5 Most Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Transmission, Part 1

5 Most Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Transmission, Part 1What do you need to know about your transmission to keep it in good working order and ensure a long life? Our experts here at Key Transmission and Gears in Denver, Colorado know the 5 most common mistakes that can ruin your transmission. In this blog post, we’ll cover the first two mistakes, then get to the last three reasons in a subsequent article, so watch out for that post coming soon.

A lot of people don’t know what a transmission does, so let’s start there. Basically, the transmission sends power from the engine to the wheels and makes them turn. How much power is adjusted by shifting gears? An automatic vehicle will shift gears for you, while a manual relies on the driver to choose the right gear. As you can see, it has a pretty important job.

Now, just like any machine, transmissions work their best when they are well-cared for. That’s why it’s essential to keep up on regular maintenance and have it checked out immediately if you notice any sign of problems, such as clunking or grinding noises, leaks (transmission fluid is red or pink), or if your car isn’t accelerating correctly. There are many symptoms, so be vigilant.

Even if you’re not too excited about spending the money to have it serviced, just think about how much it will cost to have it fixed if you end up with transmission failure. Our ASE certified mechanics at Key Transmission and Gears will tell you that a new transmission is a very expensive part to replace. So, let’s get to the first two of the 5 most common mistakes that can ruin your transmission.

  1. Not servicing the transmission – An automatic transmission is built to last for a long time, but it is not invincible. Just like anything else, it benefits greatly from periodic tune-ups. Dirt and other contaminants get into the system and build up significantly over time. If they are never cleaned out, your transmission will begin to run sluggishly. Ultimately, this will result in failure. 

The official recommendation is to have your transmission serviced and the fluid either flushed or changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. For most people, that equates to about every 2 to 5 years depending on the use of the vehicle. Make a schedule for servicing your transmission and be sure to stick to it! Don’t forget or let the unpleasant idea of spending the money keep you from having this important work done. Remember that transmission failure is a much more expensive undertaking than merely having it serviced every few years.

  1. Not refilling the transmission fluid – For an automatic transmission to function properly, it needs fluid. The fluid provides lubrication, hydraulic fluid pressure, and cools the transmission when it gets too hot. Your transmission may have fluid, but if it has too little the fluid, cannot perform its function well. Most commonly, that means that your transmission will run hot and a high temperature drastically reduces the lifespan of your transmission.

It’s important for our customers to understand how to take care of their transmissions correctly. While we’re experts at transmission repairs and replacements, we know it’s a big expense. And it can often be avoided when you know the 5 most common mistakes that can ruin your transmission. Now that you know the first two come back soon for the final three. And if you suspect a transmission issue, don’t forget to bring your car, truck or SUV to Key Transmission and Gears in Denver for diagnosis and repair!

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Different Types of Transmissions

Different Types of Transmissions Key Transmission & Gear DenverDid you know that there are 3 different types of transmissions? Today, our experts at Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood, Colorado, will tell you all about them. Most people at least know that there are 2 basic types, manual and automatic. The third is called a continuously variable transmission or CVT. Let’s talk about what a transmission does, and then we’ll give a quick description of all three types.

Transmissions

A transmission is your car’s method of channeling power from the engine to the wheels. In other words, torque comes from the engine through an input shaft into the transmission. It passes through the gears of the transmission and is then transferred to the wheels by way of an output shaft.

Different gears control your car at different speeds. Each gear has its own specific ratio that turns your wheels at just the right speed, even in relation to each other. And as we said, there are 3 different types of transmissions.

Manual Transmissions

In a vehicle with a manual transmission, the driver is responsible for changing the gears. We disengage the gears by pressing the clutch pedal and then shift between them with a stick on the console. Back in the day, the stick was sometimes on the steering wheel but in modern cars, you’ll find it on the console.

Many people like the control that this gives them over a vehicle. They can control the exact point when their vehicle shifts gears. In most cases, this design offers better gas mileage which is another plus.

Automatic Transmissions

The automatic transmission does all the work for you. The transmission still has various gears, but you don’t have to switch between them. Multiple sensors in the vehicle monitor specific parameters and change gears accordingly.

Automatic transmissions tend to be more comfortable to drive, particularly if you spend a lot of time in stop and go traffic. They also usually require less maintenance than manuals which is a nice bonus.

Continuously Variable Transmissions

This transmission is steadily gaining popularity in the US, but you may not have run into it yet. Instead of gears, the CVT uses belts and pulleys that give the ability to have an infinite number of ratios.

In short, the transmission never has to shift. Some people find this disconcerting if they are familiar driving one of the other two types of transmissions. Always test drive a car before you buy. Some people just can’t get used to a CVT.

Needless to say, the ride is generally smoother, and the vehicle gets better gas mileage. This type of transmission is already commonly seen in scooters, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. Because of the smoothness, they’re also being seen more and more in hybrid cars.

Want upkeep or repair on any of the different types of transmissions? That’s what Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood is here for. With over 20 years of experience with all things transmissions, we’re certainly qualified to provide our expertise. Give us a call to schedule an appointment or stop by the shop.

Key Transmission Gears

What Does a Transmission Do, Anyway?

What Does a Transmission Do, Anyway?At Key Transmission and Gears, our business is transmissions. But you might be wondering what does a transmission do, anyway? You may not want to become a car engine expert, and that’s okay, but it is a good idea to have a little bit of an idea of how things work in your own vehicle. That way you are more likely to notice when something is not quite right and know when to take it to a professional before a small problem gets out of hand and becomes a massive repair.

The transmission has a vital function in your car’s engine. So, when your transmission stops working, your car stops moving – period. All the parts of the engine cooperate to create a great force, but that force is variable and uncontrolled. If the engine were connected directly to the wheels, the wheels would not turn at a constant speed and your ride would get a little crazy.

Also, the power produced by the engine is too high for the wheels. An engine generally produces a rotational speed of 600-7000 RPM while wheels typically operate somewhere between 0-1800 RPM. That’s a pretty big difference, and obviously, your wheels simply cannot keep up with the engine in that way. Notice that the engine speed doesn’t go down to zero? That means you wouldn’t be able to ever stop fully. Not a good thing.

The transmission is the magical device that brings that speed down and regulates it appropriately. Well, maybe it’s more scientific than magical, but you get the idea. In order to perform this function, the transmission uses a series of gear ratios and components like the differential.

Gears are little wheels of varying sizes with grooves, or teeth, around the edges. The ratio comes into play when these gears are fitted together. Imagine a wheel with 40 teeth around the edge, now imagine a smaller one with only 20 teeth. Now fit these two together and imagine that the smaller one is connected to the drive shaft. It will rotate twice for every one rotation of the big wheel. See what happened there? The speed gets cut in half.

In this case, the ratio would be written as 0.5:1. This depicts how many times the output gear rotates in relation to the input gear.

Now, inside the transmission, there are quite a few different little wheels with different gear ratios. Depending on the speed that the vehicle is traveling, different ratios are required. If you’ve ever driven a manual, you’ll understand this a little better as you have to shift the gears yourself. With an automatic transmission, your vehicle still makes those shifts – you’re just less likely to notice.

That’s about it! The answer to what does a transmission do, anyway, turns out, isn’t that complicated. Although if you were to peek inside your transmission, it looks quite complex. That’s why trusted professionals like our staff at Key Transmission and Gears are so essential for the proper maintenance and repair of your vehicle’s transmission. Give us a call today and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and offer our expert advice.

Key Transmission Gears

Denver Transmission Service

Key Transmission and Gears offers quality, reliability, service and warranty when repairing your transmission. Transmission service in Denver is easy to find through Key Transmission and Gears as we service all of Denver including the surrounding metro area and have been doing so successfully for over 20 years. Automobile transmissions are designed to hold each gear at predetermined speeds without complication. A common determination of a transmission problem is when you shift your selector into “drive” and the engine appears to race faster than the transmission. If automobile transmission slips between gears, it can lead to possible transmission problems.

Our ASE trained transmission technicians in Denver will determine the following problems worthy of transmission service: worn or damaged parts within the transmission that may require an internal repair, electrical controls that may need adjustment or replacement, external control for transmission which requires a simple adjustment or replacement, or the identification of insufficient transmission fluid levels that may be the cause of low fluid pressure. Key Transmission and Gears offer several warranty programs to avoid trouble free driving.  These warranties cover defective transmission materials and workmanship, including parts and labor. The warranties for Denver transmission service can be purchased for an allotted time of 12 months to 24 months or 12,000 to 24,000 miles; whichever comes first. Appointments can be made online but when it comes to the need for transmission service in Denver, do not hesitate to call and schedule your appointment at Key Transmission and Gears right away. 
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