Automatic transmissions are engineering marvels. Hydraulic fluid moves clutches and shifts gear ratios to match engine speed and load, usually without the driver noticing. They are generally very reliable, and problems are rare, especially if you stay on top of the routine maintenance.
The only work you should need to do regularly is a transmission fluid flush. Over time, contaminants accumulate in the fluid. Leave them there too long and they’ll start obstructing some of the passageways in the hydraulic “brain.” If that happens you may notice slipping, (when engine speed rises faster than the car accelerates,) or hard or jerky shifts. Eventually it could get stuck in one gear.
Vehicle manufacturers have different recommendations for when to have your transmission flushed. The age of your vehicle and the type of driving you do are other factors to consider. Ask us what’s right for your car, truck, van, or SUV.
The transmissions in all wheel-drive and four wheel-drive vehicles are more complicated. Unfortunately, that means there’s more to go wrong. Problems could potentially make the vehicle feel unstable or behave unpredictably.
If your vehicle is rear wheel-drive it has a differential in addition to the transmission. (This splits the drive to the two rear wheels.) Differential problems are rare but if you sense something doesn’t feel right, (you might notice it when making a tight turn,) make an appointment with us.
Transmissions are extremely complex, but many problems are easily fixed if dealt with quickly. Any time you think your vehicle isn’t shifting the way it should, or if you just want to ask about transmission fluid flushes, call us. We’re here to help.