There are two main types of transmission, namely Manual and Automatic transmissions.
Transmissions are designed to primarily transfer and regulate rotational energy from the engine to the drive wheels to enable the vehicle move at a faster (lower torque) or slower (higher torque) speed.
Manual transmission is manually controlled while the automatic transmission is controlled automatically by the aid of an electronic controlled hydraulic system.
Series of operations between the Torque Converter, Electronically Controlled Hydraulic System, Planetary Gear Train and the Clutch ensures that the drive wheels move. The torque converter maintains a continuous fluid coupling between the engine and the drive wheels while the hydraulic system senses when it’s the right time for the gear change and the planetary gear train shifts the gears without completely disengaging the transmission from the engine by the use of a clutch, all these happens in the transmission within split seconds to order to maintain continuous drive.
There are two main types of Automatic Transmission, namely Differential Variable Transmission(DVT) and the Continuous Variable Transmission(CVT).
The DVT is the type that you can feel when the transmission changes from one gear to another gear while in the CVT you don’t feel it due to its continuous smooth drive.
They both operate within different temperature ranges, this implies that they would require different compositions in solvent blends for lubrication, cooling, transfer of pressure and heat.
One main cause of transmission failure is Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) breakdown, this occurs most times when the transmission fluid is not changed as at when due, though some manufacturers will say the ATF is for LIFE.
Every solvent blend has a Life Span once it’s in an enclosure carrying out its functions with certain temperature ranges, this implies it should be changed within a particular time frame as specified by the manufacturer of the transmission. When the solvent blend fails, it will no longer have the protective properties as designed, which renders it useless within the system, the relative effect is increase in friction thereby causing wear and tear of other components within the transmission due to rapid change in operational temperature; the worst hit transmission component by this is the Planetary Gear train because it’s made of a combination fibers and metals.
When there is increase in friction, wear and tear increases causing direct contact between the fibers and metals thereby introducing debris into the system.
The electronically controlled hydraulic system functions effectively with free flow of solvent blend within the system through switches and solenoid, the solenoids are designed with filters to ensure the flow of clean solvent blend in the system.
Over time, the debris (fiber and metal filings) causes restriction by blocking the filter within the solenoid, it also causes restriction screen on the transmission filter, thereby causing delay in the flow of solvent blends through the hydraulic system. This can result to solenoid malfunction which in turn affects the rate of gear change, the overall effect is that the vehicle begins to DRAG during take off and gear change, this can lead to a complete breakdown of the transmission eventually.
If all conditions are OK, the vehicle should change gear between 2.5 and 3.5 RPM(for vehicle with DVT), depending on the design, technology and functionality.
One of the major ways to prevent the failure is to ensure that the ATF is changed as at when due as specified by the manufacturer in the user’s manual.
Once you notice that the color of the ATF has changed from light transparent red to dark or deep red (as the pictures below shows respectively) with a burnt smell ensure that it is changed immediately with the manufacturers specified solvent blend for automatic transmission as stated in the Owner’s manual. The users manual also informs you of the service intervals.
Be a Fixer not a Part Fitter….. Stay Dirty