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What is in a Reman, Rebuilt or Repaired Transmission?

There are generally excepted industry terms that auto service, dealer, repair shops and garages use to describe what they are going to do when they work on your transmission.  Also, all too often more unscrupulous shops and business’s will miss-represent a lower quality repair with a higher quality label, we would like to help you understand what is being discussed, so you can make your own informed decision. No matter what a shop calls the transmission service work they are quoting you, ask about the level of workmanship being conducted and gauge that against these industry recognized standards:

A repaired transmission is usually taken apart and any broken part is replaced, and any damaged or one time use seals & gaskets are replaced. It’s reassembled and installed back in the vehicle it came from, with out being tested prior to being reinstalled.

A rebuilt transmission is usually disassembled to perhaps 80%+ of its internal components, anything broken or damaged is replaced, often with other good used components. The standards call for an “overhaul” kit that will include all the parts to replace most major seals, gaskets and wear items. If it usually up to the individual rebuild technician to determine what is replaced and how the unit is reassembled.

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A remanufactured transmission completes the most intense of all three types of workmanship. It is 100% disassembled, it undergoes the most thorough cleaning process, inspection and testing, all worn parts are replaced, new updates and new OEM parts will be included and the re-assembly is conducted under strict standards that everyone involved follows. Ultimately to be called a remanufactured transmission it needs to be tested prior to ever being installed in a vehicle.

So as you can see, there are clear differences in what you would be buying and it is not uncommon for companies to incorrectly label their transmission service work. It’s a buyer-be-where situation, so we urge everyone to ask the appropriate questions and match the answers up to the recognized standards shown above. Of course you can always contact us to discuss this and much more, please contact us on (360) 966-4800 .

 

Transmission Repair Needed?

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If you drive your car long enough, it will need transmission repair at some point, it happens sooner for some vehicle types than for others. Whether this means the transmission needs to be serviced, rebuilt or replaced may depend on how long the car has been driven with transmission issues, and how much damage has been done.

Fortunately, your car will usually tell you when the transmission is starting to fail, and the sooner you bring the vehicle in to a qualified automotive specialist, the greater your chances will be of avoiding the expense of a full rebuild. The key is to not ignore the symptoms when they occur. Here are a few warning signs that your car may be in need of transmission repair.

  1. Problems with shifting gears

Since your car’s gears are an integral part of the transmission, irregularities with shifting gears are an almost certain sign your transmission is in trouble. Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Hesitation when putting the car into gear
  • Falling out of gear while driving
  • Shifting gears for no apparent reason
  • Jerking when shifting gears

If your vehicle is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to have it looked at by a transmission repair specialist.

  1. Grinding or shimmying between gears

If changing gears produces a grinding sound (in manual transmissions) or a shaking/shimmying (in automatic transmissions), it can be a sign of a worn clutch or other issues. In any case, if you experience this, don’t let it persist. Bring the car in for a check-up.

  1. Unusual noises and “whines”

Often, transmission trouble is indicated when the vehicle begins producing unusual noises, like whining, buzzing or even clunks. Also, if your car sounds excessively noisy while in neutral, you should have it looked at. Other things than the transmission can cause these noises, but they should never be ignored.

  1. Burnt, cloudy transmission fluid

Transmission fluid normally has a bright red color and a distinctive sweet smell. When the fluid appears dark and opaque, and if it looks/smells burnt, it’s a sign of trouble. Time to have the transmission checked out.

  1. Burning odor

You can often smell transmission fluid burning when you exit the vehicle, even if you haven’t seen the fluid. Likewise, when the gears overheat due to excessive friction, it can also produce a burning smell. If the transmission is going bad, you can often smell the burnt transmission fluid when you get out of the car. Either way, a hot, burning smell is not normal.

  1. Leaking transmission fluid

If you see the red fluid on your driveway, whether it appears clear or cloudy, take the car to the auto repair shop. A leak doesn’t necessarily mean your transmission is going bad, but if you let it continue to leak, it will definitely cause damage.
When it’s time for transmission servicing or transmission repair, Everson Transmissions has built a solid reputation for quality, affordable auto service in the Everson & Bellingham area over the past 25 years, they can be reached at 360-966-4800.

 

 

Some signs of Transmission or Clutch related problems

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms with your vehicle, it is a good idea to have your vehicle looked at right away so that possible further damage does not occur. Stop by Everson Transmission for a free road test diagnosis, or give us a call. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding your vehicle.

* TRANSMISSION FLUID BLACK – Is the transmission fluid black and smells burnt? The fluid color in most cases should be a pinkish-red color.
* TRANSMISSION FLUID LEAKING – Are you finding pinkish-red fluid on the ground under where you parked your car?
* NOISES – Are you hearing noises from your transmission, possibly a grinding noise or whining noise?
* DELAYING GOING INTO GEAR – Do you step on the gas and there is a delay before the vehicle goes into gear?
* VEHICLE WILL NOT GO INTO REVERSE – At first there was just a delay
going into reverse, and now it won’t go into reverse at all!
* SHUDDERS – Does the vehicle shudder when you step on the gas pedal?
* SLIPPING – Does the motor of your vehicle speed up, but the vehicle doesn’t speed up?
* VEHICLE WILL NOT MOVE – The vehicle won’t move at all! Very Possibly there were previous warning signs before this happened. However, sometimes there are very few signs and it happens suddenly.

Your transmission is probably more complex than any other system in your vehicle. A reputable transmission shop is the best place to have your vehicle’s transmission repaired.

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Remember, we do more than just Transmissions, come see us for your brakes, tune-ups and other maintenance necessary to keep you and your family safe and mobile.

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Transmission Components

The modern automatic transmission consists of many components and systems that are designed to work together in a symphony of clever mechanical, hydraulic and electrical technology that has evolved over the years into what many mechanically inclined individuals consider to be an art form.  We try to use simple, generic explanations where possible to describe these systems but, due to the complexity of some of these components, you may have to use some mental gymnastics to visualize their operation.

The main components that make up an automatic transmission include:

  • Planetary Gear Sets that are the mechanical systems that provide the various forward gear ratios as well as reverse.
  • The Hydraulic System that uses a special transmission fluid sent under pressure by an Oil Pump through the Valve Body to control the Clutches and the Bands in order to control the planetary gear sets.
  • Seals and Gaskets are used to keep the oil where it is supposed to be and prevent it from leaking out.
  • The Torque Converter that acts like a clutch to allow the vehicle to come to a stop in gear while the engine is still running.
  • The Governor and the Modulator or Throttle Cable that monitor speed and throttle position in order to determine when to shift.
  • On newer vehicles, the Computer that directs electrical solenoids to shift oil flow to the appropriate component at the right instant controls shift points.

Planetary Gear Sets

Automatic transmissions contain many gears in various combinations.  In a manual transmission, gears slide along shafts as you move the shift lever from one position to another, engaging various sized gears as required in order to provide the correct gear ratio. In an automatic transmission, however, the gears are never physically moved and are always engaged to the same gears.  This is accomplished through the use of planetary gear sets.

The basic planetary gear set consists of a sun gear, a ring gear and two or more planet gears, all remaining in constant mesh.  The planet gears are connected to each other through a common carrier, which allows the gears to spin on shafts called “pinions” which are attached to the carrier.

One example of a way that this system can be used is by connecting the ring gear to the input shaft coming from the engine, connecting the planet carrier to the output shaft, and locking the sun gear so that it can’t move.  In this scenario, when we turn the ring gear, the planets will “walk” along the sun gear (which is held stationary) causing the planet carrier to turn the output shaft in the same direction as the input shaft but at a slower speed causing gear reduction (similar to a car in first gear).

If we unlock the sun gear and lock any two elements together, this will cause all three elements to turn at the same speed so that the output shaft will turn at the same rate of speed as the input shaft. This is like a car that is in third or high gear. Another way that we can use a Planetary gear set is by locking the planet carrier from moving, then applying power to the ring gear which will cause the sun gear to turn in the opposite direction giving us reverse gear.

The illustration on the right shows how the simple system described above would look in an actual transmission. The input shaft is connected to the ring gear (Blue); The Output shaft is connected to the planet carrier (Green), which is also connected to a “Multi-disk” clutch pack. The sun gear is connected to a drum (yellow), which is also connected to the other half of the clutch pack.  Surrounding the outside of the drum is a band (red) that can be tightened around the drum when required to prevent the drum with the attached sun gear from turning.

 

The clutch pack is used, in this instance, to lock the planet carrier with the sun gear forcing both to turn at the same speed. If both the clutch pack and the band were released, the system would be in neutral.  Turning the input shaft would turn the planet gears against the sun gear, but since nothing is holding the sun gear, it will just spin free and have no effect on the output shaft. To place the unit in first gear, the band is applied to hold the sun gear from moving.  To shift from first to high gear, the band is released and the clutch is applied causing the output shaft to turn at the same speed as the input shaft.

Many more combinations are possible using two or more planetary sets connected in various ways to provide the different forward speeds and reverse that are found in modern automatic transmissions.

Some of the clever gear arrangements found in four and now, five, six and even seven and eight-speed automatics are complex enough to make a technically astute lay person’s head spin trying to understand the flow of power through the transmission as it shifts from first gear through top gear while the vehicle accelerates to highway speed.  On modern vehicles (mid ’80s to the present), the vehicle’s computer monitors and controls these shifts so that they are almost imperceptible.