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We have tried to answer some of your most frequently asked questions as best as possible. We can only give you the best answer if you bring your car in for our FREE DIAGNOSTIC SERVICE.

What are signs I need Transmission maintenance?

If you’ve noticed hesitation during acceleration or possibly a sudden jump in your vehicle, chances are, you need to have your Transmission fluid flushed. To ensure a healthy transmission, our DFW ASE Certified Technicians recommend getting your transmission fluid flushed every 50,000 miles.

How do I check my transmission fluid?

Always check the fluid level with the engine running (except Honda), the transmission in park (except Chrysler products and some Mitsubishi transaxles which should be in “neutral” with the emergency brake applied), and with the engine at operating temperature. Remove the dipstick and wipe with a rag. Insert the stick fully and remove. Look at both sides of the stick to verify the same indication. Repeat the process.

What are the symptoms of dirty transmission fluid?

The symptoms of Dirty transmission Fluid could range from the gears slipping to making painful grinding noises. Your transmission is the component that puts your car in motion. Without it, your car would literally be at a constant standstill. Taking care of your transmission will help you save money and provide a safer driving experience.

Can I still drive with a transmission fluid leak?

It depends on the rate of fluid loss. A minor or slow leak will allow you to drive as long as you maintain the level in the normal range. You will have to establish the rate of loss and replenish as necessary. It should be obvious that if the fluid is running out as a stream, you won’t get very far! A transmission will operate normally until the fluid loss is a quart or more. Then the unit will exhibit abnormal operating systems and internal damage is occurring. What started as only a leak can result in a major repair bill if ignored!

Also, watch out for fluid leaking on the hot exhaust or the catalytic converter. That situation can easily result in a fire and a total loss of your vehicle. Worse yet, someone could get hurt or killed in this situation. So, for safety’s sake don’t start or drive your vehicle if it has a fluid leak that may start a fire. Get it towed in for repairs, call A-1 Quality Transmission & Auto Repair now. A tow bill is cheap compared to your life or your health.

I have a computer controlled transmission & it’s acting up, Do I need a new transmission or a new computer?

If you notice problems with your transmission, don’t automatically assume that the problem is actually in the transmission. Computers receive information from numerous sensors, process the information and then signal/operate the transmission. Often, the problem is in one of the sensors, an electrical connection or system ground. In such a case, any work on the transmission will not resolve the problem. Equipment called scanners can read the codes stored in the computer and help pinpoint the source of most problems.

Therefore, it is imperative that the entire control system is diagnosed before the transmission is attacked. As the commercial says, “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.”

The best I can do is give you information that might help you understand the problem, or symptom, and provide some insight into some of the possible solutions.

How long does a transmission normally last?

There is no accurate answer to that question. The mileage or time of use before major problems occur will vary greatly, and therefore, I don’t see a direct correlation between mileage and expected transmission failure. It is not unusual that the first few years after a newly designed transmission hits the road, that early failures occur. But, in later years with updates to the original design, the units become more reliable. The four major factors in the life expectancy are the original design, periodic maintenance, maintaining the proper fluid level and driving habits.

Can I hurt my transmission by overfilling?

No, although, it is possible that gross overfilling can cause the fluid to be subjected to moving parts and become aerated which could cause abnormal operation. You may also notice leaks that ordinarily would not occur.


Ignoring the signs of a possible transmission problem may, in fact, cost you more down the road. Some of the basic signs to look for are:

  • Seeing fluid on the ground where you were last parked
  • If the transmission is slipping
  • If you see the RPMs on your engine going higher than normal
  • If the shifting from one gear to the next is taking longer or harder
  • Strange noise or vibrations
  • The color of your transmission fluid is now brown or dark in color
  • If your transmission fluid has a Burnt smell
  • If your car does not move when you put it in gear


The cost of repairs varies widely, depending on the type of repair. Your vehicle may only require an external minor repair, while some may require an overhaul (rebuilt). Cost factors to consider on major rebuild jobs are the type of transmission, rear-wheel drive, overdrive, all-wheel drive and four by four, which is having a transfer case component to “transfer” motion to all four wheels.

In addition to the types of transmissions, you have variations of manufacturers. You may own an American name brand but have a drive train (transmission) that is also installed in foreign brand names or vice versa. For example, your Chevrolet Equinox may have the same transmission installed as a Volvo or Saab.

Electronic controlled transmissions work on the same principle but may have different components, where one type may have a few simple solenoids or sensors, others may also have a TCM (transmission control module) or may also depend on a PCM (power control module) in addition to the sensors and solenoids. These are all connected by a harness, which, over time, may become brittle, rub up against another component, or rodents can enter a warm vehicle or nest in them and chew on the wiring causing a short.

Complete Auto Service in Richardson

For more information on Transmission Repair, Clutch, Slave and Master Cylinder and auto repair services, please contact A1 Quality Transmission & Auto Repair on (972) 235-2277.