Transmission Repair Service & Fluid Flush
The smooth operation of a vehicle is highly dependent on a properly working transmission. This critical system converts mechanical power from the engine into torque, which is then transferred to the wheels to move your vehicle. This means that, if the transmission system is not working as it should, the vehicle will not go anywhere.
If your vehicle is shifting gears abnormally or you are hearing unusual sounds during shifting, it may need a transmission service. Whether you have an automatic, semi automatic, or manual transmission vehicle, our team at BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers has you covered. We are experts in professional transmission service.
Our expert ASE-certified technicians are ready and able to perform a transmission flush or a transmission fluid change when your vehicle needs it. And if your vehicle has a more in-depth problem, we can also handle any transmission repair you may need.
The Pros You Can Count On When You Need a Transmission Shop
When you are searching for a local transmission shop, look no further than BRAKEmax. Our mechanics use professional, state-of-the-art equipment to accurately pinpoint and diagnose any issues, perform transmission fluid changes, and properly handle any transmission repair needs that your vehicle may have. We can help ensure that your transmission system is operating at the level you’ve come to expect.
At BRAKEmax, we offer complete transmission service and repairs, including:
- Thorough transmission system inspection
- Transmission fluid level check
- Transmission pan service (aka transmission fluid change)
- Full transmission flush
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Protect Your System from Wear and Tear with a Transmission Fluid Change
Usually, you don’t think much about your transmission system until there is a problem, and it’s not working as expected. With normal use over time, the transmission fluid will pick up dirt and other debris. Letting your vehicle run on dirty or low transmission fluid can cause problems with shifting or even cause the system to seize up completely, leading to a very expensive total replacement of the transmission.
That is why including your vehicle’s transmission in your preventative maintenance routine is so important.
Prevent your vehicle from breaking down by getting a transmission service regularly. We recommend that you have your transmission fluid changed every 30,000 miles or when your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends this service.
A transmission fluid service will help keep your transmission properly lubricated and prevent excess friction, maximizing the system’s performance and life span. Replacing a fried transmission is the last thing you want to have to do.
As far as mechanical components go, today’s transmissions are incredibly complicated. That is why you need a trusted professional who is experienced in transmission service. There are two types of transmission fluid service: a full transmission flush, and a transmission fluid change (aka transmission pan service).
Transmission Flush versus Transmission Fluid Change
A transmission fluid flush service is performed through the cooler lines. The service removes virtually all of the old transmission fluid in your vehicle and replaces it with fresh, new fluid. This process also purges any built-up deposits and particles. The transmission fluid filter is usually not replaced during this service.
Alternatively, a transmission pan service only changes about 30% of the fluid in your transmission, but the process allows the technician access to change the filter and gasket. During this service, the transmission pan is drained manually, inspected, and thoroughly cleaned. Then, a new transmission filter is put in, and new transmission fluid is added, resulting in a mix of new and old fluid.
A pan service and a full fluid flush can be done either separately or in conjunction with each other, but these are two separate transmission services.
Note that there are many different types of transmission fluids available. Here at BRAKEmax, we use a synthetic transmission fluid that meets or exceeds most manufacturer specifications. For the few vehicles that require a different type of fluid, we use Original Equipment (OE) transmission fluids.
Keep in mind that some of these OE fluids cost upwards of $15 per quart, so we do have to charge more to service vehicles that need this type of transmission fluid.
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Indicators That You May Need Transmission Service
There are some red flags to be aware of that can help alert you to a possible transmission system issue, including:
- Check engine light illuminated. The check engine light can indicate several different issues, but it often indicates a problem within the transmission system.
- Vehicle hesitation after shifting gears. This will usually be felt as the vehicle pauses before moving forward when you shift from park into first gear. Sometimes, this can also occur when shifting from park into reverse, or when shifting past first gear.
- Slipping gears. A transmission system that is working optimally will properly keep track of gear shifts. When the system is failing, it may shift into neutral unintentionally, preventing you from being able to control the acceleration or deceleration of the vehicle.
- Moving the manual shifter into gear is difficult. If it is hard to physically move the shifter between gears or it won’t go into gear at all, this is a clear indicator of trouble.
- Unusual noises. If you hear grinding, knocking, or other unusual sounds coming from the engine when the vehicle is in neutral or accelerating, there may be a problem with the transmission.
- Strong burning smell. If your vehicle is running on dirty, low, or overheated transmission fluid, you will probably notice a strong burning smell from the engine. This happens when the fluid can’t properly lubricate the transmission components any longer or keep the system cool enough. Clean transmission fluid will usually smell slightly sweet or tart.
- Leaking transmission fluid. Transmission fluid should not be visibly and actively leaking from your engine. When this fluid is leaking, you’ll usually see red puddles under the middle of the vehicle.
- Clutch problems. When a clutch pedal grabs much higher than normal, it may just need to be adjusted. But this is more likely caused by a worn pressure plate and clutch disc. Alternatively, if the pedal is engaging very low, this usually means that there is a problem with the linkage that operates the clutch or with the hydraulic system. A quick adjustment might solve this if no hydraulic leaks are present.
If your transmission starts to operate unusually and you’re noticing any of the indicators above, it is important to bring your vehicle into BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers for a transmission inspection as soon as possible. This will catch small issues early and prevent costly problems later.
The Transmission Service Experts You Can Count On
The expert technicians at each of the BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers locations have the knowledge, experience, and state-of-the-art tools to perform the transmission service your vehicle may need.
If you are looking for a transmission shop, schedule your appointment online now at our location nearest you. We are proud to meet all of your needs for auto repair in Tucson.
We want to help make your next auto service appointment even more affordable. Make sure to check out our coupons page for the latest service specials and deals to help save you money on a transmission flush or other services and repairs your vehicle may need.
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How Does a Transmission Work?
If you have ever wanted to know how a transmission works, view the video below.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s hard to tell what kind of fluid is on your garage floor but it’s important to know so it can be properly addressed. If the fluid is pinkish or red, it is probably transmission fluid. A brownish tint to the pink or red indicates the transmission fluid is dirty. (Engine oil is amber or clear and slightly translucent, unless it is dirty, which can make it darker and gritty.) Lightly touch the fluid. Transmission fluid is slick and oily and if it is dirty, it will smell burnt.
From a performance perspective, you will begin to hear new noises when the transmission shifts gears, such as grinding or clunking noises. Or the gears are slipping or simply not responding as they normally do. If the RPMs are higher as you change gears, the transmission needs checking. The fluid may be leaking and causing these problems, or a more serious problem may indicate your vehicle needs a transmission repair, so make an appointment for transmission service in our transmission shop as soon as you can.
A major cause is driver neglect. It is important to keep track of the transmission fluid in your car’s transmission: Is it low or dirty? Is the filter clogged? If so, the system can’t work. Avoid driver neglect and your transmission will last far longer!
Each of these things can be corrected with a visit to BRAKEmax. Our ASE-certified service staff will set up an appointment schedule to ensure that the transmission fluid and filter are adequate and clean.
Yes, and it has negative consequences for your car. The car may begin shifting erratically or the oil may not reach the engine as it should. The entire transmission—and the engine—can be damaged as a result. Leave filling or flushing the transmission fluid to the experts at BRAKEmax.
BRAKEmax transmission services include:
- A transmission fluid check and fluid exchange if needed
- A complete inspection of your transmission
- Transmission pan service
- Manual and automatic transmission repair or replacement, if indicated.
Upon completion, our transmission specialist will discuss the results of the inspection and any recommendations with you. We also provide an estimate of the work recommended so you can make an informed decision.
Work done on a vehicle’s transmission is more complex than almost any other system in a car. A transmission has many parts that interact with other systems in the car. The repairs are expensive and time-consuming. Maintain your schedule of regular preventative maintenance appointments to avoid as many repairs as possible.
Major transmission repairs:
Minor transmission repairs:
- replacing defective solenoids
- re-sealing for leaks
- replacing parts
- throttle cable adjustment
A transmission performs one of the most complicated jobs in any engine system. This means that many different things can go wrong. Some of the parts will wear out or become damaged and can be replaced without a great deal of time or expense. Other parts are designed to last for the life of the transmission. These will require more expense and time to repair. This is when the decision to replace or repair becomes important.
It’s a difficult decision due to the complexity of a transmission. Get an expert opinion first from one of our transmission repair specialists at BRAKEmax. They will test drive the car, run diagnostic tests, and physically inspect the transmission before providing advice and an estimate for the work they suggest.
BRAKEmax can help you weigh the pros and cons. And don’t forget to check our specials and discounts as you decide! We also have financing options available.
Always check your owner’s manual for questions specific to your car. Since there are many different kinds of transmission fluid, it’s important to know what the manufacturer recommends for your car.
The age of your vehicle is another factor. Newer transmissions use a different type of transmission fluid than older vehicles. In either case, choosing the right fluid is critical to getting the best performance and fuel efficiency from your car.
We can help at BRAKEmax. Bring your vehicle to us and we will advise you about the right kind of transmission fluid to use.
The Transmission Control Module (TCM) is an onboard computer that monitors the transmission. The TCM sends signals to the transmission to alert you when there may be a problem. You will notice a change in how the car feels when shifting as the module monitors the transmission. If you feel this, make an appointment for a transmission check. The mechanic will also check the TCM to make sure it is not malfunctioning.
It can if the transmission isn’t protected for the additional weight. Engine overheating can result if you haul heavy loads regularly. In that case, an auxiliary transmission fluid cooler can prevent overheating by providing an extra cooler for the heated fluid to pass through. Although the cooler doesn’t increase the capacity for towing, it does take care of the fluid in the system to keep the engine from getting too hot.
The job of any kind of solenoid is to convert electrical energy into mechanical work. In an automatic transmission, the solenoid helps the gears shift. During your preventative maintenance appointments, one of our expert mechanics will check the solenoid to make sure it isn’t sticking.
CVT stands for continuously variable transmission. Sometimes it is referred to as single-speed, shiftless, or stepless transmission. Manual and automatic transmissions have a fixed number of gears. A CVT transmission changes through an unlimited range of gears while you drive.
The advantages of a CVT are better gas mileage, no hard shifting between gears, and better control on hills. The disadvantages are that the CVT costs more, is noisy when it shifts, doesn’t last as long, and repairs are often more costly.
The torque converter transmits power to the transmission. It does this through the transmission fluid and prevents the engine from stalling while shifting between gears. When the converter isn’t working properly, the transmission overheats and shifting fails.
A torque converter repair is expensive, so it’s important to find out if the converter is actually the problem. Transmission problems are hard to diagnose, so make sure a professional ASE-certified mechanic inspects it. It may turn out to be another issue.
CVT stands for Continually Variable Transmission – these advanced transmissions allow for extremely smooth gear shifts and improved fuel economy over the traditional transmission technology. The most important thing to remember about having a CVT-equipped vehicle is that the transmission takes different fluid than your standard automatic transmission.
No! More and more, transmission fluid is becoming vehicle-specific. Between CVT, Mopar, ATF+4, Mercon V and others, there is a specific fluid recommended for your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or with any of our friendly neighborhood locations to determine the appropriate fluid for your vehicle.
It depends on what car you drive. Some vehicles call for Transmission Fluid replacement at 50,000 miles, and others don’t call for that service until the vehicle has driven 100,000 miles. Check with one of our automotive service experts or your owner’s manual to determine the proper interval for your vehicle.
A transmission flush involves hooking a machine up to the transmission lines and using the vehicle’s own power to flush the old fluid from the system. This allows for a nearly complete exchange of fluid but does not replace the in-line filter (where equipped).
A transmission service refers to the procedure of dropping the transmission oil pan and replacing the filter, gasket, and whatever fluid drops out. While this replaces a good percentage of the fluid, it does not drain all of it. It does, however, result in a new in-line filter. This service is also performed when the gasket material begins to fail and the transmission pan leaks or seeps.
The answer to this question depends on:
- What the recommended maintenance schedule is for your specific vehicle.
- If your transmission system has been regularly maintained.
- The quality of the fluid currently in your transmission.
The first place to look is your vehicle’s owner’s manual. There, you will see if the manufacturer recommends one transmission service over the other.
Running your transmission on dirty or old fluid can cause severe problems within the system, like overheating and even total transmission failure. How often a transmission fluid change is needed can range anywhere from every 30,000 miles to 60,000 miles. A transmission flush is typically recommended anywhere from every 30,000 miles to every 100,000 miles.
If your transmission’s fluid is overly dirty or contaminated or it’s been quite a while since your last transmission service, then a full fluid flush will probably be needed. But, if you’ve kept up with the recommended transmission maintenance routine and the fluid looks good, then continuing to have your transmission serviced with a fluid change is probably sufficient.
There are several signs to be aware of that indicate that you may need to visit a transmission shop for a fluid flush, including:
- The “check engine” light is on.
- A leaking transmission, resulting in puddles of red liquid under the vehicle.
- Increasing difficulty shifting gears.
- The gears slip when shifting.
- Whining or grinding noises coming from the transmission system.
- The vehicle surges forward and then falls back when shifting gears.
Here at BRAKEmax, if you are unsure which service should be done, our experts can check the condition of your transmission fluid and assess the system’s performance. Based on these things, we can make a professional recommendation on what would be best.
Yes, manual or automatic transmission upgrades can provide significant benefits, specifically for high-performance cars. This includes an increase in acceleration and average peak power, as well as ensuring that transmission components do not break down during high-performance uses.
One of the most common reasons for transmission upgrades is to make sure that the engine does not produce more torque than the transmission can safely handle. If that happens, it can cause a breakdown of the transmission shaft, forks, or other components.
So, simple transmission upgrades/changes will ensure that your engine can handle more power and offer an improved level of performance. This, in turn, provides an extra boost in speed. Having transmission upgrades done when needed can be as important for your engine as changing the transmission fluid.
For example, enhanced transmission gear ratios enable the engine to spend more time in its power “sweet spot.” Stock transmission systems usually aren’t made to offer maximum performance. Their main functions, in many cases, are to optimize fuel efficiency and reduce production costs.
So, changing the factory gear ratios in a stock transmission can improve a vehicle’s performance, since less torque will then be transferred to the drive wheels. With that being said, one way to improve performance in an automatic transmission is to adjust the gear ratio of either the first gear or the fourth and fifth gears.
Numerous factors impact the length of time it will take a mechanic at a transmission shop to repair the system. These include:
- The severity of the issue.
- The type of transmission system (automatic or manual).
- The vehicle model.
Typically, most transmission repairs will take a day or two. In many cases, even if the transmission on a rear-wheel drive vehicle needs to be rebuilt, you’re still looking at just one to two days. For front-wheel drive vehicles, a transmission system rebuild typically takes three to four days.
When you receive a quote for the transmission repair that your vehicle needs, the service advisor or mechanic will be able to give you a more specific time frame of exactly how long the work will take.
The lifespan of your transmission directly correlates with how well you maintain the system. With proper transmission maintenance, the system can last 300,000 miles, sometimes even more. Routine transmission fluid changes, inspections, and band adjustments can save you thousands of dollars in premature transmission failure down the road.
However, if routine maintenance is not kept up with, your transmission system might start to have problems at 100,000 miles, or even sooner. If the transmission fluid is too dirty and worn down, it can’t sufficiently provide lubrication and protect the transmission system. This will force your transmission to work harder to do its job properly. Over time, this excess stress can cause extensive damage and even dangerous driving scenarios.
Ultimately, the best answer to this question, for your vehicle in particular, will be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. It is important to follow the recommended transmission services and guidelines that are provided.
For an automatic transmission, manufacturers suggest having a transmission flush done anywhere from once every 30,000 to every 100,000 miles. And for a manual transmission, the recommendation is usually anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
However, not all manufacturers recommend this transmission service as frequently—some suggest flushing only every 100,000 miles, while others don’t recommend it at all. Sometimes, if your vehicle is having trouble, you may need a transmission service between the recommended fluid flush intervals.
Generally speaking, in many cases, a transmission flush can significantly help extend the life of your transmission. Like most preventative maintenance, this service can save you from expensive transmission repair needs in the future.
If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, a routine transmission flush service is especially important. It can help prevent the transmission’s internal hydraulic lines from clogging and protect the inner seals, which lessens the chance of fluid leaks.
When it comes to getting a transmission flush done or not, our expert mechanics can help you make an informed decision for your vehicle.