It Pays to Take Care of Your Transmission at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
May 02, 2016
If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that vehicle engines are getting more and more powerful in Lancaster. At the same time, they are getting better and better fuel economy. I've gotta tell 'ya, most of that's because of technological advances in transmissions. To get a better understanding of why that is, let's talk bicycles.
You've probably seen plenty of cyclists on Lancaster roads. Perhaps you ride yourself. Then you know that a cyclist's cadence is the number of times per minute he or she pedals. The ideal pedal speed is the zone where they can most efficiently generate power over a sustained period of time. The experienced California cyclist uses her gears to keep her pedal speed in the ideal zone whether she's climbing a hill, cruising on a flat stretch or killing a downhill.
Think of it this way: if you have a 1-speed bike, you really have to pump hard to get up to speed. Your top speed is limited by how fast as you can pedal. And if you're climbing a steep California hill – forget about it.
Now let's add a couple of gears: one lower and another one higher. With the lower first gear, you can get up to your ideal pedal speed more quickly. When you shift to second, your pedal speed drops below ideal for a while as you work to get back to peak efficiency. Same thing happens when you shift to third, but now you can go much faster than you could with a 1-speed bike using the same effort. Add more gears and you can see that it's much easier to maintain ideal pedal speed. The result, quicker starts, better hill climbing, higher top speed and, most of all, a lot less fatigue for the Lancaster rider.
Like a cyclist on a bike, every vehicle engine has an ideal engine speed called its power band. When an engine is running in that zone, it can make power very efficiently. It's the vehicle transmission's job to keep the engine in the power band over a wide range of operating conditions. Today 5 or 6 speed automatic transmissions are pretty much the minimum, and 7 and 8 speeds are fairly common in Lancaster.
Obviously these sophisticated transmissions are very expensive. In fact, next to your vehicle engine, your transmission is the most expensive component in your vehicle, so it pays to take good care of it. Your manufacturer has a recommended service interval for changing your old, contaminated transmission fluid. Servicing your transmission on schedule at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley keeps it operating at its best and can prevent costly damage. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley advisor if it's time for transmission service. Come see why smart Lancaster drivers trust their transmissions to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley.
When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Lancaster drivers remember to get our oil changed. But services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is part of car care. A poorly maintained transmission will fail and lead to repairs.
The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it's clean and well-lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your transmission will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.
This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner's manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this service. Or, you can ask your friendly and knowledgeable The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your vehicle may be shorter or longer.
At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly expensive. Compared to the cost of transmission repairs or a new transmission, it's downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in a longer, smoother ride.
Gear Up: Transmission Service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster
Jul 16, 2014
The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.
How does it know when to change gears? Today's automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing and changes the gears as needed.
Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds,” are being added. Almost all vehicles have at least four speeds. Five or six is common. Some are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Lancaster vehicle owners: it improves fuel economy and increases performance.
But there is a drawback for drivers in Lancaster: more gears equal more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today's transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Lancaster drivers. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren't given proper care.
That's why changing transmission fluid is such an important part of preventive maintenance for vehicles in Lancaster. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.
Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.
New transmissions aren't cheap. Repairing them isn't cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster. That's why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren't just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing transmission repairs.
The The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Guide to Caring for Your Transmission
Feb 26, 2014
Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Lancaster drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Lancaster. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.
Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on California roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb Lancaster hills, pass or start up again.
Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.
At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.
Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.
Not enough fluid can starve the transmission, or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission. Then the lubricant is blocked and can't get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.
And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Lancaster service center can be quite costly. That's why owner’s manuals have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.
It's really important for Lancaster area drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer's transmission service schedule.
At The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster, we hope you never become shiftless in Lancaster because you didn't take care of your transmission.
Transmission Service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster
Mar 06, 2012
Let's talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Lancaster drivers to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn't need it very often. It's easier for people in California to remember to change the engine oil - you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your vehicle running smoothly and helps you avoid repairs down the road.
The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you can see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it's much higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.
As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn't lubricate and cool the vehicle transmission as well - leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won't operate smoothly. At worst, it could lead to damage.
When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels and improves fuel economy. That's why it is recommended to change your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner's manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can tell you what is recommended.
Hot and dusty Lancaster area conditions, towing, hauling, stop-and-go driving and jackrabbit starts all begin to increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means Lancaster vehicles with these types of transmission requirements need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your owner’s manual suggests more frequent intervals or if you're driving under severe service conditions around the Lancaster area, you will need to change it more often.
Most Lancaster auto service centers (including The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley) have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It's downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Our pros at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it's getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your vehicle a favor and have it done.
Do you have any plans around Lancaster, California, for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you'll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing.
You got the boat all ready. It's all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler's stocked – ready to go.
How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you've even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date?
Stop and think. You'll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and you may have hot weather. And all the time you're going to be towing around a lot of extra weight.
That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What's a fun little blast to the lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It's important that you have enough transmission fluid. If you're running low, the transmission will run too hot and won't have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing.
And if it's time for a transmission service, you really should have it done at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley before your trip. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you need to have it serviced on schedule to make sure it runs efficiently.
Automatic transmissions contain a maze of passages that the fluid has to pass through to keep them shifting smoothly. If you neglect transmission service, the passages can get clogged up and you start to have problems. Neglect your transmission for too long and it can fail. Believe us – you don't want to pay for a major transmission repair.
You know, most of us in Lancaster, California, do a lot of our driving under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips or driving in very hot or very cold weather. Also, dusty roads, city driving around Lancaster, and basically any driving that's not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions is severe driving. We all need to think about whether or not we need to follow the severe service schedule.
So, consider going in for a full service oil change before you leave for the lake to make sure everything has been looked at. Ask for a trip inspection while you're at it. Your Lancaster, California, service technician at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.
Don't forget the sunscreen. And to thank your The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service technician, how about bringing him back a nice trout?
Smooth Shifting in Lancaster, California: Transmission Service
May 20, 2010
So you have some exciting plans for the weekend. You're going to take some of your friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you've gotten the boat all ready. And you haven't forgotten about your tow vehicle. You've gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more important than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your vehicle maintenance is up to date.
Think about it – heavy traffic on the way out of Lancaster. There's hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it's going to be pretty hot in California this weekend. And all the time you'll be towing around a lot of extra weight. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.
Let's just consider the transmission. It's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local California lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.
It's important to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won't have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it's important for Lancaster drivers to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley to make sure it runs efficiently.
An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Lancaster drivers who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.
Those who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience transmission failure. You really don't want to pay for a major transmission repair.
This reminds us of how much of our driving around Lancaster, California, is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions — things like short trips and driving in very hot or very cold California weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Lancaster add to the strain. Basically, any driving that's not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions can be considered severe conditions.
While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.