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Regular maintenance can help your transmission last

In Transmission, Transmission Flush by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

It’s important for car owners to know what their vehicle needs and to go to a reputable mechanic or repair shop. 

If they don’t, there could be consequences down the road. 

One of our technicians installed a new transmission on a 2016 RAM 2500 SLT.

A few weeks ago, the customer came in after the check engine light turned on. They had also noticed the truck revved high when they were shifting into fifth and sixth gear.

Initially, we tried to address this problem by performing a transmission fluid exchange.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of maintenance, the transmission was too far gone.

To get to the transmission, the technician removed many components, including the front drive shaft, rear drive shaft, transfer case, and parts of the exhaust system.

What does a transmission do?

The transmission is a component that transfers the engine’s power to the wheels. Without it, a vehicle isn’t able to run correctly.

What are signs that a transmission is going bad?

Difficulty switching gears is one sign that a transmission is going bad. Drivers may notice a grinding or crunching noise, as well.

What happens during a transmission fluid exchange?

The contaminants in the transmission fluid tend to stick to the sides. So, we start a transmission fluid exchange by injecting a cleaner that suspends the contaminants in the fluid.

Doing this enables us to get the broken down fluid out.

Our technicians replace old transmission fluid with new fluid using a BG Transmission Fluid Exchange Machine. 

Once the exchange is complete, we add in a conditioner that increases the effectiveness of the transmission fluid and extends its lifespan.

BG makes a variety of products, including BG Quick Clean, conditioners, as well as fluid for manual transmissions and different types of automatic transmissions. 

Here is a video about the transmission flush process:

When should you have a transmission fluid exchange done?

We suggest having a transmission fluid flush performed every 30,000 miles.

How often you should do this service is also based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some encourage brake fluid exchanges more frequently.

There are also a couple of signs indicating that the fluid needs to be changed. These include a burnt smell and fluid appearing darker.

Why should you have a transmission fluid exchange performed?

Transmissions experience a lot of stress as you travel through traffic, causing operating temperatures to arise. That coupled with oxidation leads the transmission fluid to break down.

The transmission is one of the most expensive parts of a vehicle. 

Transmission fluid exchanges clean the transmission, helping it last.

In the case of the 2016 RAM, regular transmission fluid exchanges were not done.

Taking the time to learn about and keep up with the services your vehicle needs is worth it. This maintenance can prevent components from going bad prematurely and help you avoid expensive repairs.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Signs of a bad manual transmission

In Transmission by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Transmissions play an important role in making sure your vehicle runs properly.

The transmission will take the power from the engine and move it to the wheels. 

They used to be three-speed. Now, it’s common to have four and five-speed transmissions. Some cars have up to seven gears.

A new manual transmission was installed in a Ford Fiesta.

The driver had noticed that it switched out of gear when they moved from a stoplight in first gear. They needed to hold it in gear until the vehicle picked up enough speed.

Typically, a grinding or crunching sound can be heard if a car needs a new manual transmission. It may also be difficult to switch gears. 

However, these symptoms don’t necessarily indicate that something is wrong with your transmission. They could also mean that your clutch is going bad.

In addition to gaining a new transmission, the Ford Fiesta received a new clutch and flywheel.

The clutch disc links the transmission with the engine by engaging the flywheel and pressure plate.

Manual Transmission
Clutch Disc

When you press in the clutch pedal, it disengages the clutch disc from the flywheel.

When you release the clutch pedal after switching gears, the pressure plate engages the clutch disc engaging the flywheel.

Driving styles can impact the lifespan of a transmission.

Some cars can go thousands of miles before they need a new one. They can go bad within weeks if you don’t know how to drive the car correctly.

Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Goodyear tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including BMW and Mercedes. Services include oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

Noticing car problems after storm? Get them checked out.

In Alignment, Fluids, Maintenance, Safety, Tires and Wheels, Transmission by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Last weekend the entire area was pelted with more than a foot of snow, with up to almost three feet in some places! Even though the snow has stopped and you’ve managed to dig out your driveway to get back on the roads, you may be experiencing some car problems following the storm.

Here are some common issues that our technicians at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire has seen following the blizzard, that you should get checked out as soon as possible:

  1. If you’ve been driving on icy roads in your neighborhood, hitting blocks of snow and debris on your travels, or even running into curbs hidden beneath the snow, then you run the risk of a flat tire. Our technicians will be able to assess the damage to your tires if you’ve got a flat, and make recommendations on repair or replacement.
  2. If you own a truck or you’ve been out plowing, the storm likely put a lot of strain on your vehicle. Particularly if you were moving over large amounts of snow, or were trying to plow streets, it’s not uncommon for a vehicle’s transmission to be damaged. We’re seeing several plows at our shop this week to fix transmission related issues.
  3. One the most common things we’re seeing is damage to vehicles’ windshield wipers. Even if you lifted them up before the storm, the weight of the snow on the front of your car, or placing the wipers back on the windshield before all snow and ice were completely removed can cause them to be bent or broken. This is something our technicians can quickly switch out for you, and get you back on the road in no time.
  4. When heading out on the road after digging your car out, you may have noticed some shaking and vibration while driving. While this could be another more involved issue with your vehicle, a lot of the cars we’ve seen this week were having this shaking in their car because ice and snow were still in the rim wheel of the tires, throwing off the car’s balance.
  5. Hitting curbs or icy patches won’t only cause a potential flat tire – it can also mess with your vehicle’s alignments. Particularly after hitting chunks of ice or other debris, if you notice your car pulling to one side on flat pavement, then it’s a good idea to bring your car to a shop to have it looked at.
  6. Not able to use your wiper fluid to clear your windshield? Drivers that didn’t check their washer fluid to make sure it was at appropriate levels and the right mixture before the storm may be having issues with using their wipers correctly, as the wiper fluid is frozen inside.

The storm may have kept you from going out, but don’t let vehicle issues stop you too. Our technicians and service advisers at Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire can inspect your vehicle to make sure that everything’s in working order, and get you safely back out on the road this winter.