Discover the Transmission Maintenance Secrets…The Transmission 101 Guide

Learn how to do transmission maintenance and it will pay dividends in hundred folds!


One of the most feared activity in your vehicle is how to maintain your transmission. And considering the complexity of these components, nobody can blame you if you are one of the culprits. Everybody seems to know what an engine is and where it is located but if one wants to see a transmission; it seems almost no one can figure it out. To make it easy for you, any component behind the engine is your transmission.

By definition, transmission transfers the turning power of your engine rotation to rotate the drive shaft of your tires. It is the transmission that does this when you put the shifter on drive or reserve as in the case of automatic transmission or shift gears as in the case of standard transmission. It is necessary that you also maintain your transmission so you can get where you want to go. Shown below are simple ways on how to maintain your transmission.

Automatic Transmission Maintenance

Always check your trany (transmission) oil level especially during oil change. The color and smell of the oil will usually give you the tel tale sign on the condition of your trany. Example; a good transmission has a bright red color whereas a bad trany usually has dark red color. Besides, the smell of the oil will be like a strong rust for a worn trany which is usually absent in a good trany.

Make sure the level is between the “add and high mark”. One good way to check the trany pump is to check the trany level when the engine is shut down. Measure the oil level and then start your engine. The oil level is supposed to go down roughly about 3/8 to ½ inch as soon as it started. This indicates that the trany pump is working. When topping up the oil level, make sure to use the recommended trany oil in your maintenance manual or see your local dealer if it is not available. Using the wrong oil will most likely damage your trany.

Following your trany maintenance manual, get a regular trany oil change at least once every 2 years depending on what you find during the inspection or mileage of the vehicle. When performing the trany oil change, always include the trany filter which comes as a package when you buy the trany oil pan gasket which you need to remove during a trany oil change. Before doing this, make sure you have the infomation on how the trany oil change would be done which you can get if you have the trany manual or a member of an online vehicle advisory club.

TIPS for transmission maintenance

ATS provides a step by step check up and procedures in servicing any trany for all makes of vehicles upto 2012 models. This includes the wiring diagram of the trany control module (TCM) which controls most of the late trany electronics used nowadays.

Manual Transmission Maintenance

Manual transmission is usually accompanied by a clutch which aids during the shifting of the gears. Most of the maintenance of this pertains on how the clutch operates. If the clutch pedal is stiff or near close to the floor, it indicates the clutch needs adjusting or replacement where the clutch has a self adjusting feature. Adjusting the clutch can be done on the side of the trany bell housing and can be done easily with the aid of a clutch manual which is included in the vehicle’s service manual.

When it comes to the trany gearbox maintenance, there is not much you can do except to do a gear oil change which usually go every 2nd year or depends on how you use the vehicle.

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