Hi-Line Autocare

Servicing Mercedes Benz car owners in Orange for over 25 years

Hi-Line Autocare - Servicing Mercedes Benz car owners in Orange for over 25 years

Smooth Shifting in Orange CA: Transmission Service

So you have some exciting plans for the CA weekend. You’re going to take some of your Orange, CA friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more essential than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your sedan maintenance is up to date.

Think about it – heavy expressway traffic on the way out of Orange. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it’s going to be pretty hot in Orange this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.

Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local CA lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It’s vital to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it’s critical for Orange car owners to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at Hi-Line Autocare in Orange to make sure it runs efficiently.

An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Orange drivers who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.

Orange car owners who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience costly transmission failure. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.

This reminds us of how much of our driving around Orange, CA is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold CA weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Orange, CA add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.

While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your service advisor at Hi-Line Autocare will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Transmission Service at Hi-Line Autocare in Orange

Let’s talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Orange motorists to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn’t need it very often. It’s easier for CA auto owners to remember to change the engine oil – you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your sedan running smoothly and helps us auto owners avoid costly repairs down the road.

The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit Orange car owners see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it’s 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the sedan transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to expensive damage.

When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves fuel efficiency. That’s why auto manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your friendly Hi-Line Autocare service specialist can tell you what your auto maker recommends.

Hot and dusty Orange area conditions; towing, hauling, stop and go driving and jackrabbit starts all increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means Orange car owners with these types of transmission requirements need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your automobile manufacturer suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions around Irvine, you will need to change it more often.

Most Orange auto service centers (including Hi-Line Autocare) have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It’s downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Your friendly Hi-Line Autocare service advisor will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it’s getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your sedan a favor and have it done. If not this time, then on your next service stop.

Gear Up: Transmission Service at Hi-Line Autocare in Orange

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The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.

How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.

Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some car makers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Orange motorists: it improves fuel efficiency and increases performance.

But there is a drawback for Orange motorists: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Orange car owners. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.

That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a critical part of preventive maintenance for Orange motorists. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer costly damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.

Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.

New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Orange motorists at Hi-Line Autocare. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Hi-Line Autocare. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing expensive transmission repairs.

The Hi-Line Autocare Guide To Caring For Your Transmission

Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of East Irvine car owners only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in East Irvine. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there’s an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you’re doing.

Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That’s what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on CA highways. And automatically shifts back down to climb East Irvine hills, pass or start up again.

sedan automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.

At Hi-Line Autocare, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.

Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.

Not enough fluid can starve the transmission or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission, then the lubricant is blocked and can’t get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Hi-Line Autocare see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.

And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Orange service center can be quite costly. That’s why vehicle manufacturers have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.

It’s really important for East Irvine drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer’s transmission service schedule.

At Hi-Line Autocare in Orange, we hope you never become shiftless in East Irvine because you didn’t take care of your transmission.