Transmission Maintenance Can Save You Thousands

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The automatic transmission is perhaps the most complicated part in a vehicle—and the second most expensive to replace, next to an engine. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when it comes to your transmission maintenance from Nightingale Transmissions: What Causes Transmission Problems? At their core, transmission problems stem from overheating. This can occur when towing a heavy load, rocking the vehicle in the snow, having continuous stop-and-go traffic in hot weather, and other activities that make the transmission’s work more difficult. At these higher temperatures, the transmission fluid loses its lubricating qualities, which will eventually result in premature failure—and an expensive repair or replacement! Ways to Prevent Damage. What’s the good news in all this? Well, taking care of your transmission isn’t difficult at all. In fact, just taking a few extra steps can go a long way …… ( more )

The 5 Secrets of a Contented Transmission

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When it comes to cars, engines get all the attention and praise but it’s really your transmission that takes that energy and puts the wheels in motion. An angry transmission can mean major, costly repairs that will put a damper on your summer plans. Let’s look at the 5 Secrets of a Contented Transmission: 1. Check your Transmission every 1,000 miles if you drive an automatic or 3,000 miles for manuals. Find your transmission fluid dipstick using your owner’s manual. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a rag or towel, then reinsert and remove it again. You’re checking for correct levels, color and smell. Levels will be indicated by marking on the dipstick. Low fluid levels can indicate seal leakage or even malfunctions in your transmission. If you drive an automatic, your transmission fluid should be bright red; if …… ( more )

Is it Safe to go on a Road Trip with a Slipping Transmission?

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If you suspect a problem with your vehicle’s transmission, bring it into Nightingale Transmissions for an inspection right away. Without an inspection, you may not know how much danger your vehicle is in on a road trip. We do not recommend driving with a slipping transmission. A slipping transmission can be a serious problem. Signs of a Slipping Transmission You may suspect your vehicle has a slipping transmission if it does not change gears smoothly. You may even hear noises, like a clunk or thud, when the vehicle changes gears. If you notice grinding when changing gears, bring your vehicle in for an inspection. Causes of Transmission Issues A common cause of slipping transmission is low transmission fluid. You can check the fluid level using the dipstick or bring your vehicle into Nightingale Transmissions. If the fluid is low, it likely …… ( more )

Does Your Vehicle Need Transmission Repair?

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Transmission repair can be expensive, but without a properly working transmission, your vehicle cannot run. Both manual and automatic transmissions ensure that power moves from the vehicle’s engine to the wheels. Your vehicle’s engine works at speeds called RPMs or Revolutions per Minute. The transmission’s job is to transmit power to the wheels while keeping the engine’s RPMs in the optimal range. It does this through a complicated combination of gears and parts that recognize changes in speed and RPMs and move accordingly to optimize the vehicle’s energy. If the transmission isn’t shifting the gears properly, you’ll notice a bumpy ride because the energy isn’t transmitting smoothly from the engine to the wheels. The vehicle may buck or stall, or you’ll hear grinding noises from underneath the vehicle. If the transmission is really in trouble, you may even see smoke …… ( more )

Three Steps for a Clean Car

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It’s officially springtime in McPherson County, which means it’s time to start your spring cleaning. This year, don’t forget about your vehicle! Here are three steps to clean your car and protect your investment. Step one: Scrub the exterior. The same contaminants and salt can damage your vehicle’s paint, so wash the exterior too! Pay special attention to the bottoms of doors, tires and wheels that can collect excess grime. Use only clean rags that will not scratch the paint. Avoid washing in direct sunlight which can leave the paint susceptible to scratches and cause the soapy water to dry early. Step two: Clean the interior. Sometimes it feels like we live in our vehicles. Take the time to tidy and freshen the interior by removing trash and unnecessary items that have been forgotten or left behind. Organize the items …… ( more )

TRANSMISSION FAILURE WARNING SIGNS

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Your vehicle’s transmission is tasked with keeping your engine running smoothly, properly distributing power to various components in a perfectly-synced manner. If your transmission fails, your engine will follow suit and you’ll be dealing with a breakdown. In order to avoid this precarious situation, you should be cognizant of your transmission’s health and be on the lookout for the following warning signs that the component might be in danger of failure in the near future: – Noises when shifting gears. Any noise – rattles, hums, clunks, etc. – coming from your engine should be worrisome. Grinding sounds are the one to really be concerned with in terms of your transmission though. If you hear these types of noises when you shift gears be sure to have your transmission inspected ASAP. – Leaking fluid. Your transmission’s fluid enables all of its …… ( more )

KEEP IT COOL

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Your vehicle’s transmission is responsible for adapting speed and torque, deftly shifting gears to ensure that the right amount of power is going to the right place and your wheels can rotate properly to make forward propulsion possible. Since it’s such a vital component and is used with great regularity, your vehicle’s transmission can sometimes encounter issues arising from problems in other areas. One surprising element that can dramatically impact a vehicle’s transmission is engine coolant. While you’re driving, your vehicle’s engine heats up and so does the transmission. The fluid responsible for cooling your transmission flows through the radiator. If everything is working smoothly in your engine’s cooling system, the fluid will pass over your transmission cooler within the radiator which allows excess transmission heat to be transferred to the liquid and then couriered out of the vehicle into …… ( more )

Maintaining Your Transmission

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Your transmission is one of the most complicated and intergral parts of the your vehicle and an extremely-expensive component to replace. For these reasons and several more, it’s important to take care of your transmission and make sure it’s in great shape. What Causes Transmission Problems? Most transmission troubles start because of overheating. Overheating can occur when towing a heavy load, rocking the vehicle from the snow, having continuous stop-and-go traffic in hot weather, racing, and other activities that work the transmission hard. At high temperatures, the transmission fluid loses its lubricating power, which could result in premature failure. When that happens, the next step is a transmission rebuild or replacement. Ways to Prevent Damage Luckily, taking care of your transmission isn’t complicated. Just taking a few extra steps here and there can go a long way towards preventing problems …… ( more )

Transmission Fluid Color Guide

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Like a doctor reading a patient’s bloodwork, a lot can be learned about a transmission’s health simply by taking a look at its fluid. When transmission fluid is new or fresh, it is typically transparent and virtually odorless. If your transmission fluid has taken on a distinct tint or has coloring of any kind, it could mean any number of issues – ditto for any odors that may become detectable. Here are some guidelines for the eye/nose test you can conduct on your transmission fluid: CLEAN/CLEAR, RELATIVELY ODORLESS – your fluid is good as new and your transmission should be working just fine. Even if this is the condition your transmission fluid is in, it’s never a bad idea to check your mileage since the last time your transmission was serviced to see if it could us an inspection. BROWNISH …… ( more )

Five Ways to Avoid Car Theft

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The experience of having your vehicle stolen is one of the most frustrating and upsetting ordeals you can go through as a car owner. Even if it’s recovered, there are almost always repairs to be done, mountains of paperwork to file and insurance companies to fight with. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of having your car, and its contents, stolen. 1 – Never leave your keys in your vehicle. Never. This includes starting your car to warm it up and going back inside – even if your vehicle is within eyeshot there could still be a thief lurking nearby, ready to pounce. 2 – If you have a removable stereo, be sure to take it out EVERY time you park. You should also refrain from advertising the fact that you have any …… ( more )