Transmission Service & Repair in Vancouver, WA

A transmission is a complicated system that shifts the gears as a vehicle moves. A car’s automatic transmission changes gears automatically for the driver. The driver doesn’t have to shift gears manually, unlike when using a manual transmission. With a manual transmission, the driver presses a clutch pedal to unlock the gears, and then moves the car from one gear to the next by moving a gear shift inside the car manually.

Like other systems in any vehicle, the transmission must be serviced on a regular basis to work efficiently. Gaynor’s Automotive provides a quality service to keep your car on the road.

Our transmission shop provides all the necessary preventative maintenance: from a transmission fluid flush and change to any transmission repair. Our ASE-certified mechanics are experienced, professional technicians who understand your vehicle’s transmission.

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Gaynor’s Preventative Maintenance

Your car’s owner’s manual will outline what is recommended as a regular maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Ask Gaynor’s service staff to add this preventative transmission check to your other maintenance visits. By combining these maintenance visits, you will save time and money by heading off more serious problems before they develop. This is one of the best ways to keep your transmission in top working order for as long as possible without facing huge repair bills.

The following are some actions that you can take regularly to ensure that you are protecting the investment that you made when you purchased your car or truck:

  1. Check the transmission fluid yourself regularly. It’s the same process as checking the oil on most cars. Simply put your car in park, locate the dipstick, and check the reading. A low level might indicate a leak, which is serious. The fluid should be a bright, clear color, which is usually red. If it is cloudy and dark, it should be investigated. A burnt smell means that you should get the car to your shop as soon as possible. Any of these red flags can quickly turn into expensive, time-intensive repairs.
  2. If you add transmission fluid yourself, check your owner’s manual first. It will outline which fluid to use.
  3. Make sure that your engine’s cooling system is in top working order, as this also cools the transmission fluid that pumps into the gearbox.
  4. Check the owner’s manual for how often to get a transmission flush. In general, it should be done annually; however, that depends on the vehicle’s normal operating temperature. As how much you drive the car also affects this, leave it to your transmission specialist to determine when to perform a transmission fluid change.
  5. Don’t change gears until your car has stopped completely. 
  6. Allow your engine to warm up before driving it, especially in the winter. 
  7. Don’t drive with your foot on the brake. If you do, you are putting unnecessary pressure on both the transmission and the engine.
  8. If parking on a hill, use the emergency brake. 
  9. Many people don’t consider that riding longer than necessary with a spare tire on one of the wheels is bad for the transmission. It puts a strain on many systems in the vehicle, including the transmission.
  10. If your car’s transmission has a filter, it should be changed regularly. Check the owner’s manual to find out whether your make and model has a filter. Although most newer cars don’t, the only one way to know is by checking the manual.
  11. Towing anything with your vehicle puts a strain on the transmission. Avoid towing heavy loads, especially in hot weather.
  12. Don’t ignore the “check engine” light! This light can indicate problems with both your transmission and engine. If the transmission is the problem, the light means that the fluid is hotter than normal. That is never good, so get the car to your Vancouver auto shop as soon as possible.

Finally, have the transmission inspected annually for leaks and other problems. This is the best way to keep your vehicle’s transmission in top working order!

Transmission Fluid Facts

Vehicle owners often ask questions about the transmission fluid—should they change it and how often? It is an important action to keep the transmission running. Low transmission fluid can cause shifting problems, including shift failure. 

Automatic transmission fluid is manufactured in bright colors because it is similar in appearance to engine oil. Transmission fluid is often red, blue/green, purple, or amber. It’s important that you don’t confuse the two oils. If you have questions, let your Gaynor’s mechanic help you. This is part of Gaynor’s preventative maintenance packages.

Check your owner’s manual, as it’s your best source of information on the recommended frequency of transmission fluid changes. An important point for owners is that transmission fluid doesn’t burn off like engine oil does. A low level of transmission fluid means there is a leak in the system somewhere. You may see the fluid on the floor under the middle or front of the car. That needs attention as quickly as possible to locate the leak, repair it, and refill the fluid.

Some vehicles might need a fluid change at 30,000 miles, while others won’t need that service until 100,000 miles. If you change cars regularly, you may never need a transmission fluid change. A fluid change might be necessary if you keep a car for an extended period or if you purchase a used car that already has high mileage on it.

Some newer cars have fitted automatic gearboxes. The transmission is almost sealed completely, and the fluid is meant to last the lifetime of the car. Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) will need the fluid changed at some point.

Due to all these variables, changing the transmission fluid can be a confusing issue for vehicle owners. If you add this maintenance check to your other regularly scheduled service visits to Gaynor’s Automotive, you will have it covered. Don’t let owner neglect lead to the need for a new transmission!

Types of Transmission Fluid

Check your owner’s manual to ensure that you are using the correct transmission fluid.

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid: This is used in cars with automatic transmissions and some modern manual transmissions. This type of transmission fluid lubricates the gears, helps with torque and clutch friction operation, cools the transmission, and assists with valve body function and brake band friction. 
  • Manual Transmission Fluid: This is used in many older cars but never with automatic transmissions. It is a heavier fluid at 75W to 140W. 
  • Synthetic Transmission Fluid: This is created through chemical reactions to maintain its effectiveness, with less oxidation or thinning in high temperatures. It doesn’t break down.
  • Traditional Transmission Fluid: This is made from crude oil and hydrocarbons, according to the specifications for different kinds of vehicles.

Common Problems with Transmissions

It is difficult for a car owner to tell whether a problem is related to the transmission or to some other system. The following are some things to watch for:

  • Leaks under the car
  • Clutch failure
  • Strange noises during gear changes
  • Vibrations or grinding during gear changes
  • Gear failure
  • Gear popping in and out
  • Gear slow to react or a squishy clutch
  • Burning smell
  • Automatic transmission shakes
  • “Check engine” light illuminates
  • Car overheating
  • Noisy when the car is in neutral

Don’t ignore signs like these! Make an appointment at Gaynor’s and let a professional diagnose the problem.

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