TRANSMISSION MAINTENANCE

Q7. Why should I service my transmission and how often should I have it done?

Since heat is generated in an automatic transmission, the fluid will actually degrade and break down over time. By having your transmission serviced on a regular basis you will help extend the life of your transmission. Under normal driving conditions we suggest that you have your transmission serviced every 2 years or 25,000 miles. We also use a Universal Synthetic Transmission Fluid which aids in extending the life of your transmission by allowing it to run cooler and cleaner while lubricating your transmission and helping the fluid maintain its viscosity in a broad operating temperature range.

Q8. What’s the difference between servicing, draining & filling and flushing my transmission?

This is what we do when we service an automatic transmission with a removable pan. This is a very involved process:

  • We check the transmission fluid level and condition
  • We road test the vehicle to verify that the transmission is functioning properly
  • We raise the vehicle up on the lift to externally inspect for any fluid leaks, loose bolts, etc.
  • We remove the transmission pan and filter
  • We break the filter open to see if there is any debris trapped in the filter – this is a critical step because if debris is found it’s an early warning sign that something is failing internally
  • We install a new transmission filter and replace the fluid that was lost when the pan was removed, generally about half the fluid in the unit, 5 quarts
  • We then do a final road test, lift inspection and fluid level check

For a drain and fill, we follow the same procedures as above, except we do not pull the pan – we just pull the drain plug and then refill the transmission fluid to the proper level.

For a transmission flush, we perform all of the above steps, but we replace all of the fluid in the system. We recommend a flush if the transmission fluid has become very dark or if your transmission was contaminated with water.

Q9. Help – I drove through high water and I think I have water in my transmission…what do I do?

Living in the Bayou City, it’s inevitable that at one point in time you will be exposed to high water driving conditions. One of the signs that your transmission was contaminated with water is that the fluid will resemble a strawberry milkshake. Once water has entered the system, the adhesive on the clutch linings will begin to dissolve and the lining will detach from the clutch plates. This will eventually restrict the fluid flow in the transmission. Also, the water will begin to rust the metal components of the transmission and the electronic components will be adversely affected. If you act quickly, turn the vehicle off, do not drive it, have it towed, and have the transmission flushed immediately there is a chance that you will be able to salvage the unit. However, there are many factors that determine if a flush will be successful in saving your transmission: the amount of water that entered the system, if you drove the vehicle and circulated the water in the transmission and the length of time that it was inside the transmission are all huge contributing factors.