The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.
How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.
Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some automakers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Chesapeake drivers: it improves gas mileage and increases performance.
But there is a drawback for Chesapeake car owners: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Chesapeake auto owners. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.
That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a critical part of preventive maintenance for Chesapeake auto owners. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer expensive damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.
Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.
New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Chesapeake motorists at West Service Center, Inc.. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at West Service Center, Inc.. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing costly transmission repairs.
When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Chesapeake motorists remember to get our oil changed. But West Service Center, Inc. services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is a key part of car care for Chesapeake auto owners. A poorly maintained transmission will curtail MPG and lead to expensive repairs.
The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well – lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your MPG will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.
Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Chesapeake car owners.
The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of harmful grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.
This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this critical service. Or, you can talk to your honest West Service Center, Inc. service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your van may be shorter or longer.
Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the auto manufacturer recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty Virginia conditions, if you tow a trailer around Chesapeake, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Chesapeake driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.
Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your van needs, or meet with your honest West Service Center, Inc. service advisor.
At West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly pricey. Compared to the cost of expensive transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at West Service Center, Inc. and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved fuel economy and a longer, smoother ride.
Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Portsmouth auto owners only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Portsmouth. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there’s an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you’re doing.
Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That’s what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on Virginia freeways. And automatically shifts back down to climb Portsmouth hills, pass or start up again.
van automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.
At West Service Center, Inc., we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.
Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.
Not enough fluid can starve the transmission or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission, then the lubricant is blocked and can’t get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at West Service Center, Inc. see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.
And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Chesapeake service center can be quite costly. That’s why vehicle manufacturers have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.
It’s really important for Portsmouth car owners to carefully follow the manufacturer’s transmission service schedule.
At West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake, we hope you never become shiftless in Portsmouth because you didn’t take care of your transmission.
So you have some exciting plans for the Virginia weekend. You’re going to take some of your Chesapeake, Virginia friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your van maintenance is up to date.
Think about it – heavy interstate traffic on the way out of Chesapeake. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it’s going to be pretty hot in Chesapeake this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.
Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local Virginia lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It’s vital to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it’s critical for Chesapeake car owners to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake to make sure it runs efficiently.
An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Chesapeake car owners who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.
Chesapeake motorists who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience pricey transmission failure. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.
This reminds us of how much of our driving around Chesapeake, Virginia is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold Virginia weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Chesapeake, Virginia add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.
While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your service advisor at West Service Center, Inc. will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.