Check Transmission fluid 
Posted 02:37 PM April 03, 2011

The fluid in an automatic transmission operates the clutches, provides cooling and lubrication, and even drives the vehicle. So few things are more important than proper fluid operating level for keeping the transmission working. Most automatic transmissions have a dipstick for checking the fluid level. If your not sure where yours is or how to check the

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transmission fluid level, refer to your owners Manuel, or go to your local ATRA -member repair center: they'll be happy to show you. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.



Posted 02:27 PM April 03, 2011

Most transmission problems start out small. They get worse overtime. Very often you can estimate major repairs simply by taking care of the problem early on. Whether its a warning light on the dash, a few drops of fluid on the garage floor, or a change in the way the transmission operates, your best bet is to take your car to a ATRA member repair center for service right away. In many cases you'll be able to avoid major repairs, simply by catching it while its still a minor one. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.

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Posted 02:08 PM April 03, 2011

Changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles or at the dealer recommended interval could prevent costly repairs down the road. Servicing the transmission prolongs the life, removes contaminated fluid from the transmission system, revitalize transmission seals and O rings, safely removes harmful sludge and varnish deposits, stops and prevent leaks, and extends transmission fluid life.

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Posted 01:56 PM April 03, 2011

Extended warranties for cars and trucks have become more popular than ever. Extended warranties can be a great deal. You are getting the same protection and piece of mind that you would get when purchasing a new car. Without the HIGH car payment.

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Posted 01:49 PM April 03, 2011

Transmission fluids have a number of unique properties that can wear out over time. And when they wear out, you can bet the transmission itself wont be far behind. One of the best ways to keep your transmission in good working order is to have it serviced annually. A complete fluid and filter change every year can add years to your transmissions life, and in the end save you money. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.

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Posted 01:30 PM April 03, 2011

New fluid can really help your transmission last longer. But there are a number of additives on the market that have demonstrated the ability to increase transmission life and reliability significantly, even beyond the extra miles you could expect from regular service. In most cases, you wont be able to find worthwhile additives in your super market or do it yourself parts store: the really effective additives are only available to professional transmission centers. Ask your local ATRA member service repair center for recommendations. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties

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Posted 01:08 PM April 03, 2011

All automatic transmissions have some type of filter inside them. But these filters vary in effectiveness. Meanwhile loose dirt and metal particles can quickly erode thrust washer and brushing surfaces, clog up passages, and reduce transmission life. One of the best ways to eliminate these contaminants is to add an in-line filter to the transmission cooler lines. These filters are inexpensive and highly effective in removing damaging particles from the transmission fluid. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.

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Posted 12:54 PM April 03, 2011

The price to repair a transmission depends on several factors. These include determining the cause of your transmission problem, the condition and type of transmission in your car, and the type of service that needs to be done. Our shop offers external diagnostic service includes checking the level and condition of the transmission fluid, road testing your car, and a diagnosis of the external transmission controls. This service determines if there is a transmission problem, and if the problem can be corrected with an external repair or adjustment. Contact us to have an external diagnostic service completed. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.

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Posted 12:30 PM April 03, 2011

Most automotive manufactures recommend that you change your transmission fluid every 3 years/ 36,00 miles. We recommend an annual fluid change. If your vehicle is older, or is used for towing, it may require a fluid change more frequently. To determine if a fluid change is needed, we recommend our external diagnostic service- which includes checking the level and condition of your transmission fluid, a road test, and putting your car on a lift to check your external transmission controls- to keep your transmission, and your vehicle running smoothly. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.

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Posted 12:08 PM April 03, 2011

Engine as well as transmissions are controlled by on board computers in todays vehicles. If a malfunction occurs the computer stores a code, that relates to the malfunction, and warns the driver by turning on or flashing one of these lights. These warnings should not be ignored. Early diagnoses, by qualified tech with proper equipment, can save a customer money and prevent him from getting stranded. We have equipment and trained personnel to help when this occurs. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.

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Posted 11:55 AM April 03, 2011

Our shops primary focus is on transmissions, and there are a variety of services available. If you think you are having a problem with your transmission, our expert transmission technicians will preform an external diagnostic service. The external diagnostic includes checking the level and condition of the transmission fluid, road testing your car, and a diagnosis of the external transmission controls. If you have a transmission problem, the EDS determines if the problem can be corrected with an external repair or adjustment. In some cases, the transmission needs to be rebuilt. The best thing to do if you are having transmission problems is contact us to schedule an external diagnostic service. Thank you for associating with Trans Specialties.

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Posted 11:26 AM April 03, 2011

The modern automatic transmission is by far, the most complicated mechanical component in todays automobile. Automatic transmissions contain mechanical systems, hydraulic systems, electrical systems and computer controls... all working together in perfect harmony. There are several problems that can be resolved with an adjustment while others require a complete overhaul of the automatic transmission system to be corrected. That's why you need to work with an expert when it comes to automatic transmission repair. The master technicians at Trans Specialties have the expertise to properly diagnose automatic transmission problems. Once a problem is diagnosed, whether it is a minor adjustment or a complete overhaul, we can complete the automatic transmission repair service needed to get your vehicle running at optimal performance.

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Posted 11:06 AM April 03, 2011

Preventative maintenance is always the best measure, so here are some tips on how to spot problems before they get worse. Watch for leaks or stains under your car, if there is a persistent red oil leak you need to have a Trans Specialties technician check to see if it is coming from your automatic transmission or your power steering system. Always check your transmission fluid for color and odor. Most manufacturers require you to check automatic transmission fluid levels when the vehicle is running and on level ground. Automatic transmission fluid is red oil that is transparent. If the fluid looks cloudy or has a burnt odor you need to replace your fluid. Also be sensitive to noises, vibrations, and shift behavior. If shift points are erratic or you hear noises when shifting you should have your transmission checked immediately. For all your transmission needs contact Trans Specialties in Wayne, N.J. for a check up today, 973-628-0603

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Posted 10:38 AM April 03, 2011

Its time to get the kids to school- you're running late. You get them in the back then you jump into driver's seat, put in drive then it happens- the engine revs but the cars go nowhere- like it is in neutral. You look at the dash- its not!
Luckily, your neighbor is outside and volunteers to help get the kids to school in his car. First problem solved.

With the advice of that same neighbor, you've decided that you need the services of a transmission repair shop- now what? Before you call a tow truck, please read on.

You may have seen the exposes on the local news or have heard the horror stories of people being fleeced by an unethical auto repair shop. You realize you are in a unenviable position but you need your car fixed ASAP.

Keep in mind that people are more likely to discuss bad experiences with a repair shop than good ones. Also, the evening news never reports on the ''good guy'' shops, its just not interesting TV. Most repair shops are honest and the dishonest ones tend to give everyone else a bad name. The problem is how can can you tell one from another.

lets outline the most common ways in which one is often swindled by a repair shop and the preemptive steps which can be taken to avoid being ripped off.

1) Being charged for work which you didn't authorize. In this situation, it is always best to request a written estimate before any work is preformed. In most jurisdictions, a written estimate must be furnished upon request by customer. It is also required that the customer has to authorize any work before it is preformed.

2) Bait and switch. It is quite common, especially among dishonest transmission repair shops to quote a ''too good to be true'' price for a transmission rebuild over the phone to get you to bring the car to their facility. Unfortunately, in many cases, the ''low ball'' prices is not anywhere near what you actually get charged once you go to pick up the completed vehicle. One way to avoid this is again to request a written estimate.

3) Being charged for parts that were never replaced. Unfortunately, it is all too common for customers to be charged for parts that were never put into their vehicle. If you have any doubts, ask that all of the old parts be retained for your inspection after completion of the repair. It is important to ask that this be done before any repair has begun. These parts can also be important to have if fraud is suspected after the fact.

4) Improper repair. Test drive your vehicle before you pay for it. Any honest shop will not balk at this request. If you feel that something is not right, refuse to pick up the car ( and pay for it) until it is corrected.

5) Incorrect billing. Carefully examine your bill before you pay it. Make sure that the price that was quoted on your estimate matches the bill. If you followed my advice to get a written estimate, make sure that you bring it with you when you are picking up your vehicle.

6) Questionable warranties. Make sure that the warranty on your repair shop is discussed before any work is preformed. When you pick up your vehicle also make sure that you are given a written warranty agreement.

7) Pay your bill with a credit card or check. If you use these methods of payment, often times you will have some recourse if fraud is perpetrate against you.

8) Last but not least, go with your gut. If you have a bad feeling about a repair shop politely tell them that you are taking your car for a second opinion.

In addition to taking the aforementioned steps, it pays to do a little research. Don't necessarily assume that the large chains that you see advertised are the place to have your transmission repaired. Remember that they are all independently owned and operated so there can be bad apples among them as well.

Your best net is usually to find a transmission specialty shop that has been around for a while and that has a good reputation. Places that are in business of ripping their customers off are usually exposed, especially in the internet era. Good reputations and credibility are hard earned- you will rarely go wrong if you select a shop based on that.

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Posted 01:50 PM March 27, 2011

The Jatco JF506E,JA5A-EL or 09A transmission found in Land Rover Freelanders,Volkswagen Jettas and GTIs, Mazda MPV and Jaguar X-Type models were introduced in the 2002 model year and has been adopted by several manufacturers.
The widespread use of this transmission means that there are tons of themon the road and they are now making their way to transmission repair shops- at least the ones that were not replaced by the dealerships under warranty.
Some of the problems being seen with this particular unit include valve body wear in the torque converter clutch regulator and pressure regulator valve bore areas, which can result in a loss of torque converter clutch operation, transmission overheating, high or low line pressure and delayed engagements into forward or reverse.
Other causes of delayed engagement can be attributed to a worn low clutch drum bushing. A worn bushing will allow the drum to misalign and damage its Teflon sealing rings. This problem can also cause a falling out of gear at a stop or a slipping upon acceleration from a stop.
One extremely common problem with the JATCO JF506E / 09A unit is a cracked reverse piston. A cracked piston can cause one or more of the following complaints: no reverse, a slipping reverse, a poor shift from second to third, an elongated shift into fourth or fifth gear, and in some cases, no third, fourth, fifth or reverse.
Fortunately , while these transmissions certainly have some issues, there are corrections for this long list of complaints.
Firstly, there are oversized pressure regulator and torque converter clutch regulator valves available which enable a transmission rebuilder to machine and restore the valve body to "better then new" condition and prevent future transmission problems related to valve body wear. This operation requires some specialty equipment to perform. Many transmission repair shops don't have the capability to rebuild the valve body house and are forced to buy a very expensive new or remanufactured unit and pass the price on to the customer.
Delayed engagement resulting from a worn low clutch drum is easily fixable by replacement of the drum or replacement of the worn bushing. Replacing the bushing, however, is a specialized "hone to fit" operation which should only be performed by a transmission repair facility that has the right equipment to properly complete this operation. This goes with the same caveat- If your transmission shop can't perform this operation in house, the cost of the new component is certainly going to raise the total cost of the transmission repair.
Lastly, the cracked reverse piston situation is going to require replacement of the failed part with a new one. The replacement component has been strengthened at the manufacturing level in the area where it would crack. The upgraded part seems to be a permanent fix for this particular complaint. Fortunately, the price of a new and upgraded reverse piston is fairly inexpensive, especially considering it should never fail again.
While you may have a vehicle with a transmision whose design may be less than perfect, don't fret- a successful repair is usually in the cards if you are able to find a repair facility with expertise to correctly and thoroughly repair your transmission.

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Posted 09:27 AM March 27, 2011

Extended warranties for cars and trucks have become more popular than ever. In fact, if you are reading this you probably already have an extended automotive warranty or are considering the purchase of one.
Extended warranties can be a great deal; ideally, you are getting the same protection and peace of mind that you would get when purchasing a new car.

If you already have a warranty, here are six things that you should know:

1) Often times automotive repair shops and dealerships frown on performing extended warranty work. The reason for this is simple- most of the time extended warranty issuer has a cap on the labor rate that they are willing to pay and repair facilities are sometimes under the impression that they are wasting their time doing work for them.

Before you bring your car in for repair, I suggest that you make sure that the shop works closely with your particular warranty company and that they are willing to do the work for what the company pays.

2) Inquire about your out-of-pocket costs ahead of time. Even if your repair shop will perform services on your vehicle at the warranty company's labor rate, you will typically be responsible to pay a deductible ( if your policy has one) and pay state sales tax. If there are additional costs or things that are not covered, the time to find out before you have any work done.

3) read the fine print. I know- easy to say but hard to do. Different policies cover different things. For example some warranties only cover '' mechanical breakdown'' while others cover '' wear and tear'' as well. Additionally, your warranty may provide an allowance for a rental car to drive while your vehicle is being repaired. It pays to know what is covered and what is not.

4) Many warranty companies require that a maintenance schedule be adhered to. Make sure that you are aware of this and have these services, such as oil changes, performed when they should be. Thsi could help you from having a claim denied in the future.

5) Make sure that your warranty allows you to take the vehicle to the shop of your choosing to have the repair performed. Often times when extended warranties are purchased from new car dealers, the purchaser is mislead into thinking that the usually high priced issuing dealership is the only place where the warranty is honored. This is rarely the case.

6) Work with a shop that has experience with extended warranty companies. A shop that knows the warranty issuers procedures and gets approval before the work is done not likely to put you in a position where your claim gets denied on a technicality. The best bet is to find a repair facility that will deal directly with the warranty company on your behalf. This will not only minimize your risk but also save you some aggravation.

By following these simple guidelines you can usually find a reliable repair facility that will make sure that your claim gets paid with minimum of hassle and makes the warranty process as convenient as possible for you.

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Posted 07:20 AM March 27, 2011

You are driving down the interstate on the way to visit an old friend. While your listening to the radio and enjoying the open highway you suddenly feel something a little strange, perhaps like a slight engine surge. It does not happen again over the next half hour or so- you dismiss it as your imagination.
A little further along in your journey, you feel it again- this time it is accompanied by your check engine light illuminating. You feel a bit concerned, but the car isn't driving too badly, it just has this very occasional odd engine surge. Naturally, you decide to have it check as soon as you get to where your going. Heres what may be found.

As Audi's A4 and A6 models are starting to become a few years old, there are few problems that are being experienced with their transmissions. By far, the most common problem that is being seen at this point in time is an issue with the transmissions torque converter.

The problem typically starts with a check engine light coming on. While sometimes the actual drivability symptom is subtle, your vehicles computer is able to to detect it by comparing engine RPM with transmission input shaft RPM.

Often times, in addition to the light coming on, one will also notice an increase or fluctuation of RPM's at speeds above 45 miles per hour or so.

If access to a scan toll is available, either a VAG or snap-on type with the correct European vehicle software,codes can be retrieved from the vehicles computer in most cases.

Some of the codes that are normally found in the system include a code 18032 which is a MIL light request. This code simply means that the vehicles computer has detected a problem and has illuminated the malfunction indicator light to let the driver know that something is amiss. This is a not so bad subtle warning to get the vehicle checked out.

The next two codes give a better indication of what the problem actually is. The first code that is often see is a code 17125- torque converter clutch circuit performance. This code is set by the computer commanding converter clutch application but not seeing the appropriate drop in RPM that is associated with the proper converter apply. Quite simply, the torque converters clutch is slipping.

The second code that is usually observed is an OBD P0741- torque converter clutch stuck off. Similar to the previous code, excessive converter slippage is seen by the vehicles computer. This code, however, usually results in the computer disabling the converter clutch' s application altogether in an attempt to protect the transmission from further damage. All of this is usually going to require replacement of the torque converter.

Heres the nuts and bolts technical explanation of the root causes: ZF and Audi's original converter design utilized two rubber seals against the piston.

The two seals are responsible for sealing the hydraulic pressure that allows the torque converter clutch engage and hold. One of the seals is a ''lip'' type that seals on the transmission input shaft and the other ''o'' ring type seal seal against the piston.

The material originally used was not up to the task when it came to dealing with the tremendous heat and pressure that occurs inside of a torque converter. Although Audi did release a second design input shaft lip seal, failures have been observed with those as well.

When the hydraulic pressure that is required to allow converter clutch application cannot be contained because of the faulty seals, the clutch will start to slip and usually destroy itself before to long.

When looking for a replacement converter to purchase from a remanufacturer, it is often helpful to ask them a few questions about their rebuilding procedures.

First off, you want to find out if they are installing the latest design level seals as part of their torque converter rebuild- using original type seals will work for a while but will eventually lead to another premature failure. There now after market replacements for these components that seem to be far superior to the factory parts.

Secondly, you will surely want to ask if the clutch itself is getting replaced. Believe it or not, this is not a given with some suppliers. The clutches in these particular units are of a multi- disk configuration. Replacing these entire multi disk set up is quite labor intensive and requires not only special tools but also a high level of skill- make sure your converter rebuilding company had both!

Naturally you will also want your re- builder to replace any other components that normally wear out such as washers, bearings, one way clutches, and spline inserts. Most of the quality converter manufacturers will also pressure test and dynamically balance the unit once it is in the final stage of the rebuilding process.

Taking the time to find out that the job is getting done correctly is absolutely critical. As with any type of rebuilt or re-manufactured automotive component, there can be varying levels of quality. With over 11 hours of labor involved in removing and reinstalling your A4 and A6's ZF5HP19 FLA transmission to replace the converter, it is surely a job that you will not want to do or have done more then once.

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Posted 07:42 PM March 26, 2011

An automatic transmission is just that- automatic, consequently most people tend to pay very little attention to it until a major problem rears its ugly head.
Picture the scenario- you are driving along the lap of luxury, the satellite radio blaring and the heated seats on. You've become accustomed to the comfort level and great driving experience brought to you by BMW.

You decide yo stop at the local convenience store on your way home to grab ice cream for the kids and a bottle of water for yourself. Upon returning to your car, you start it up, check your rear view mirror, put the shifter in reverse and then the unthinkable happens- the engine just revs as if it is in neutral and the car goes nowhere.

This article deals with the reasons behind an unexpected loss of reverse in certain BMW automatic transmission equipped vehicles, specifically the 3 series 5 series vehicles that use the ZF5HP19 or ''steptronic'' transmission. This includes the popular 323i, 323ci, 325i, 328i, 330i, 525i, 525i, 528i, 530i, X3 and X5 models well as some others built in the 1999 to the present model years.

To eliminate confusion, this doesn't apply to vehicles equipped with the GM 5L40 E transmission, just the ones with sometimes problematic ZF5HP19. The 5L40 E has some issues of its own that are beyond the scope of this article but are certainly going to be the subject of another.

The failure rate for these transmissions seems to be very high and is expected to become much more of a problem s time goes by.

Typically, the vehicle is working perfectly while driving forward but when it is put in reverse there is a complete and permanent loss of movement to back up.

Reverse is typically a major feature for any transmission to accomplish- imagine the demands that are placed on a gearbox as it asked to reverse the torque of your engine so that you can back up your nearly 4000, pound vehicle.

By far, the most common cause of the reverse problem in BMW'S is the failure of the ''D-G'' clutch drum. Specifically, the snap ring that remains the D or reverse clutch breaks out of the clutch drum resulting in an inability for the clutch pack to apply.

The good news is that there is hope in regards to a proper repair. The factory has released an updated part that so far appears to be a permanent fix for this problem.

In our testing and in conjunction with several hundred successful repairs at our facilities, the new part that seems to be metallurgically superior in several ways.

We have found that there is an improved radius area as well as slightly thicker casting. In addition to this, the grove that retains the snap ring is relocated further away from the edge of the drum.

With this issue addressed the attention to detail in several other areas of the ZF5HP19 unit, the transmission can be repaired to ''better than new'' condition by competent transmission re builder / re manufacturer. In fact, when properly repaired, the ZF gearbox becomes quite robust and can provide an almost indefinite service life.

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