Transmission Services

Transmission services are a common task for mechanics. Although these services are an important part of keeping vehicles in good working order, few people understand what mechanics do when servicing a transmission. At Spokane Hyundai, we want to help you understand your car better, so we made this list of common transmission services with descriptions of what they entail.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Replacement

Image via Flickr by Mark Ittleman licensed by CC BY 2.0

Automatic transmissions include a system of gears that have to operate at high speed and may experience high temperatures. Automatic transmission fluid is a viscous oil that prevents wear, reduces friction, and keeps the transmission cool during operation. Over time, the fluid in your transmission becomes dirty and may start to break down. When this happens, it can stop performing its functions properly, and it’s time for a fluid replacement, also called a fluid exchange.

During this procedure, a mechanic accesses the transmission from underneath the vehicle and places a pan underneath the vehicle. Next, they remove the drain plug and allow the transmission fluid to drain from the vehicle into the pan. Once it’s empty, the mechanic refills the transmission with fresh fluid and replaces the plug.

Automatic Transmission Filter Replacement and Fluid Exchange

Automatic transmissions include a filter that strains the fluid during operation to keep it clean, enhance performance, and prevent buildup. Over time, this filter may become dirty, which can damage your transmission’s operation. Dirty transmission fluid can signal a malfunctioning filter, and when mechanics replace transmission fluid, they often check the filter to see if it needs replacement.

When performing this service, mechanics begin by draining your transmission of fluid as described above. Next, they remove the transmission pan, remove the filter and install a new one. Once the new filter is in place, they can replace the transmission pan and refill the transmission with fluid.

Manual Transmission Fluid Exchange

While manual transmissions serve the same purpose as automatic transmissions, the driver shifts gear manually by engaging the clutch pedal and moving the gear stick with their right hand. Manual transmissions also require fluid to cool them down and reduce friction, although they use a different type of fluid than automatic transmissions. If your fluid is old or if your transmission is running badly, it may be time to change the fluid in your manual transmission.

To complete a manual transmission fluid replacement, mechanics begin by accessing the transmission from below the car, which may require them to lift it and remove the wheels. Next, they place a pan underneath the vehicle to catch the transmission fluid as it drains. After placing the pan, they locate the drain plug found on the bottom of the transmission and remove it, allowing the fluid to drain into the pan. Once the transmission is empty, the mechanic can refill it with fluid through the fill plug, often using a pump. When they finish, they replace the wheels and tires.

Manual Transmission Clutch Service

The clutch is an essential part of manual transmissions, and just like other parts of your vehicle, it may wear out over time. The clutch experiences extreme pressure and friction, which can wear down parts and keep them from functioning effectively. It’s important to keep an eye on your clutch’s performance so that you know when it might need service. If you have trouble changing gears, experience slipping, or notice any other changes in the way your clutch operates, consider taking your car in for an inspection and possible repairs.

If your car is having cutch problems and you bring it to a mechanic, they will probably begin by asking you what you’re experiencing while driving. They’ll then access the clutch and do a full inspection to ensure that the pieces are in good shape. They’ll look at parts like the transmission wheel, flywheel, and pressure plate and if they are damaged or worn, they’ll find new parts to replace them with. If your car hasn’t had a recent transmission fluid change, the mechanic may also take the opportunity to replace your fluid to ensure optimum transmission performance.

Transmission Inspection and Reseal

Even if your transmission fluid is new, your car may experience malfunctions because of fluid leakage. Since your car’s transmission is full of fluid, it has a series of rubber gaskets and seals, usually made of rubber, that prevent it from escaping. Over time, these components may break down and fail to provide a good seal. If you see liquid under your car that isn’t coming from your engine, it may be a good idea to take it in for a checkup. Even if you aren’t noticing problems, it’s beneficial to schedule routine maintenance a couple of times a year.

When you take your vehicle in within a transmission fluid leak, the mechanic will begin by inspecting the transmission and other parts of the car to find the source. If they find a fluid leak in your transmission, they can complete a service called a reseal. This service involves locating any worn and malfunctioning seals and gaskets, removing them, and replacing them with new ones. Once they finish, your transmission should be leak-free and ready to hit the road.

Transmission Rebuild or Replacement

In extreme cases, your vehicle’s transmission may completely fail or may suffer damage to its internal components. When this happens, it might be necessary for a mechanic to remove your transmission altogether, disassemble it, and rebuild it with new parts. In the most serious cases, your car may require an entirely new transmission. While these services are less common than others, it can be expensive to pay for the new parts and extra labor. To prevent serious transmission damage, consider taking your vehicle in for routine maintenance regularly.

We hope this article helped you understand the most common types of transmission service your car might require. Hopefully, this can help you keep your vehicle in better health and make you more knowledgeable when speaking to automotive professionals. If want to get your Hyundai serviced, contact us today or stop by in person.