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Transmission System Diagnostics: How An Auto Technician Tests Your Vehicle For Issues

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Your car's transmission system is one of the most complicated and integral parts of your vehicle, and transmission problems are among the most common and costly car repairs. These issues can be difficult to diagnose, which is why it's important to take your car to a qualified transmission specialist or auto technician for transmission testing.

Read on to learn more about how a vehicle transmission expert tests and diagnoses the different transmission system issues.

Transmission Fluid Checks

A transmission fluid check is one of the first things a transmission specialist will do to diagnose transmission issues. They will check the level, quality, and condition of the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid checks can help identify leaks and overfilled or burnt fluids. All of these can lead to transmission problems.

For example, transmission fluid leaks can cause the transmission to overheat, while low transmission fluid levels can cause shifting problems. Usually, the effect is gradual and can even go unnoticed until major damage has already occurred.

If your car has an automatic transmission, the transmission specialist will also check the transmission fluid temperature. The ideal transmission fluid temperature is between 175 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit. If the transmission fluid is too hot, it can cause transmission failure. Transmission fluid that is too cold can also cause shifting problems.

During a transmission fluid check, the specialist will also look for any metal shavings or debris in the transmission fluid. Metal shavings are a sign of transmission wear and tear and can indicate more serious transmission problems. The metal components might be grinding against each other, which can cause transmission failure.

If the transmission specialist finds any issues with the transmission fluid, they will likely recommend a transmission flush or a change of transmission fluid.

Transmission Pressure Tests

Another way transmission specialists diagnose transmission issues is through transmission pressure tests. They hook up a transmission pressure gauge to the transmission and then check the transmission pressure while the engine is running. Transmission specialists use transmission pressure tests to check for proper transmission operation, identify leaks, and find worn or damaged parts.

If the transmission specialist finds that the transmission pressure is too low, it could be a sign of a leak. A transmission fluid leak can cause the transmission to overheat and eventually fail.

A transmission pressure test can also help identify worn or damaged transmission parts. For this part, the transmission specialist will compare the transmission pressure readings to the manufacturer's specifications. If the transmission pressure is outside of the specified range, it could be a sign that a transmission component needs to be replaced.

Transmission specialists usually use transmission pressure tests in conjunction with transmission fluid checks to get a complete picture of the transmission's condition. If that doesn't help them diagnose the transmission issue, they might move on to more comprehensive transmission tests that often involve transmission disassembly.

For more information, contact a company like the Transmission Physician.