Monthly Archives: February 2012

Terrific transmission tips (Part II)

Transmission fluid does wear out. New fluid has a pink color to it and the old fluid will appear brown and emit a slight burnt smell. The color and smell are from the normal wear of the many clutch discs located in the heart of a transmission. Heat is the worst thing for transmission fluid—even the relatively mild temperatures here in good old Overland Park, Kansas, can cause problems. Elevated temperatures cause the fluid to lose its ability to withstand pressure when and where needed inside the transmission. This is why you find additional external coolers on many trucks and SUVs. Transmissions are mostly all built with the same fundamental concepts, and automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is manufactured by fewer petroleum companies than one would think. ATF base stock is much the same—it is the additives that make the final difference. With that in mind, we recommend flushing an automatic transmission every 30,000 miles for best life and performance. Many transmis ... read more

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Transmissions

Terrific transmission tips (Part I)

Terrific transmission tips (Part I)

I have been reading up on automatic transmission fluid (ATF) lately and changes are on the horizon. Twenty years ago, there used to be just three types of ATF-one each for Ford, Chevy and Chrysler-and transmissions only had three speeds. Today, transmissions have up to six speeds, and run at higher temperatures for better efficiency. Most automatic transmissions have replaced mechanical parts with electronic solenoids, all with tighter clearances. There are many more types of ATF to keep track of from manufacturer to manufacturer. It can get confusing, so a shop needs accurate information. Incorrect fluid can cause shifting problems and premature wear. We are careful to use only OEM-supplied information to select the correct type of fluid for each particular vehicle. We also use either synthetic blends or full synthetic ATF, which are better than mineral-based fluids. The main difference between types of transmission fluids is in the viscosity and additives. ATF ... read more

Serving on the car repair helpline

Serving on the car repair helpline

Last week I had the privilege once again of working the phone bank at Channel 41’s Call for Action free helpline for car repair. I fielded 30 calls alongside eight or nine other local shop owners who donated their expertise. This time on the phone is not a sales pitch for New Concept Auto Service or any of the local shops. We don’t even identify ourselves, but recommend a AAA-approved shop near the caller’s area. I feel like I really helped most of the callers. Some just wanted to talk and vent a little about a shop. Most people were elderly and drove Buicks and Lincolns. There was a wide array of questions. How much would it cost to do this or that (we did not guess at pricing)? Do I really need to flush my coolant and transmission fluid at 60,000-miles (yes)? Several had concerns about the engine missing as they drive uphill or accelerate. Several “crank and no start” customers wondered where they should have their vehicle towed. One woman called in about her ... read more

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