Should I Repair Or Replace My Transmission?
Many of those who bring their vehicle to our Billings transmission service and repair shop are both surprised and relieved to learn that a problem with their vehicle's transmission does not necessarily mean a lot of money needs to be spent to repair it. In fact there are several transmission problems that can be solved without having to remove the transmission from a vehicle. Top Tech Automotive has put together the following information in an effort to make you a better informed consumer when trying to decide if you should repair or replace your transmission. The technicians at our Billings transmission shop are always available if you should have any questions about the information provided below. We also provide Transmission Inspections to determine the best solution for your particular situation. To request your inspection please complete and submit our online appointment form.
Transmission Adjustments & In-Car Repairs
The technicians at Top Tech Automotive understand that problems with your vehicle's transmission can often be resolved with adjustments or a minor repair. In fact, a simple adjustment can be done without even removing the transmission from the vehicle. When a late model transmission is failing to shift correctly, it can often be due to a faulty sensor receiving incorrect signals from the computer. Additionally shifting problems can arise when a transmission is not responding to the computer correctly due to a bad connection or a defective solenoid pack. These types of repairs can be fixed without having to remove the transmission from the vehicle saving you a considerable amount of money when compared to a complete overhaul.
In situations where a non computer-controlled transmission is either shifting too early or too late, the throttle cable may need to be adjusted. Seldom will a throttle cable go out of adjustment on its own or because of wear and tear, but rather most mis-adjustments are a result of other repair work or due to damage from an accident. When a vacuum modulator is used in lieu of a throttle cable, an adjustment screw can be used to correct a transmission problem. When a vehicle uses a modulator instead of a throttle cable it is crucial that there be no vacuum leaks and the engine is performing at peak efficiency. The vacuum conditions of an engine are very sensitive and significantly impact the performance of an engine. Our technicians will quite often use a vacuum gauge when diagnosing a vehicle's performance problem and state of tune. Many of the problems a vehicle's transmission may present will disappear after a thorough tune-up or other engine performance related repairs are completed.
Transmissions in older model vehicles can experience what is called "slipping". Slipping is a condition that results in an engine racing briefly when shifting from one gear to another. Often times a transmission band adjustment is all that is required to correct slipping conditions.
Spotting of red oil on the ground underneath your vehicle is usually indicative of your transmission needing a reseal job. Reseal jobs are done in order to repair external transmission fluid leaks. Checking for leaks involves one of our technicians placing your vehicle on a rack to examine the transmission for signs of oil leaks. If while examining your vehicle our technician notices leaks near any of the external gaskets or seals and your transmission is otherwise performing well, our recommendation will usually the transmission be resealed. While most external seals can be replaced without needing to remove the transmission, a front seal replacement requires the removal of the transmission in order to gain access to it, resulting in a more expensive transmission repair.
Accessible Part Replacement
The transmission in your vehicle has numerous parts that are accessible without requiring the removal of your transmission, including the majority of the electrical parts that are serviced simply by removing the oil pan. Repairing a transmission's external parts may result in limited warranty coverage as it is not possible to see if there is any additional problems with the parts inside the transmission that are only accessible with the complete removal of the transmission.
Complete Transmission Overhaul (Rebuild)
A complete transmission overhaul, also known as a transmission rebuild, a transmission is completely removed from vehicle and disassembled in our shop. Each of the parts are laid out on a workbench and is inspected for damage and wear. The parts are then either cleaned in a special cleaning solution or replaced if damaged. If a part has friction surfaces, such as the case with bands and clutches, then it is replaced. In a complete transmission overhaul all gaskets and seals are replaced as well. The torque converter is replaced during a complete transmission overhaul, being replaced with a remanufactured one. Additionally our technicians will review technical service bulletins to check if the manufacturer of the transmission in question recommends any modifications intended to correct design defects realized after the transmission was built. If a bulletin indicates such a defect then an upgrade kit will be used to resolve any and all design defects.
Transmission Replacement vs. Complete Overhaul
When it is determined that your vehicle''s transmission is in need of an overhaul a replacement unit may be a consideration. Rather than removing your existing transmission only to completely disassemble and reassemble it, another option is to replace it with one that has already been rebuilt or remanufactured. There are several things to consider when deciding to use a replacement unit instead of a complete transmission rebuild. Although a replacement unit will get you back on the road much faster it is not always the best solution. There are situations when any given transmission model will have numerous variations dependent upon factors such as which model vehicle, engine, axle ratio, and even tire size! The resulting problems could vary and might be as simple as a speedometer reading that is too high or low (speedometers are normally connected to a gear in the transmission by a cable). Alternatively though you might incur incorrect shift points or even a complete transmission failure due to your engine being more powerful than the one a replacement unit was designed for. Our technicians are aware of these important considerations and will discuss these in detail with you during a service consultation.