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Common Transmission Problems

Look, Listen - Feel and Smell

Most vehicle problems, including automatic transmission problems, reveal themselves in one way or another, e.g., WARNING SIGNS!  Whether it's a subtle jerk when the transmission shifts into a different gear, a strange smell, the eyesore of leaked fluid ondiagnose transmission problems your garage floor or an unusual noise, learning to recognize these warning signs can save you a great deal of money and vehicle down time.  In this article, we will explain how to use your senses to detect early signs of transmission problems.

LOOK - Look at your garage floor, driveway or parking spot for leaks.  Transmission fluid leaks are fairly common and they can cause major problems if allowed to continue.  If you have a leak, the first thing you need to determine is the source of the leak.  It could be transmission fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid or engine coolant.  New or clean transmission fluid is red in color and old or dirty transmission fluid is a darker red or dark brown.

Additionally, if your vehicle is front wheel drive, a CV axles could be leaking grease from a torn or damaged CV boot.  If your vehicle is four wheel drive (4WD) or all wheel drive (AWD) the source a fluid leak could also be the front differential.

Problematic sounds that an automatic transmission can make include:

√ Screeching or Rattling Noise
A screeching or rattling noise coming from underneath the center hump in a rear wheel drive vehicle or from the engine compartment in a front wheel drive vehicle while the engine is running and the shifter is in the Drive "D" position is likely a failing torque converter.  A torque converter going bad makes the most noise when the engine is running and the transmission is in gear with the vehicle sitting still.  If you move the shifter to the Neutral "N" position and the noise disappears, the case for a failing torque converter increases.  Also, if the noise decreases as the vehicle begins rolling, the problem is almost definitely a failing torque converter.

Once a torque converter begins screeching or rattling it is only a matter of time before the converter fails.  Sometimes, when a torque converter fails, it literally explodes.  When this happens, bits and pieces of metal are pushed into the transmission, which can cause catastrophic transmission failure.  Replacing a torque converter can cost between $200 to $250 if you do the work yourself or from $500 to $1,000 or more if you have a repair shop do the work.

√ Banging or Clunking Noise

A banging or clunking noise coming from the transmission or transaxle when the shifter lever is moved from Park into any gear is likely an internal problem.  More specifically, the clanging noise is probably a broken or chipped gear (or anyone of a number of other "hard" parts inside the transmission/transaxle.  A badly worn main shaft bearing can also make a clunking sound when the transmission shifts gears.  However, if you are lucky, the clunking sound could be caused by a worn or damaged U-joint in a rear wheel drive vehicle or CV axle in a front wheel drive vehicle.  We say "lucky" because a U-joint or CV axle can be replaced without having to remove the transmission, so the cost is minimal compared to an internal transmission problem.

√ Growling or Grinding Noise

A growling or grinding transmission noise that is accompanied by a vibration when driving is indicative of a cracked or chipped gear.  A growling noise that increases in pitch and/or becomes louder as vehicle speed increases points to a problem with the transmission's final drive gears.  If the final drive gears are the culprit, the noise will remain consistent even when the transmission shifts to the next higher gear.

Note: A transmission growling or grinding noise can lead to complete transmission failure.  If you continue to drive the vehicle in this condition, you risk further damage to the transmission along with a higher repair bill.

√ Whining Noise

A whining noise coming from the transmission area, or specifically from the front of the transmission, is most likely a failing transmission oil pump.  A pump makes a whining noise when it is going bad or when it is working extra hard to pump fluid, in which case, you probably have a dirty and clogged transmission filter.  A failing transmission pump makes noise in all gears and is directly proportionate to engine speed.  To replace a pump, the transmission must be removed from the vehicle.

Note: Sometimes servicing the transmission (fluid and filter change) will quiet a whining pump.  With a new clean filter the pump does not work as hard to pump the fluid.

Automatic Transmission fluid and filter change

√ Gurgling Noise

A gurgling noise coming from the transmission area may mean the fluid level is low or possibly overfilled.  Keeping your transmission or transaxle full of clean ATF is the best thing you can do to avoid transmission problems.  According to the Automatic Transmission rebuilders Association (ATRA), approximately 90% of transmission failures are fluid related.

► Using Your Senses to Detect and Diagnose Transmission Problems

► How Look, Listen - Feel and Smell

► Transmission Fluid Leaks

► Transmission Service and Maintenance

FEEL - Oftentimes you can feel a transmission problem or the beginning of a problem in the form or a jerk, surge, sluggishness, etc.

√ Vehicle not moving in proportion to acceleration "sluggish feeling"

When your vehicle is not picking up speed proportionate to acceleration and engine sound the automatic transmission is likely slipping.  Slipping can occur at all speeds but is normally felt the most when taking off from a stop and when traveling uphill.  Slipping can be caused by an adverse fluid condition including low fluid, old and dirty fluid and/or oxidized fluid.  If the fluid level is full and the condition of the fluid is good, worn friction clutches are the probable cause of slipping.  The transmission or transaxle must be removed and disassembled to replace worn clutches.  A transmission rebuild includes replacing all friction clutch discs.

Note: Continuing to drive a vehicle with a transmission slip will cause further damage to the transmission resulting in a higher repair bill.

√ Vibration

A vibration can be caused by chipped or damaged gears inside the transmission.  However, don't jump the gun hear because vibrations are most often caused by a bad U-joint (if your vehicle is rear wheel drive) or a badly worn CV axle if you have a front wheel drive vehicle.  A broken transmission mount or engine mount can also cause a similar vibration.and model of your vehicle, the cost can exceed $1,000.

Another sign of a possible leak (that may not show up on the garage floor or driveway) is seeing any signs of smoke when the engine is running.  Smoke coming from the engine compartment or from underneath your vehicle is likely caused by an overheated engine or fluid leaking onto the exhaust pipes or other hot surface and burning off.  Again, the leak could be water/coolant, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid or power steering fluid.  Being one of the top causes of vehicles fires, fluid leaks should be repaired quickly.

LISTEN - Most people drive their vehicles enough to know the different sounds it makes when starting the engine, shifting the transmission into gear, driving down the expressway, braking, stopping, etc.  These are the ordinary sounds that you are familiar with.  So, when you hear something different, you need to take notice.  By different, it could be a completely new sound or one of the same sounds you always hear but maybe its louder than before or it happens more often than before.  The bottom-line is that these sounds may be a warning that something isn't quite right.

√ Oil/Fluid Leak

A burning smell while drive down the road can be engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, water/coolant or transmission fluid leaking on the exhaust or other hot areas of the engine and burning off.  Heated brakes can also put off a burning smell as well.  Since it may be difficult, or time-consuming, to determine the source of a fluid leak, the best approach is to check all your fluid levels at your earliest opportunity and top off any that are low.  By checking all fluid levels you may learn which fluid is leaking.

Note: Fluid leaks can lead to more costly repairs and are one of the top causes of vehicle fires.  Therefore, fixing a fluid leak should be a priority item on your "to-do" list.

√ Oxidized "Burnt" Transmission Fluid

When the transmission overheats the transmission fluid becomes oxidized.  Oxidized fluid has a very distinct burnt odor that you can only smell when checking the transmission fluid level and condition.  Simply placing the tip of the transmission dip stick near your nostrils is all it takes to check for oxidation.

WARNING: A automatic transmission running on oxidized transmission fluid will suffer catestrophic damage fairly quickly.  Check fluid condition each time you check the fluid level.  If the fluid smells burnt, replace it immediately with fresh fluid.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

√ Transmission Fluid Leak

The two most common ways people become aware that their automatic transmission or transaxle is leaking fluid is either noticing red colored stains on their driveway or garage floor and when checking their fluid level and seeing that it is low.  Regardless of how you become aware that your car is leaking transmission fluid, the important thing is that you get it fixed before serious damage is done.  An automatic transmission that runs low on fluid will not survive long.

Types of Transmission Fluid Leaks  

Transmission fluid leaks can be classified as either pressure related or non-pressure related.  Both types are explained in more detail below.  
 
◊Pressure Related ATF Leaks
occur when the engine is running and fluid pressure is built up inside the transmission.  Common pressure related fluid leaks include:
 
> leaking front pump or front pump seal
> leaking output shaft seal
> loose or damaged oil cooler line or line connection fitting
> damaged or deteriorated side cover gasket
> damaged sensor or leaking sensor O-ring
> torque converter
 
 Note: A pressure related fluid leak may leak even when the engine is off an no pressure is built up inside the transmission if the fluid level is high enough to reach the spot where the pressure leak occurs when the vehicle is parked.
 
◊Non-Pressure Related ATF Leaks
are not caused by fluid pressure and will leak anytime the fluid level is high enough (engine running or not).  Common non-pressure transmission fluid leaks include:

> damaged transmission oil "fluid" pan
> damaged, deteriorated or misaligned oil pan gasket
> oil pan bolts loose
> oil pan bolts overly tightened
> leaking fluid dipstick/fill tube O-ring
> damaged or deteriorated shifter lever/linkage seal

Common Fluid Leak Points

√ How to Identify a Transmission Fluid Leak

Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is typically red in color and translucent.  When rubbing transmission fluid between your finger and thumb it feels oily and slick.  After the fluid has been in the vehicle for awhile it gets darker in color and loses some or all of its translucency.  Lastly, oxidized transmission fluid is very dark in color (nearly black), non translucent and has a burnt odor.  (See image)

If you have trouble determining the color of the leaked fluid, place a white sheet of paper underneath your vehicle where the fluid leaks to the floor and let it sit overnight.  Seeing the fluid on white paper makes it easier to determine the color.

If you suspect your transmission is leaking fluid, the first thing you need to do is check the transmission fluid level.  If low, fill to proper level and continue to maintain the proper fluid level until the leak is repaired.  Do not drive the vehicle with low transmission fluid - doing so will cause the transmission to overheat.  Excessive heat will oxidize the fluid and cause major damage to the transmission.
 
Finding the Source "point of origin" of a Transmission Fluid Leak  
 
Some transmission fluid leaks are easy to locate and others are not so easy.  The not so easy to find leaks are normally hidden by other parts of the transmission, engine or the undercarriage.  Oftentimes the leaked fluid is splattered over a large area adding to the difficulty of finding the source.

If you have difficulty locating the exact point where a transmission leak originates, try one of the following methods:

1. RECOMMENDED...  The easiest and fastest way to locate a transmission fluid leak is using leak detection dye. You simply poor a small amount of the dye into the transmission and start the engine.  Using a UV light that comes with the leak detection dye kit the leaking fluid will appear in a florescent yellow/green color.  It's pretty amazing stuff!

2. If you do not use leak detection dye, use a degreaser or brake cleaner to clean the underside of both the engine and transmission, as well as the undercarriage.  Then wipe everything dry.  Once everything is clean and dry, start the engine and start looking for the source of the leak.  A good "bright" flashlight will help.

If after cleaning the transmission and undercarriage you still cannot locate the source of the leak then you may have to use the leak detection dye.

√ Transmission Slipping
Sluggish performance could be a sign that your transmission is slipping.  When the transmission begins to slip, less of the engine's power is reaching the drive wheels.  The engine is still producing the same amount of power but it's just not being delivered to the wheels.  The condition is most felt when taking off from a dead stop and when traveling uphill.  You will see the RPMs rise higher than normal and hear the engine rev higher than normal.

Transmission slipping can be caused by something as simple as the transmission being low of fluid or as costly as worn out friction clutches.  Adding a quart of transmission fluid costs under $10 while repairing a transmission with worn out friction clutches can cost $2,000 or more for a rebuild.

Recommendations:

√ Transmission slipping will not get better by itself - some action on your part
will be necessary.
√ Continuing to drive a vehicle with a slipping transmission will cause the transmission to overheat and will cause internal transmission damage - if it is not already damaged.
√ When you first recognize transmission slipping - check fluid level and
condition immediately and adjust as needed.

√ Transmission Shifts Hard
A hard shifting transmission hits hard (or jerks) when the gear engages.  A hard shift can occur when you shift from "P" Park into "D" Drive and between automatic gear changes "D" to "D2", "D2" to "D3" and so on.  Be careful as the hard shift (or jerk) will sometimes be harsh enough to snap your head back.

Oftentimes a hard shift condition is caused by a stuck shift or pressure control solenoid.  The cost to replace a faulty solenoid can range from $150 to several hundred dollars depending on the transmission.  If you change the solenoid yourself, the cost is usually around 1/3 or less than the repair shop cost.

A hard shifting transmission condition can also be caused by the vehicle's computer incorrectly telling the transmission to increase line pressure to the solenoid, which will cause a hard shift.  In most instances, it's not a faulty computer but a faulty sensor (such as a speed sensor or throttle position sensor) supplying bad data to the computer.    

The solenoids and sensors mentioned above are part of the powertrains electrical system.  Normally, a faulty solenoid or sensor will set a diagnostic trouble code and cause the check engine light to illuminate.  In these instances, retrieving the code(s) from the OBD-II system should point you in the right direction in resolving the problem.

If you have hard shifts with no check engine light then you will need to visit a transmission repair shop or dealership to have the transmission scanned using a professional transmission scanner.  If no electrical problem or faulty solenoid/sensor is detected, the transmission oil pan should be removed to check for excessive clutch debris.  

Recommendations:
   
√ At the first sign of the transmission shifting hard, check fluid level and condition, and adjust as needed.
√  In most instances, (but not all) a hard shift condition is an electrical problem not mechanical - meaning a rebuild is not needed.  So you must rule out all electrical possibilities before even discussing a rebuild.
√  If you have hard shifts with no check engine light, have the transmission scanned by a repair shop or dealership.

√ Transmission Not Working / Vehicle Not Moving in Drive and/or Reverse
When you shift from "P" Park to "R" Reverse or "D" Drive and the vehicle does not move the problem could be the transmission fluid level and/or condition, the transmission shifter cable/linkage is broken or disconnected (or on some transmissions the electrical component that controls the shifter has failed) or the transmission has internal damage.

If the fluid level and condition check are good and you can verify the shifter is actually working (meaning the transmission is changing gears when you move the shifter lever) then it is highly probable that the transmission is damaged internally and will need to be rebuilt.

Below is a comprehensive list of transmission leak points along with repair and cost information for each.
 
 > DAMAGED TRANSMISSION OIL PAN.

The pan's location makes it susceptable to damage from flying roadway debris.
 REPAIR: Replace transmission oil pan
 REPAIR COST: *Repair Shop: $150 to $400.   DIY: $75 to $200
*The wide cost range is due to increased labor time for vehicles that require the engine to be raised or the sub-frame to be lowered in order to remove the transmission oil pan.
 
 > LOOSE OIL PAN BOLTS.

When the pan bolts are loose, fluid leaks out from between the pan flange and the pan gasket.
 REPAIR: Check all transmission oil pan bolts, tighten as needed.
 REPAIR COST: Repair Shop: $50 to $85.   DIY: $0


 > OVERLY TIGHTENED OIL PAN BOLTS.

Over-tightening the pan bolts bends the pan flange around the bolt holes, which can cause a fluid leak.
 REPAIR: Remove transmission oil pan - straighten pan flange
 REPAIR COST: Repair Shop: $100 to $250.   DIY: $0
 
 > DETERIORATED, DAMAGED OR MISALIGNED PAN GASKET.

A pan gasket leak is one of the most common transmission fluid leak.  
 REPAIR: Remove transmission oil pan - replace pan gasket  
 REPAIR COST: *Repair Shop: $85 to $275  DIY Cost: $10 to $25
*The wide cost range is due to increased labor time for vehicles that require the engine to be raised or the sub-frame to be lowered in order to remove the transmission oil pan.

 > DAMAGED/LOOSE OIL COOLER LINE OR LINE FITTING "CONNECTION". 

Oil cooler lines can be damaged by roadway debris causing them to leak.  The line connections can also leak if they are loose or the metal washer is damaged or missing.    
REPAIR: Replace damaged oil cooler line
REPAIR COST: Repair Shop: $100 to $150  DIY Cost: $35 to $70
REPAIR: Tighten loose oil cooler line fitting(s)
REPAIR COST: Repair Shop: $25 to $40.   DIY: $0

 > OIL FILL/DIPSTICK TUBE.  
The oil fill tube (or dipstick tube) will leak at the base of the tube where it enters the transmission if it is loose or if the O-ring is damaged or deteriorated.
REPAIR: Tighten oil fill tube/Replace O-ring
REPAIR COST: Repair Shop: $25 to $40.   DIY: $0
 
 > SENSOR.

A sensor can leak for anyone of three reasons; 1) sensor is damaged, 2) sensor is not fully seated/the bolt securing the sensor is not tight or 3) the sensor O-ring is leaking.
REPAIR: Tighten loose sensor or replace O-ring
REPAIR COST: *Repair Shop: $25 to $40.   *DIY: $0 to $2.00  
*If sensor is damaged and must be replaced, the cost increases by the price of the sensor.  A sensor can cost between $20 and $75
 
 > AXLE SEAL (Front Wheel Drive "Transaxle" Only). 

This seal is located right at the point where the cv-axle enters the transaxle.  A leak here is quite common.
 REPAIR: Replace axle seal
REPAIR COST: *Repair Shop: $100 to $200+.   DIY: $15 to $25
*Replacing a axle seal requires the removal of the cv-axle.  The cost of labor can vary significantly depending on the vehicle year, make and model.
 

 > INTERNAL TRANSMISSION FLUID LEAK. 
A leaking front pump seal, output shaft seal and a damaged or worn out torque converter are examples of internal leaks.  All internal fluid leaks require the transmission to be removed from the vehicle in order to make the repair.  
REPAIR: Replace leaking seal or other faulty transmission component
REPAIR COST: *Repair Shop: $600 to $1,000+.   DIY: Cost of parts
 *The cost to repair an internal transmission leak varies considerable from one vehicle to another.  This is due to the difference in the amount of labor that is involved in removing and re-installing the transmission.

Transmission Fluid Leak Points and Repair Costs

Transmission Leak Points

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Automatic Transmission Service and Maintenance

Automatic transmission service and maintenance normally consists of routinely checking the fluid level and condition and then changing the fluid and filter at the manufacturers recommended mileage intervals.

Note: The schedule for servicing your transmission is covered in your vehicle owner's manual.

Keeping your transmission full of clean automatic transmission fluid (ATF) and following the manufacturer's recommended service intervals will not only save you money on costly repairs but you'll enjoy better performance, better gas mileage, peace of mind and a higher resale value if and when you ever sell or trade your vehicle.

Engines vs. Transmissions?

Generally speaking, vehicle owners tend to show more care for the engine in their vehicle(s) than they do for the transmission.  This reason for this simple; most people are more familiar with engine service items like oil and filter changes and tend to follow the manufacturers recommended service intervals more closely for engine maintenance.  This is why car engines typically outlast transmissions.

If this were a contest and transmissions could talk - "he-he" they would all be crying "foul" and saying; "you can't neglect and ignore our service needs and expect us to last.  Take care of us like you do the engines and we will survive".

Transmission Service and Maintenance Costs
When you service and maintain the transmission in your vehicle yourself, the costs are minimal.  For example, it cost nothing to check your transmission fluid level and condition once a month.  Adding ATF will cost you between $5 and $10 per quart of fluid, depending on the fluid type your transmission uses.  The do-it-yourself cost for a transmission service, (which is a simple fluid and filter change), can cost between $35 and $150 depending on the vehicle.  At the repair shop a transmission service will cost you anywhere from about $125 to $300 or more.  Again, depending on your vehicle year, make and model.

Note: In the big picture, whether you service the transmission yourself or you have it done at the repair shop is not important.  Getting it done is all that matters!

Most Premature Transmission Failures Are AVOIDABLE!
Here is what "To Do" and "NOT To Do"


1. To Do... Check Transmission Fluid Level and Condition
Get into the routine of checking your transmission fluid level and condition on a regular basis.  This is the #1 thing you can do to help insure your transmission continues to run smoothly and trouble-free.

2. To Do... Transmission Service
Follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended transmission service intervals.  Depending on the vehicle, transmission service intervals can range from every 30,000 miles to never for sealed transmissions.  (Although few experts agree that a transmission never needs the fluid changed).
 
A typical transmission service involves removing the transmission oil pan, cleaning and inspecting the pan for the presence of metal shavings, replacing the filter and pan gasket with new parts and filling with clean fresh ATF.

3.NOT To Do... Exceed Tow "Weight" Limit
DO NOT tow a vehicle or trailer that exceeds the tow weight limitation of your vehicle.  Doing so causes tremendous heat build up inside the transmission.  Even when towing within the vehicle's rated tow limit, the transmission can become overheated, especially when traveling through mountainous terrains, the desert and city stop and go traffic.

Be very careful here as the heat build up from towing will ruin your transmission.  This isn't hype - it's the truth!  

4. NOT To Do... Manual Shifts (Upshifts and Downshifts)
Always place the shifter lever in the Drive "D" position allowing the transmission to control shifts and shift timing.

Automatically controlled shifts occur at optimum RPMs taking into account vehicle speed and load.  Manually upshifting and downshifting at higher engine RPMs causes hard shifts and excessive wear to gears and friction clutches.

5. NOT To Do... Shift from Reverse to Drive While Moving
When backing up, always come to a complete stop before shifting into Drive "D".  Shifting into Drive from Reverse before the vehicle comes to a complete stop can chip, crack or break gears and severely damage other transmission hard parts.  Repair costs for these type damages are high because the transmission must be removed from the vehicle and disassembled.

6. To Do... Set E-Brake When Parked
When parking your vehicle, especially when parking on an incline, set the emergency brake (e-brake) BEFORE shifting the transmission into the Park "P" position.  Doing so places the weight of the vehicle on the brake instead of the transmission's parking pawl.  See 
Transmission Parking Pawl for more information on how this works.
   
7. NOT To Do... Spin the Wheels When Stuck
When stuck in ice, snow or mud, do not spin the wheels in an attempt to free the vehicle.  Moving the shifter back and forth between Reverse and Drive and spinning the wheels builds intense heat inside the transmission very quickly.  It only takes a few minutes of high speed wheel spinning to ruin a perfectly good transmission.

8. To Do... Install an External Transmission Oil Cooler
As you know by now, excessive heat is the quickest (and most common) cause of premature transmission failure.

Keeping your transmission cool in every situation is sometimes more than the factory transmission oil cooler is capable of doing.  An external (or auxiliary) transmission oil cooler is a very inexpensive safety measure to avoid a very expensive breakdown.

A Library of "Do-it-Yourself" Service and Repair Guides 

Automatic Transmission Repair Cost
What is a fair price to pay for various transmission repairs? What kinds of repairs does a transmission need?

Transmission Rebuild Cost
Does your transmission need rebuilt? Fair price guide for the price range of a transmission rebuild.

Remanufactured Transmission Options and Cost
Considering a remanufactured transmission? Here are costs and options for how to purchase.

Get a Free Transmission Estimate by Email
Want an estimate for a remanufactured transmission? Fill out the form here to get an estimate via e-mail.

How to Replace a Transmission Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid
What is a transmission torque converter clutch solenoid and how to replace one if it goes bad.

How to Replace a Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid
What is a transmission pressure control solenoid and how to replace one if it goes bad.

How to Replace Transmission Solenoids
Guide to various automatic transmission solenoids, how they work, and DIY instructions.

How to Know Which Transmission Fluid to Use?
What fluid type do you need for your specific transmission? Use this guide to find out.

How to Remove and Install an Automatic Transmission - (RWD)
If you facing a transmission replacement, you can reduce the cost considerably by removing and re-installing the transmission yourself.  Here we provide step-by-step instructions for remove and replacing a transmission. 

How to Replace a Transmission Speed Sensor
For most vehicles, the speed sensor is plugged into the transmission (or transaxle).  When the speed sensor fails the speedometer stops working and shifts may become erratic.  Replacing a speed sensor is easy.

How to Locate and Fix an Automatic Transmission Fluid Leak
Vehicle owners become aware of a transmission fluid leak either when checking the fluid level and seeing that it is low or seeing a red colored fluid on their driveway or garage floor.

How to Release a Shifter Lever That is Stuck in Park
Nothing is more frustrating that getting into your car and the gear shifter lever being locked in Park.  Here we explain how to release the shifter, the causes, how to repair and the estimated cost.

How to Install an Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler
Installing an auxiliary transmission oil cooler can protect your transmission from overheating and failure. Excessive heat can ruin a perfectly good transmission very quickly. Coolers are inexpensive and easy to install.  

How to Change the Fluid and Filter in an Automatic Transmission
Keeping clean fresh fluid in your transmission is the number one thing you can do to protect the transmission from premature failure.  These DIY transmission fluid and filter change procedures are easy to follow.

How to Check the Condition of your Automatic Transmission Fluid
Learn how to check the condition of transmission fluid, what the different conditions mean and what, if anything, you need to do to keep your transmission running smooth.

How to Check Your Automatic Transmission Fluid Level
Learn the correct procedure for checking transmission fluid level.  Many people do it wrong, so here is the easy way.

How to Replace a Transmission Neutral Safety Switch
The neutral safety switch is a safety feature that prevents the engine from starting when the transmission or transaxle is in gear.  When the switch fails, the engine may not crank or it may start in gear.

How to Flush Your Automatic Transmission
A transmission fluid flush can be performed without a transmission flush machine - and it's safer for high mileage vehicles.

What Transmission Do I Have?
A guide to determining which transmission model you have based on the year, make, model and engine size.

What is Limp Mode?
When a transmission fault is detected by the OBD-II system, the transmission may go into fail-safe (or "limp" mode as it is also called) in order to protect the transmission from internal damage

Common Transmission Problems and Solutions
Most vehicle problems, including automatic transmission problems, reveal themselves in one way or another. Learning to recognize these warning signs can save you a great deal of money and vehicle down time.

Transmission Diagnostic Trouble Codes
Diagnostic Trouble Codes P0700 through P0799 are transmission related OBD-II codes.  Any code within this range point to a transmission related fault..

How to Inspect and Repair CV Axles and CV Joints
CV (constant-velocity) axles, (also known as half-shafts), are used in front-wheel drive vehicles to transfer the engine’s power from the transaxle to the two drive wheels. 

Auto Repair Safety
When working on or around any vehicle injuries can and do occur.  Please read these Safety Precautions before starting your next automotive service/repair project.

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