The Importance of Everett Transmission Service

June 10, 2013  

Where Does the Power Come From?

The most obvious answer is: the engine. But, how is the power from the engine distributed to the wheels? The engine’s power is delivered to the wheels by means of the transmission.

Automatic transmissions are much more popular than manual transmissions in America; likely because automatic transmissions are just that — automatic! With no gear shift or clutch, you only need put the car in ‘Drive’ and away you go. The automatic mechanisms switch gears for you as necessary. All automobile transmissions are quite complex; automatic more so than manual transmissions.

Revolutions per Minute

The unit of measure of the power from your car’s engine is expressed in revolutions per minute (RPM). The transmission is responsible for not only distributing power to the wheels, but also for maintaining the your engine’s RPM’s.

Without a transmission, you would be left with only 1 gear — forward. An automatic transmission allows for a wide range of gear ratios which allow you to travel at virtually any speed. As you accelerate or decelerate, the transmission adjusts the gear ratio between the engine and the drive wheels:

  • Forward —the transmission adjusts to keep the drive wheels and engine in sync by adjusting the gear ratio
  • Neutral — since the car is not moving, the transmission disengages the connection between the engine and drive wheels
  • Reverse — the transmission repositions the drive wheels in the opposite direction
  • Park — to prevent rolling and turning, the drive wheels are locked

Getting the Rhythm

With a complex arrangement of inter-connected components that work together to distribute your car’s power, proper maintenance is critical to keeping this finely engineered piece of equipment in peak operating condition. The components are connected as follows:

  • The Hydraulic System provides oil to the
  • Oil Pump, which transfers
  • Transmission Fluid to the
  • Valve Body that controls the
  • Clutches and Bands which control the
  • Planetary Gear Sets

Check All the Fluids!

As the engine requires oil to lubricate critical moving parts, automatic transmissions operate on Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). Maintaining recommended ATF levels is crucial for the safe operation of your car. Should you neglect the ATF, catastrophic transmission failure will ultimately occur. Routine maintenance and replacement of ATF per manufacturer’s recommendations will extend the life of your transmission. Note: ATF change is usually not before 30,000 miles.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Tips

  • Check ATF monthly
  • Have transmission checked thoroughly if shifting is rough
  • If ATF levels are low, add fluid — decreased levels could indicate a leak in the system, so be sure to have the system checked
  • Consult your Owner’s Manual for correct ATF — not every car uses the same ATF

Also be aware of the following:

  • ATF is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the transmission
  • ATF also acts as a transmission coolant
  • ATF should be completely replaced periodically to remove particles from the transmission’s normal wear

Without question, regular service of your Transmission is crucial to extending the life of your car. Check your Owner’s Manual for recommended milage service calls. In addition to visually checking your ATF monthly, have Everett Transmission Service do a full transmission inspection during every oil change.