Common Automobile Transmission Mistakes

The transmission system of an automobile is the link between your engine and the wheels.

Having a healthy engine, coupled with a problematic transmission system, is problematic.

Most vehicle owners have directly or indirectly contributed to the problems associated with their transmissions.

From experience, transmission repairs are complex, expensive and tedious to repair compared to any other system on your car.

Statistics have shown that 2 out of 5 automatic gearbox repairs have been unsuccessful. It is the main reason why automatic transmission gearboxes sale is a booming business in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga road.

   As much as we agree that these gearboxes are delicate and easily breakable, we must also agree that lack of sensitisation leads to alot of human error that translates to most damage to these units.

Below are some of the common mistakes that lead to transmission failure.

 [1.] Overheating

All automatic transmissions work within certain temperatures which means their cooling is controlled via your engine coolant. If you have encountered an overheating issue with your engine, once you sort it, always replace your transmission fluid because when your engine was overheating so was the transmission fluid. Once the ATF or CVT oil has overheated it loses its quality to work efficiently. Many people will sort out the engine overheating and forget about the transmission. Yes, it will still work but not for long before it gives up. Some cars will give you an AT temp warning light to illuminate when it goes above normal temperature.

Inform your technician once such a thing occurs and let him advise you if you will need to replace your fluid or not.

   [2.] Staying in drive whilst heavy traffic

When your engine is running motion is brought into the transmission via an input shaft. It is expected to get out via the output shaft but because you are stepping on your brake pedal in heavy traffic with your gear selector in D(drive)  a lot of friction is taking place in your gearbox to hold the vehicle from moving forward. This friction makes the materials used to construct vital components inside your gear wear which in turn causes your transmission fluid to turn blackish hence losing its ability to work efficiently. To avoid this just drop your gear selector either to Neutral or Parking. Motion to the gears will be discontinued which will save your gearbox.

 [3.] Wrong parking sequence

For an automatic transmission gearbox, a specific parking sequence must be followed. Most driving schools should pay attention to this to create awareness for new drivers.

When parking “P” is selected, all automatic and CVT  gearboxes use a special type of lock on the output shaft to hold the entire vehicle in a stationary position. For this reason, before shifting from Drive to Parking, your vehicle must be fully stationary or else you will hear a loud noise from the gearbox, a mistake carried out by many drivers.

The second mistake in the parking procedure is the sequence of brake pedal release and parking brake engagement. Failure to follow the correct procedure results in difficulty in shifting from P to drive the next time you want to drive off.

Sometimes it becomes so difficult to shift from P to D to the extent of producing a very loud sound, that one would think metal parts are breaking in your gearbox.

This usually happens if you park your car on a gradient slop parking.

Procedure: when you come to a complete stop,

 1  Step firmly on your brake pedal

 2.  Engage the lever/knob to  “P”(parking) while your foot is still firmly on the brake pedal

 3  Activate your parking brake (hand brake) fully to the maximum

 4   Let off your foot from the brake pedal and call it a day.

If next time your gear lever becomes hard to shift from P to D, yet you religiously followed the above procedure then it means your parking brake needs some adjustment.

The essence of the above procedure is to ensure that once the vehicle has been put in P, there is no room for the wheels to turn forward or backwards even if you are parked on a slope. Any marginal rotation causes the interlocking mechanism on the output shaft to lock horns with the locking device which causes difficulties in disengagement the next time you try to move from parking.

Until next week have yourself a problem free week ahead.

By Vincent Saleh, MOTOR HUB

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