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Portland Auto Repair

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The Heat is On!

The Heat is On: Caring for Your Transmission

Does this sound like your driving habits?

• Frequent stop-and-go
• Driving in heavy traffic
• Driving in dusty conditions
• Driving on steep terrain

This kind of driving takes its toll on transmissions. Yep… it’s trying to tell you something in transmission–speak, so listen up! Here are some audio clues that your transmission may be headed toward a breakdown.

• Clicks
• Buzzes
• Whistles
• Moans and Groans
• Squeals and Screeches
• Hums and Whines
• Clanks
• Grates and Rumbles
• Chatters and Clunks

Do you see a drip under your car? If it is reddish-brown in color, it may mean one of three things: leaking transmission, over-tightened pan gasket, or a leaking front seal. Do you smell something burning? It could possibly be your transmission fluid.

Those of us in the automotive service and repair business recommend you exchange the fluid every 30,000 miles or, on average, every two years. The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association states that 90% of all transmission failures are caused by overheating. Transmission fluid temperatures should be maintained at 175 degrees. When the temperature gets above 250 degrees F, the breakdown of the system begins, and here’s what happens.

1. Rubber seals begin to harden
2. Leaks start
3. Pressure is lost
4. The transmission begins to slip
5. Over time, the clutches burn out
6. Eventually the transmission burns out

If you suspect your transmission may be experiencing difficulty, call your regular car care provider. They can tell you with just an inspection what’s going on. It may just need a fluid change and all will be well. Many people panic and start price-shopping transmission replacements all over town, and then go to have it replaced at the cheapest place when they didn’t even need a new one to begin with!

We don’t want to see your transmission fail, so the best way to prevent bad news is to be good to it by keeping its fluid and filter fresh. It not only saves your transmission, it saves your wallet, too!

Please call us with any questions at 860-342-0640