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VIEW SOLUTIONS TO COMMON PROBLEMS
Transmission Oil Pan
Transmission Pan Gasket
Transmission Oil Cooler
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Advice: Most Transmission oil pans do not have a drain plug. When removing the pan, leave a row of bolts on one end of the pan and remove the rest. Then slowly loosen the remaining bolts at the end of the pan. Be sure to have a large catch tub underneath the transmission. After removing and cleaning the transmission pan, look carefully at the lip of the pan especially around the bolt holes. It is not uncommon to find a dimpled area around the bolt holes where the bolt has bent the lip of the pan. To correct this, rest the lip of the pan on the flat surface of a bench vise or work table and carefully tap the dimples flat with a hammer. When replacing the transmission pan, hand start the four corner bolts to hold the pan in place, then start the rest of the bolts. Tighten the bolts a little at a time slowly and systematically so that the pan is drawn up evenly. Do not over tighten the bolts. Over tightening will dimple the pan and rupture the new gasket.
Operation: The transmission filter cleans the transmission fluid as it circulates from the transmission pan throughout the transmission. Advice: The transmission filter should be changed on a mileage basis. Some filters are held in place by clips or simply pressed into place with the inlet tube supporting the weight of the filter. Still others are held in place with small screws. Removal of some transmission filters will dislodge a small check ball that will have to be returned to it's proper place upon replacement of the filter. It is best to check the repair guides for the year make and model you are working on. Recommendations: Repair guides
Operation: The transmission pan gasket seals the transmission pan to the body of the transmission. Advice: Most transmission pan gaskets have undersized bolt holes to facilitate using the bolts to keep the gasket in place during installation. Use of gasket sealers such as silicone is not recommended. Care should be taken to tighten the pan bolts in sequence, drawing each bolt tight in small increments slowly building to the manufacturers recommended torque. Over tightening can cause the gasket to split, leading to a transmission fluid leak. Torque specs can be found in the repair guides for the vehicle you are working on. Recommendations: Repair guides
Operation: Transmission fluid is a hydraulic fluid specifically designed to meet the needs of the automatic transmission. Advice: Transmission fluid should be translucent. The color may vary from one manufacturer to another, but it should not be cloudy or dark. Service is recommended on a mileage basis. Fluid type and service intervals can be found in the repair guides for the vehicle you are working on. Recommendations: Repair guides
Operation: The transmission mount(s) holds the transmission in place. Advice: Over time the rubber mount(s) will deteriorate from exposure to oil and transmission fluid from leaks or simply dry out with age. While you are under the vehicle changing the fluid would be a good time to evaluate the condition of the mount(s) and replace as necessary.
Operation: Some vehicles use a vacuum modulator to help the transmission determine when to shift. Vacuum changes with engine load and throttle position. The transmission senses the amount of vacuum and uses that information to help determine shift points. Advice: The main failure point for a transmission vacuum modulator is the internal rubber diaphragm. Remove the vacuum hose from the modulator. If there is transmission fluid in the hose or dripping from the modulator, the modulator is bad. When replacing the modulator it is usually necessary to adjust it to where the old one was set. Follow the directions that come with the new modulator.
Operation: The transmission oil cooler is responsible for cooling the transmission fluid. Advice: If the vehicle is going to be doing a lot of trailer pulling, adding an aftermarket oil cooler will help to keep the fluid temperature under control. They are easy to install and go a long way to extending the life of the transmission.