. It should be fairly easy to get through all gears. If you have difficulty doing so, you should probably move on to the next potential prospect. Look for clean oil between the gears. You should also examine the input and output shafts to make sure the input shaft is not too loose and the output rotates easily.

If you follow these easy steps, purchasing a junkyard transmission and other used auto parts will greatly cut your costs and allow you to make your transmission repairs much more affordable – whether you do it yourself or just get used parts and take them to your repair shop.