10 Tips to Ensure a Healthy Transmission

INTRODUCTION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This booklet is produced by the Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Professionals. Taking a few minutes to read it will better acquaint you with the services we provide and allow you to learn more about the proper care of the automatic transmission in your vehicle. For more information please visit www.leemyles.com A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lee Myles is the most experienced name brand in the transmission repair industry. Our first Service Center opened in 1947, not long after General Motors’ Oldsmobile Plant rolled the first automatic transmission off the production line. Several years ago Popular Science Magazine referred to Lee Myles as “The Most Trusted Name In Transmissions” and the description has stuck with us ever since. Over more than a half-century our experts have passed along their cumulative experience through a system of training developed by Lee Myles. This technical expertise is your assurance that your vehicle’s transmission will be serviced, repaired, or replaced properly and economically the first time. It will also ensure that service at a Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Center will get you back on the road quickly and confidently. If you have any questions or concerns, just call Lee Myles National Customer Relations at 1-800-LEEMYLES. We are here to help you. 1) GET TO KNOW YOUR AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The automatic transmission brings the power from the engine to the drive wheels through a series of gear sets and friction devices (known as “Clutches and Bands”). It has a brain (called the “Valve Body”) which responds to electrical and hydraulic signals that tell the transmission when and how to shift. It has a heart (known as the “Pump”) which provides the hydraulic pressure necessary to provide lubrication and apply the appropriate friction devices. Although it may sound simple it is the most complex component in any automobile. It may have as many as 1,000 parts, each having to function perfectly with the others in order to work properly. Why Maintain Your Transmission? Anything that has nearly 1,000 parts is likely to be expensive to repair. So investing periodically in replacement of the fluid and filter along with a thorough inspection can only serve to prolong the transmission’s life and might save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 2) TEN WAYS TO PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR TRANSMISSION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. Check transmission fluid regularly and properly. (See Owner’s Manual for Details)

2. Check transmission fluid after running hot. Stop and go traffic, hilly terrain, hot weather, or towing can build up excess transmission heat causing fluid to be lost, damaged, or both. Check it no later than your next stop for gasoline. 3. Install an external cooler in high stress conditions. Towing a trailer, hauling heavy loads, or being stuck in traffic often creates excessive transmission heat. An external transmission cooler will help to bring the temperature down to normal operating level adding significantly to the life of the transmission.

1 of 8

driveline components and engine or transmission mountings. and lubricates the internal transmission parts while providing the hydraulic pressure to make all of the components work together. 4. engine flywheels or flexplates. display symptoms similar to a transmission problem. 7. Don’t Leave The Shift Lever In Park (P) Without The Parking Brake On. Both are less expensive than the damage you may cause by quick shifting between Reverse (R) and Drive (D) over and over again. Don’t Rock Your Car in Sand or Snow. proper coolant level and strength. Keep your engine properly tuned. 2. Don’t Let Anyone Tow Your Vehicle With The Drive Wheels on the Ground. engine and transmission mountings can cause problems. Don’t Drive Until The Engine Warms Up. radiator and cooling lines to the transmission. Remember that a poor running engine or certain transmission problems can be a safety hazard. bands. 9. the more damage you may cause. 3. Transmission fluid cools. gear sets. computer system and sensors. 3) WANT YOUR TRANSMISSION TO LIVE LONGER? HERE ARE TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. 6. For your transmission to perform properly. Using the transmission to stop the vehicle will lead to premature transmission failure. Any of the conditions in items 2 & 3 above will shorten the effective life of transmission fluid. You run the risk of damaging all driveline components. A forced downshift at high engine RPM causes excessive wear on transmission friction components (clutches and bands). 6. 5. Unless your vehicle was specifically designed for that purpose it cannot sustain that form of abuse. Don’t Drag Race. 7. A poor running engine can. Have other drivetrain components that may affect transmission function checked regularly. Front wheel drive with the front wheels in the air. 10. the fluid must be at operating temperature. If another vehicle were to even tap yours in the front or back while parked it could cause a part inside your transmission (the parking pawl) to break leaving your vehicle to roll down the street unattended. Give it a few minutes and it will give you better and longer service. Don’t Downshift To “Brake” At Traffic Lights.4. The excessive heat that is caused by such action can burn out a transmission in a very short period of time. driveaxles and their constant velocity joints. Take your vehicle for a complete physical check up at least once a year. Driveshafts and their universal joints. brakes and steering. Repair bills tend to rise in proportion to mileage driven after the first signs of trouble. Don’t Place Shift Lever in Drive or Reverse when engine is at “Fast Idle”. Especially after the vehicle has been in an accident or has had any major engine work performed. Antifreeze can deteriorate over time causing it to become ineffective creating overheating or freeze-up conditions. This should include all safety components such as lights. All wheel or full time 2 of 8 . Dig it out or have it towed. cleans. Don’t Use Your Shift Lever Instead of Your Brake. 5. Check any malfunctions promptly. 8. This can cause abrupt transmission engagement leading to early failure of clutches. Rear wheel drive vehicles must be towed with the rear wheels off the ground. When the fluid loses its ability to perform those tasks efficiently trouble can’t be far away. Have the transmission linkage and other adjustments checked periodically. change the fluid a minimum of twice a year (unless otherwise specified in the owners manual). Before reversing direction your car must be at a complete stop. at times. Have your vehicle’s cooling system checked twice a year for leaks. 8. and the more money it may cost you. The longer you drive with a malfunctioning transmission. Change transmission fluid more often in high stress conditions. In those cases.

Passing Gear Won’t Engage. including any of the following: 1. Over the counter additives that are supposed to stop leaks or make the transmission shift better many times contain chemicals that may cause worn seals to swell. Shifts are sometimes unexpected. 18. Rough Shifting. Each symptom may have a number of possible causes. These can lead to transmission damage. This can interfere with the function of these operating rubber parts and lead to severe damage. 3. Vehicle tries to move in Park (P). 4. 15. Erratic Shifting. A systematic check up by a Professional is usually necessary to establish the cause of operating problems and their solutions. Slippage. Speed at which shifts occur keeps changing. 16. 12. Improper towing can cause serious damage! 9. Any noticeable early or late shifting. Doesn’t Go in Drive (D) or Reverse (R). Vehicle Moves Forward or Backward in Neutral (N). Vehicle won’t move or shifts late during the first few minutes of operation. Strange noises of any kind. Fresh Fluid Stains Under the Vehicle. 11. The Shift indicator doesn’t point to the proper range. 17. The Shift indicator must be slightly off (P) or (N) to start car. Delayed Engagement in drive or reverse when the vehicle is cold. Like fast starts. some requiring extensive repairs while others will only need an adjustment or minor service. 10. Shifting at Improper Speed Levels. 2. 7. 8. Noise or harsh feeling when transmission is placed in gear or while shifting from one gear to another. Clunking into Gear. After any sudden emergency stop. 13. The Shift handle is hard to move in or out of any position. 10. 14. You place the shift lever in drive or reverse and nothing happens. Don’t Play Transmission “Doctor”. 9. sudden stops can damage drivetrain components like engine and transmission mounts. 4) TWENTY INDICATORS OF POSSIBLE TRANSMISSION TROUBLE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Transmission problems can take several forms. Doesn’t Go in Any Shift Lever Position.four-wheel drive vehicles should be flat towed (all four wheels off the ground) Not sure? Check your owner’s manual. A “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light is shining on your dashboard. Vehicle Labors or Stalls on Take Off. Even racing the engine won’t move the vehicle. Engine races but vehicle moves slowly or won’t accelerate as it should. Engine Braking (a function that uses the transmission to slow the car on long down hill slopes or in snow or icy conditions) does not work in one or more shifter positions. Also called “Morning Sickness”. 6. Don’t Stop Suddenly. it would be wise to have your mounts checked. 5. 3 of 8 . You get no surge of power when you press the pedal to the floor.

muffler. 7. 10. Damaged engine vacuum line. 7. 6. 3. Computer or sensor malfunction. Poor performing engine. Electrical or wiring problem of any kind. but are not part of the transmission itself and can be relatively inexpensive to repair. 5) TEN VEHICLE PROBLEMS SOMETIMES MISINTERPRETED BY CUSTOMERS AS TRANSMISSION TROUBLE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Many things can happen to your car that might make you think you have a transmission problem when you really don’t. 6) TEN SOUNDS THAT CAN GIVE EARLY INDICATION OF TRANSMISSION TROUBLE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nobody knows the normal sounds your vehicle makes better than you. Clicking Buzzing Whistling Moans or Groans Squealing or Screeching Hum or Low Whine in Neutral (N) or Park (P) Hum or Low Whine in all Drive ranges Clank when engaging in Drive (D) or Reverse (R) 4 of 8 . When something changes you’ll probably notice it right away. 4. 8. A burnt or rancid odor coming from under the hood or underneath the vehicle. 2. Poorly adjusted shifter cable or throttle linkage. 4. Dirty fuel injectors or fuel filter. 5. Here are ten conditions that can affect transmission performance. 6. 2.19. 5. 9. 1. Poor fuel system adjustment. 3. 8. Here are ten sounds that are likely to indicate some transmission malfunction. Broken engine or transmission mounts. or clogged catalytic converter. Engine timing out of adjustment. 1. strange sound that doesn’t go away should get your immediate attention. 20. Collapsed exhaust pipe. Any new. Excessive amounts of debris found in the transmission pan during an inspection.

8) FLUID LEAKS ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF TRANSMISSION FAILURE! 5 of 8 . it is either remanufactured. After all. in reality. 10. Don’t Let Your Brother-In-Law (or any other unqualified person) Try To Fix It In His Driveway. If you want to be assured of accurate diagnosis and top quality service bring it to a name you know and can trust. Don’t Have Anyone Install A Used Transmission From A Junkyard Or Out Of Another Vehicle That Has Not Been Evaluated By A Professional. Don’t Add Store Bought Transmission Fluid Additives. Check with Consumer Affairs and The Better Business Bureau. There is no way to tell if that used transmission has been abused or how many miles it really has on it. Brand new transmissions would cost outrageous amounts of money and are hardly ever installed by anyone. or repaired. Would you want to pay for a transmission you don’t need? Prices quoted over the phone may be “low ball” amounts just to get you to come in. 9. reconditioned. rebuilt. 7. He may do more harm than good and cost you more in the long run. Transmission failure is partially a function of age and mileage. you don’t always know what you’re going to get. Don’t Bring Your Transmission Problem To A “Fly By Night” Repair Shop. Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare can provide service under most “Extended Warranty Plans”. If the car is in good condition having the transmission repaired can be a much more cost effective solution than committing to the long-term investment in a replacement vehicle. Don’t Be Misled By Terminology. Always check with a transmission Professional before adding anything. Don’t Go Back To The New Car Dealer unless the vehicle is under the manufacturer’s original warranty. Don’t Let General Repair Mechanics Experiment With Your Transmission. Even if you decide to trade it in at a later date. Don’t allow anyone to install a remanufactured. Many customers ask “How much for a transmission?” At that point most don’t even know if they need one. you know what you have now. While the transmission may be new to their vehicle it is. A good general repair mechanic will recommend that you see a transmission professional. Customers are many times led to believe that they are purchasing a “NEW” transmission when. In many cases they do more harm than good. rebuilt. 4.9. Grating or Rumbling in Gear 10. Chatter or Clunk when Starting in Drive (D) or Reverse (R) 7) TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE A TRANSMISSION PROBLEM! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. How Many Times Would You Want To Pay Someone To Install One Of These Before Finding One That Will Last? 3. or repaired transmission in your vehicle without first performing diagnostic checks to determine if such an extensive operation is even necessary. not new. 6. Get references. Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare. Only Certified Transmission Technicians will have the equipment and capability to diagnose and repair your transmission properly the first time. a car with a properly functioning transmission will bring a lot more than one that has a problem. or they may not include everything you need. 5. reconditioned. In addition. So the investment you make to repair it can easily bring you a good return. Don’t Shop For Prices Over The Phone. even new car dealers. They can usually perform necessary repairs and services more quickly and with the peace of mind in knowing the work is being done by professionals who specialize in transmissions. in most cases. it may not be an exact match with yours leading to all types of control problems especially with today’s sophisticated electronic transmissions. 8. leading to unhappy surprises later on. Don’t Trade Your Car In Just Because It Has A Transmission Problem. 2.

Learn to spot transmission leaks. They understand how traumatic it can be when you first discover or suspect a transmission malfunction. Transmission fluid does not evaporate. Doing so could very likely cause additional damage. When the fluid drops below a safe level. do not drive it any farther. 9) WHY CHOOSE LEE MYLES? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Experience. Although a transmission is perceived by many to be a “Black Box” that they will never understand. Lee Myles is a franchise. windshield washer fluid. If it is low add the proper type of fluid until it reaches the full mark. That’s why you will always receive a written estimate upon request and a repair order that will detail parts and labor required. Call the nearest Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Center by dialing 1-800-LEE MYLES. This fluid lubricates the transmission and applies various friction devices (clutches and bands) at specific times to change gears and transfer power from the engine to the drive wheels. If the level is low and you can see fluid dripping under the vehicle. Lee Myles Center Managers are people just like you. Check the fluid about every 500 miles or every-other time you get gasoline. at Lee Myles we don’t think having it repaired should be a mystery. If you park on the street or in different spaces everyday check for oil stains before and after you’ve parked there to see if you left any new ones. Do not overfill. a group of independently owned and operated centers that must conform to the high standards set by the franchisor. Lee Myles is the oldest transmission chain in the United States. immediate failure. Although overfilling will probably not do damage because the transmission will push out any excess through its venting system. the repair procedure. Empathy And Concern. Unlike dealing with a small local transmission shop where the owner has the last word. and of course. If transmission fluid is low it has definitely leaked out somewhere. It was started in 1947 to provide expert transmission diagnosis and repair to the motoring public. If you normally park in a garage or driveway. These include motor oil. So they treat their customers the way they would want to be treated. if necessary. drivers are not checking fluid levels of many major vehicle systems. The Lee Myles Center Manager will take you through every step in the diagnostic and. Full Disclosure. Accountability. antifreeze. lubrication and hydraulic pressure decrease. Lee Myles technicians are up to date on all of the hundreds of transmission types on the road today. A Procedure You Can Understand. Capability.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An automatic transmission is a hydraulic system that operates on pressurized oil (fluid). The best course of action is to bring the vehicle to your nearest Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Center immediately so they can perform a FREE CHECK 11 PROCEDURE (WHICH INCLUDES A LEAK CHECK) and possibly save you a lot of money by catching a small problem before it becomes a major failure. With the proliferation of self-service gas stations. He or she will make sure that you understand and are comfortable with the entire process. They will make arrangements to have your vehicle towed in to avoid any further damage. as they should. brake and power steering fluid. nor does it burn like motor oil might through an engine. They have the equipment and the know-how to diagnose and repair transmission problems in the most economical way possible. transmission fluid. that excess oil could drip onto hot engine or exhaust components possibly causing a fire. You will be invited to inspect any and all parts to be replaced. causing excessive wear to major transmission components and in some cases. Lee Myles maintains a full time Customer Relations Department designed to keep its customers 6 of 8 . look for fresh (still wet) oil stains under the front center of the vehicle.

the itemized invoice. the repair. 7. You’ll know you’ve been treated to the highest quality service or repair and customer care standards in the transmission industry. for that matter. *Note: On occasion. 8. It may involve a repair to another part of the vehicle that either controls or has some influence on the function of the transmission. After the transmission has been reinstalled in the vehicle it will be road tested to confirm that the process has indeed solved the problem. the procedure that was performed. or. Only when you understand all of the details and have no further questions will the process be considered complete. and a complete explanation of the warranty and how you would go about getting service under it. When the vehicle arrives at the center. 4. When your transmission has been serviced or repaired at a Lee Myles Center you don’t have to give it another thought. This may include the use of an electronic scanning device or other equipment designed for the purpose. When you come to pick up your vehicle the Center Manager will once again go over. if it is safer. There may be a charge for this diagnostic service. If so. You will be invited to bring the vehicle in for a re-check within the next two weeks to confirm that the transmission is functioning normally and that all questions and concerns have been addressed. 5. 9. Several repair options with various warranties will be offered. reconditioning. this charge will become part of the cost of the repairs when you decide which corrective service best suits your needs. If it is determined that the problem is external of the transmission. Once you have chosen the option that best suits your requirements. 6. in detail. 1. It can be reached at any time by simply dialing 1-800-LEEMYLES. replacement. the Center Manager will recommend an appropriate course of action to resolve the problem. Peace Of Mind. If the transmission itself is found to be at fault the Center Manager may ask for authorization to remove it from the vehicle and disassemble it to determine the cause and the extent of the damage. You will be informed as to exactly what caused the transmission failure and the steps that will be taken to once again make the transmission road-worthy. to dispatch a tow truck to have it brought in.happy. 3. There may be a charge for this service. a FREE LEE MYLES CHECK 11 PROCEDURE will be performed to determine whether the problem is inside the transmission or is external to it. Your call will be automatically routed to the Lee Myles Transmission Center nearest you. in which case the Center Manager will explain it in detail and ask for your authorization to continue. 7 of 8 . 10) TEN STEPS TO THE LEE MYLES DIAGNOSTIC AND REPAIR PROCEDURE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You Always Feel Safer And More Comfortable When You Know What To Expect. if there is any problem at all. When You Suspect A Transmission Problem…. You will then be informed that the vehicle is ready. because of electrical or electronic problems indicated. 10. In such situations the Center Manager will ask for approval to go ahead with a more in depth study of the problem. The Lee Myles Center Manager will ask a few questions to determine whether the vehicle can be driven to the center or. 2. further diagnosis will be necessary to determine the cause and possible cure for the malfunction. or rebuilding of the transmission will be completed. Dial 1-800-LEEMYLES. When the transmission has been fully disassembled the Technician will present the Center Manager with a “Worn and Damaged Parts Report” along with a “Breakdown of Labor Operations” which will be used to help calculate the actual cost to repair the transmission.

You are welcome to reproduce this article provided you leave it as is and keep the author’s information and all links active and intact.com © Lee Myles Associates Corp. 4th Floor Paramus. But there are extended warranties available depending on the level of service chosen. More major services involving the removal and repair of the transmission can take one or more days depending on parts availability and complexity. while you wait. For more information please visit www. They will only sell you the repair you need to put your vehicle back in tip-top shape. PimpedOutAutos. How long will it take to repair my transmission? Minor repairs. NJ 07652 . Lee Myles can save you money by diagnosing your problem correctly and fixing your transmission right the first time.000 miles. About the Author: This booklet is produced by the Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Professionals.com | Favcars. All of our dealers offer the free Check 11 procedure to determine the extent of necessary repairs and many offer free towing to the center with a major repair.leemyles. 650 From Road South Lobby.800-533-6953 8 of 8 . Your Center Manager will explain all the details.FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Does Lee Myles have financing available? Financing is available in most cases to qualified buyers through several lending institutions. What types of warranties are available on major repairs? The standard limited warranty is 12 months or 12.com. whichever comes first. nothing more and nothing less. Your Center Manager will be happy to help with the details. Aren’t professionals like Lee Myles more expensive? No. services. and adjustments can many times be done immediately.