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June 22, 2017


Today’s transmissions are defiantly wearing out sooner than ever. There is more activity with up to 10 speeds in a transmission and more stops in Americas cities, hence today’s transmissions are shifting more than ever.  With this shift activity components are wearing out faster than ever.

Your DAD’S transmission was made in America with American steal and aluminum  and were more durable.  Today’s transmissions are mostly made out of  aluminum with some steal components,  but do not have steal valve bodies.

Transmissions are wearing out much earlier because they are made out of a much softer material.  With federal mandates forcing manufacturers to produce a more fuel efficient vehicle.  Costs have to be compromised somewhere and that is in the quality of every component on the car and this means especially transmissions.

We service all foreign and domestic transmissions in any configuration, (FWD, RWD, Rear Engine, Mid Engine and Traditional Front Engine). We use only top quality parts and fluids. Warranty work is always welcome. It does not matter if your car is a 1959 T-Bird or a modern rear engine Porsche; at Blackstone Brake & Auto Repair, we understand your cars transmission needs. Our highly trained specialists are standing by to make your car drive like new again. We will perform all basic transmission inspections for “FREE” and let you know what needs to be done to correct the issue.

Adjustments and In-Car Repairs

There are several problems that can be resolved with an adjustment (A simple adjustment is one that can be made without removing the transmission from the vehicle.) or minor repair. If a late model transmission (computer-controlled transmissions started becoming popular in the early ’90s) is not shifting properly, it is often the result of a computer sending incorrect signals due to a faulty sensor, or the transmission is not reacting to the computer command because of a bad connection or defective solenoid pack. These problems can be corrected while the transmission is in the car for considerably less money than a complete overhaul.

If a non computer-controlled transmission is shifting too early or too late, it may require an adjustment to the throttle cable. Since throttle cables rarely go out of adjustment on their own or due to wear and tear, these mis-adjustments are usually due to other repair work or damage from an accident. If the vehicle has a vacuum modulator instead of a throttle cable, there is an adjustment that can be made using an adjustment screw in some modulator designs. In vehicles with modulators, however, it is very important that there are no vacuum leaks and the engine is running at peak efficiency. Engine vacuum is very sensitive to how well the engine is running. In fact, many technicians use a vacuum gauge to diagnose performance problems and state-of-tune. Many problems that seem to be transmission problems disappear after a tune-up or engine performance related repair was completed.

In some older transmissions, bands can be adjusted to resolve “slipping” conditions. Slipping is when an engine races briefly when the transmission shifts from one gear to the next. There are no adjustments for clutch packs however.

Reseal Job

A transmission is resealed in order to repair external transmission fluid leaks. If you see spots of red oil on the ground under the car, your transmission may be a candidate for a reseal job. In order to check a transmission for leaks, a technician will put the car on a lift and examine the unit for signs of oil leaks. If a leak is spotted at any of the external seals or gaskets and the transmission otherwise performs well, the technician will most likely recommend that the transmission be resealed. Most of the external seals can be replaced while the transmission is still in the car but, if the front seal must be replaced, the transmission must first be removed from the vehicle in order to gain access to it, making it a much costlier job.

Replace Accessible Parts

There are a number of parts that are accessible without requiring the removal of the complete transmission. Many of the control parts including most of the electrical parts are serviceable by simply removing the oil pan. The parts that are accessible, however, vary from transmission to transmission and most transmission repair facilities would hesitate to provide meaningful warranties on external repairs for the simple reason that they cannot see if there are any additional internal problems in the components that are only accessible by transmission removal.

Something to think about

Bear in mind that everybody wants to reduce the maintenance cost of their vehicles so service intervals are raised, and the reason is attributed to synthetic fluids, the truth of the fact is the Manufacturer has lowered the wear/life expectancy of their vehicles.  What this means is they expect you the consumer to get rid of your new car every 4 years or under 75,000, and expect the 2nd owner to bear the burden of repair. So service intervals are recommended with this “VEHICLE REPLACEMENT” schedule in mind.

Most of today’s  transmissions come from the factory with either pure synthetic or synthetic blends— the fluid exchange places (ie…Jiffy Lube’s) don’t use synthetics unless you request. Jiffy Lube is a great service location and offer us all fast efficient services, just make sure that you are getting what your manufacturer requires.

No automatic transmission is wear proof, some wear out early if mostly city driving is the drive condition and last longer if highway driving is normal.  Historically transmissions wore out at about 128k mile average, in the last 5 years we are seeing trends where transmissions are wearing out in under 60,000 miles or at least are requiring a major valve body type repair.

Synthetics are great for almost all transmissions synthetic properties reduce friction and if friction is reduced then less heat is generated less heat helps to extend the life of any transmission.  However just because you use a synthetic fluid don’t neglect the service.

Transmission failure is occurring because the fluid becomes contaminated with the transmission friction material and fine metal, this friction and fine metal are getting trapped in the valve body where very close tolerances must be maintained but are compromised because friction material causes wear, additionally the fine metal is being drawn into the linear solenoids that are magnets during operation and are trapping the metal material in the very small moving components causing binding.

The transmission filter can not be depended on to remove all the suspended material that is detrimental to your transmission, service is the only way to clean up the transmission. So you have a choice. Either believe that the manufacturer has YOUR interest in mind and not THEIRS. Or you can service your transmission and get better life expectancy.

We recommend service intervals every 30,000 miles or sooner.

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