Is An Auto Transmission Repair Franchise In Your Future

How can I make my transmission last longer?

A transmission can be easy to maintain, but terribly pricey to replace. It makes sense to take care of your automotive transmission now, rather than be caught off-guard by a huge repair bill later. The following strategies will help to keep your transmission working well and shifting seamlessly behind the wheel.

Tips to maintain your car or truck transmission include:

Check your fluids.

It may sound simple but keeping an eye on your transmission fluid is one of the most effective ways to take care of your auto’s transmission that there is. This will also allow service techs and mechanics the opportunity to identify any potential issues, based on the level or absence of fluid. Often times leaks can cause problems so identifying a leak before it becomes and expensive repair is very important for your transmissions health.


Keep it in gear.

Be aware of what gear you are driving in. Repeatedly driving 45mph in first-gear will cause trouble for your transmission over time. Likewise, when driving an automatic, be sure that you are in the recommended “drive” mode before heading out. Most drivers who own a car with manual transmission know what their doing. But they often lend out their car to others who don’t exactly know how to drive a stick. A lot of damage can be done to the gears if driven improperly. Make sure before you let someone else drive, they know what their doing.

Shift only after you stop.

When switching from first to reverse or vice versa make sure you come to a complete stop before shifting in and out of gear. Shifting between these gears while moving could weaken or strip the gears of the transmission if done consistently.

Take time to tune-up.

Don’t miss your regular tune-up appointments. A faulty engine can wreak havoc on the transmission, and can make it work harder than it should have to when shifting. Everything is connected in a car. Check your alignment, get your tune ups, and take care of the overall health of the rest of your vehicle and your transmission will benefit.

Let it get warm.

Take time to warm your vehicle up before dropping it in gear and driving. This applies to both cold-weather and warm-weather driving. Give the vehicle five minutes to idle before taking off. This is especially true during the cold snaps that we get in Portland, Oregon during winter. Let your vehicle warm up before changing gears and be safe when you’re out driving in bad weather this winter.


Use caution when helping out others.

Think twice before offering to tow or haul vehicles or other heavy loads with your vehicle. The added weight can cause wear and potential issues for your transmission, unless you have a heavy-duty vehicle that is designed for such utility. Instead, be helpful by offering to call a tow-truck!

Address repairs and concerns quickly.

Don’t delay in having your vehicle looked at when you notice signs of a transmission issue. This might include a strange smell, grinding when shifting gears, or an unusual sound. Failure to promptly address these concerns could result in a far more serious and costly problem.

Keep things cool.

If you put your vehicle through its paces, the rough terrain, added weight, and heavy utility can generate heat, which wreaks havoc with a transmission. Cool down your transmission by installing an auxiliary cooling system or fan. Talk with automotive experts regarding the most practical options for your specific vehicle.


Servicing the vehicle right way

It’s always important to stick to your regular service routine. This should also be done according to the guidelines in your manual. The transmission fluid, as well as the fluid filter, should also be changed periodically. For older cars, you’ll want to do this every one and a half years or anywhere between 20,000 to 30,000 miles. New cars will be fine with two-year periodical changes or every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Most manufacturers would expect you to change the fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles cover, for manual transmissions. Under heavy-duty use, you may consider changing the fluid after 15,000 miles. Automatic transmissions can be serviced anywhere from 30,000 miles or longer.

Don’t ignore warning signs

Funny sounds, grinding gears, strange smells, or droplets of red or green fluid on the garage floor all point to transmission problems. If you want your transmission to remain fully functional for a long time, things like these should not be delayed or ignored. This can prove very expensive, going forward.

Check your driving style

You may have to check your driving style for bad habits that may put your transmission at risk. These can include quick starts and stops as well as constant acceleration and deceleration. You’re better off with an even speed or perhaps using cruise control when you’re on the highway.

Invest in a transmission cooler

Transmission coolers can help you get more life out of your transmission. This will help keep heat under control while also keeping the fluid very cool. This is necessary since heat can cause substantial damage to your transmission. It can damage the seals, the electronic components, and the metal surface. This can easily prolong your transmission’s lifespan by as much as twice or thrice than you can get without a cooler.


Getting the most out of your transmission

Granted, no transmission lasts forever (though some try), but regular maintenance can keep your car on the road for many years and miles without ever experiencing any transmission problems. Ignore the maintenance, however, and an automatic transmission can fail in as few as 75,000 miles, leaving you with costly repairs, and in some cases, a voided warranty. A typical transmission service includes:

  • Replacing the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) roughly every 40,000 miles, depending on the OEM’s recommended schedule. Learn how to perform this relatively simple, inexpensive procedure yourself.
  • Upgrading to a synthetic transmission fluid (if appropriate for the vehicle)
  • Adjusting transmission bands every 60,000 miles (such as on an older car or heavy-duty pickup)
  • Checking the fluid level often and refilling it to the proper level when it’s low.
  • Using the ATF specified by the vehicle manufacturer and never mixing different types of transmission fluids.
  • Replacing the transmission filter or screen based on the vehicle manufacturer’s mileage and/or time intervals.
  • Cleaning the transmission pan’s magnet(s) to remove metal fragments it has trapped.
  • Using a transmission conditioning product to help restore performance and fix small leaks.

Useful Steps To Engine Rebuilding Your Favorite Car


Marine and automotive technicians are constantly required to fine-tune engines to ensure that they deliver optimal performance. Engines are crucial to the propulsion of any vehicle or marine vessel, and any issues will leave drivers frustrated and looking for a solution from an experienced technician. One of the many ways that these technicians tune engines and keep a high level of performance is through tests on an engine dynamometer.

What Does an Engine Dynamometer Test?

The purpose of an engine dynamometer is to measure engine output to make sure that the configuration is delivering the force that it’s supposed to. To give technicians a sense of how optimal the engine they’re testing is running, they hook up the dynamometer to the engine and let it run. The engine dynamometer will test the horsepower, rotations per minute (RPMs), force, and torque levels to get a sense of the engine’s power.


Calculating Performance

A dynamometer, also known as a “dyno”, is a device that measures force, torque or power. For chassis or engine applications, a dynamometer is designed to create a load to duplicate various speed (RPM) and torque (Nm or lb-ft) requirements. From this data, power (HP or kW) can be calculated. This in turn provides a snapshot of the chassis or engine performance for comparison to the manufacturer’s specifications. Typically, a dynamometer gives the operator the ability to vary the load applied to the unit under test to mimic specific requirements.

Troubleshoot, Identify, Verify

An engine dynamometer is a device used to test an engine that has been removed from a vehicle, ship, generator, or any other piece of equipment powered by an internal combustion engine. The purpose is to confirm performance before the engine is installed back in the equipment. Engine dynamometers can help facilities troubleshoot by determining when an engine is overheating, or by identifying intermittent performance and sensor issues. They also verify the quality of builds, rebuilds, or repairs in a controlled environment before vehicles are put into use.

Engine dynamometers are coupled to the engine under test via a drive or Cardan shaft. Engines are mounted to rolling carts and can be loaded on the cart prior to movement into the dyno room. Typically, engine dynamometers create loads using a water brake, EC or alternating current (AC) design.

Water brakes are designed to test engines rated up to 7,500 kW or 10,000 HP

EC units are designed for lower power engines (less than 400 HP)

AC designs can accommodate a wide range of applications (10 HP to 5,000 HP) and offer exceptional natural (transient) response


Applications for Dynamometers

In addition to being used to determine the torque or power characteristics of a machine under test (MUT), dynamometers are employed in a number of other roles. In standard emissions testing cycles such as those defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), dynamometers are used to provide simulated road loading of either the engine (using an engine dynamometer) or full powertrain (using a chassis dynamometer). In fact, beyond simple power and torque measurements, dynamometers can be used as part of a testbed for a variety of engine development activities such as the calibration of engine management controllers, detailed investigations into combustion behavior and tribology.

In an engine dynamometer, water flow, proportional to the desired applied load, creates resistance to the engine. A controlled water flow through the inlet manifold is directed at the center of the rotor in each absorption section. This water is then expelled to the outer dynamometer body by centrifugal force. As it is directed outward, the water is accelerated into pockets on the stationary stator plates where it is decelerated. The continual acceleration and deceleration causes the dynamometer to absorb the power produced by the engine. Through this transfer of energy the water is heated and discharged.


Measuring how much power you need

If you’ve got something like a giant factory machine made up of levers, gears, drive belts, and other bits and pieces, and you want to know how big an engine or electric motor you’d need to make it work, you can use a machine called a driving dynamometer. It’s essentially just an ordinary engine or an electric motor with some appropriate measuring meters or monitors attached so you know how much power, force, or speed is being used at any given moment.

Measuring how much power you have

If you’ve got an engine or motor, you can use a different kind of dynamometer to measure how much torque (turning force), power, or speed it can produce. Here, the dynamometer acts as a variable load that the engine/motor drives. It works by soaking up or absorbing the power that the engine/motor produces, so it’s called an absorption dynamometer.

An absorption dynamometer is a bit more sophisticated and interesting than a driving dynamometer. If you think about it, it needs a way of soaking up and dissipating potentially a huge amount of power, and there are all kinds of different ways to do this. One easy way is to use electromagnetism.

If you wanted to test out the power of an electric motor, you could connect its driving axle up to the axle of a generator. As the motor spins around, it would make the generator spin too, producing an electric current proportional to the motor’s power; measure the generator current and you have an indication of how powerful the motor is.


Why Dyno Test an Engine?

There are lots of great reasons to perform dynamometer testing on your engine. Learn more here.

If you’re reading this article, you probably already know what it means to dyno test an engine. In short, you power up the engine and add a controlled amount of resistance. From the test, a dynamometer measures your engine’s force, torque, and horsepower. Depending on your career or hobby, these are significant numbers.

But is finding out how many horses you have under the hood the only reason to dyno test an engine? Absolutely not. There are solid, practical reasons to dyno test an engine, bragging rights aside.

Here are a few of them:

To Help Keep Your Engine Running Properly

The computerized dynamometer provides accurate torque and RPM numbers. And then it can accurately measure horsepower. Whoever is tuning your engine now has a basis for changing the engine’s tuning, or they might even recommend changing the engine itself.

These are some of the variables that can be tuned using this method:

  • Intake manifold selection
  • Ignition timing and advance curve
  • Primary tube diameter and length for the headers
  • Carburetor spacers
  • Cam grind and timing
  • Carburetor size and jetting

For an Engine’s First Run

It makes sense to do the first run of an engine on a dyno. Engine break-in routines specified by cam and ring manufacturers can be accomplished under controlled conditions. Blow by can even be monitored as the piston rings seat. The engine can be pre-lubed and pre-heated before every start.

To Find Out the Temperature of Your Exhaust Gas

When it comes to tuning your carburetor—jetting, size, spacers, and fuel distribution—knowing your exhaust gas temperatures is as important (or maybe even more) than horsepower and torque numbers. You could save yourself a major engine repair with this information.

To Get a Written Record of Your Engine’s Performance

A dyno test will give you details about each test, weather conditions on the day of testing, and graphs of your engine’s performance. You can compare your personal performance experiences with the dyno numbers so you can make future adjustments or modifications.

Additional information from the test can indicate both torque and peak torque, plus horsepower, volume metric efficiency, the temperatures of the cylinders and pistons, airflow — I.e., measurements of virtually every engine function.