Your cars transmission is an extremely complex piece of machinery. It contains electrical, hydraulic and mechanical components. Automatic transmission repairs can be costly and if not done properly, can cause ongoing problems that will quickly drain your wallet and your patience. Before you decide to replace, repair, or ditch your transmission all together its important to understand its function.

How does an automatic transmission work?

An automatic transmission works by shifting bands and clutches within your engine, allowing your vehicle to accelerate. The automatic transmission uses gears to make the most of your engine’s torque and allows your vehicle to operate efficiently at various speeds.

What do you do if your transmission fails?

There are a number of things to consider if your transmission fails including the age and function of the vehicle and the condition of the engine itself. You can replace a transmission without having to replace the entire engine. They are two separate things. If your vehicle is older, has high mileage, or is in poor condition you may not be willing to invest the several thousand dollars it will take to replace the transmission. On the other hand, if your vehicle is less than 10 years old and in good shape you will want to consider replacing the transmission.

Who can perform automatic transmission repairs?

Unless you are a certified mechanic, transmission repair is not a do-it-yourself job. Because of the transmission’s complexity you will need to hire a skilled repairman to do the work. Nearly all automotive repair shops can perform automatic transmission repairs. However, not all auto body shops are created equal. If you take your car to the shop and they tell you that your car needs to be taken apart, if there is an absurdly long list of things that need to be fixed, or if they try to sell you something you know you don’t need, be wary about using that company! You can always call your insurance company and have them give you a list of reputable automotive repair shops in your area.

Replacing or repairing an automatic transmission is no small feat. A skilled professional such as Western Suburbs Automatics will need to perform the repair but maintaining your transmission by performing regular maintenance, allowing your engine to heat up on cold mornings and not “riding the break” can keep your transmission in tip-top shape and help you avoid costly repairs.