The car’s engine produces power. However, before the power can be applied to the wheels it has to pass through the transmission. The transmission unit in modern cars is quite sophisticated with hundreds of components, all working in perfect synchronicity for smooth transfer of the power to the wheels at any speed. If it is so sophisticated, it also means that regular maintenance is needed to keep it in the top condition. One must understand the way transmissions work and the importance of the transmission service for a car’s overall “health”.
Types of transmission
Cars may have the manual transmission or automatic transmission systems and one can come across dual clutch transmission as well as a continuously variable transmission. The most common are the manual transmission and the automatic transmission of which the former is far simpler in construction and operation. It is a set of gears contained in a housing with one shaft connected to the engine through the clutch and the other to the differential driving wheels. A shift lever in the driver cabin enables the driver to change gears for the smooth power transfer at any speed. The transmission also helps manage RPM of engines. The automatic transmission is more sophisticated using a torque converter to couple or decouples the engine and gears. Both types usually have planetary gears in different ratios to achieve the combination of torque and speed. Subjected to high stresses and with the friction generating high heat, the gear sets are usually encased in a housing that is filled with oil or transmission fluid to cool and lubricate the mechanism as well as transmit force and pressure.
What happens when the transmission is not well maintained?
It is essential that you keep the transmission service regular. Dirty oil and gunk can lead to an excessive heat and wear and tear that could lead to issues. Some of the most common transmission issues are the lack of response with consequent high fuel consumption and wear tear on the engine as well as transmission parts. You know your transmission service is due when there is whining, humming, and clunking sound as you accelerate. Low fluids and leaks can lead to wear and tear of gears and necessitate expensive replacement. Worn gears could lead to grinding and shaking. The driver may also find it difficult to shift gears. Another issue is of overheated transmission fluid that can emit a burning smell. Broken links in the transmission can lead to slipping gears, a serious issue in the transmission. Regular transmission service helps prevent the rise of any of these serious issues.
What is involved in transmission service?
Garages differ in their approach to deliver services. Meticulous people will give a thorough transmission service that should include:
- Check performance and noises to identify any worn-out gears or linkages.
- A complete check of the pump and pan, removing it and checking the quality of the fluid inside
- Replacement of the filter
- Cleaning of the pan
- Reinstallation of pan along with the gasket
- Removing old fluid and filling in fresh, genuine high-grade transmission fluid with or without an additive to improve performance.
The easiest and the best way to prevent damage in the transmission system is to opt for transmission service at regular intervals and change the fluid. In the case of automatic transmissions, the work may be more involved such as flushing out existing fluid, adjusting bands, and controls and then a thorough test for the performance check.
The transmission is an important system of your car and deserves careful as well as regular service to keep it working for years.