Understanding the Importance of Transmission Maintenance and Repair

Why Is A Transmission So Important?

At LMW Auto Repair, serving Randallstown and Eldersburg, MD, we understand that transmission repairs can cause anxiety due to the associated expenses. However, the transmission is vital to your vehicle, transferring engine power to the drive axle and enabling varied engine speeds. Its failure can result in a total engine shutdown, making it crucial to catch any signs of issues early. You should be alert for symptoms like a burned smell from the transmission fluid, unusual sounds such as humming, grinding, or clunking, particularly in neutral, difficulty shifting, rough transitions when changing gears, and the transmission slipping into neutral or between gears while driving.

What Does The Transmission Do And How Does It Work?

At LMW Auto Repair, your trusted auto repair shop in Randallstown and Eldersburg, MD, we believe it’s essential to understand your vehicle’s key components. One such component is the transmission, crucial in transferring power from the engine to the wheels.

Manual Transmissions:

  • Manual transmissions require the driver’s active involvement, utilizing a clutch pedal and a shifter to change gears manually.
  • They consist of a set of gears along two shafts known as the input and output shafts.
  • Types of manual transmissions include:
    • Dual-Clutch: Uses two clutches to operate even and odd gears.
    • Unsynchronized: Strong and durable, primarily used in older cars and trucks.
    • Synchronized/Constant Mesh: These transmissions keep all gears in constant motion.
    • Automated and Single-Clutch: These use computers for shifting and clutch control.
    • Preselector: Predominantly used in the 1930s through the early 1950s.

Automatic Transmissions:

  • Automatic transmissions simplify the driving process, handling gear changes internally.
  • They typically rely on a torque converter instead of a clutch.
  • Key automatic transmission terms:
    • Direct-shift gearbox (DSG): Provides smooth acceleration and quick shifting.
    • Tiptronic: Allows manual shifting of an automatic transmission.
    • Hydraulic: Refers to the pressure/fluid inside an automatic transmission.

Transmissions in Electric Vehicles:

  • Single-gear systems are used due to the power band of electric motors.
  • The transmission can be integrated with the motor or be a bolt-on component.

CVT Transmissions:

  • Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) are pulley-based systems primarily used in small vehicles.
  • They provide a unique mechanism for power transmission, popular in hybrid vehicles.

When you understand the function and importance of the transmission, you are more likely to notice any signs of potential issues early, leading to timely repairs and possibly avoiding major damage. Consequently, this knowledge can extend your vehicle’s lifespan, maintain efficiency, and ensure a smooth and safe driving experience.

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What Is The Role Of The Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid lubricates, cools, and prevents rust in your vehicle’s transmission system. Therefore, regular checks are necessary for optimal car performance. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about transmission fluid in your car:

  • Selecting Transmission Fluid – Check your vehicle’s manual for the right transmission fluid type. Regular and synthetic blends are available, with modern cars predominantly using the latter for optimum protection and lubrication.
  • Fluid Change – Refer to your vehicle’s manual for the recommended transmission fluid change interval. Generally, it’s every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. More frequent changes might be necessary for vehicles that tow regularly or undergo high stress.
  • Transmission Flush – A transmission flush is a service that removes all old transmission fluid and replaces it with fresh fluid, enhancing your car’s transmission performance. We recommend this service every three to five years.
  • Recognizing Low Transmission Fluid – Watch for signs like delayed acceleration, overheating, visible leaks, or changes in drivability. These could indicate low transmission fluid levels, often due to a leak in the system. Our team can help locate and fix these leaks promptly.
  • Causes of Low Transmission Fluid – Low transmission fluid usually points to a leak, common sources being the pan gasket, drain plug, seals, torque converter, and fluid lines. Contact LMW Auto Repair in Randallstown or Eldersburg to ensure your transmission stays in top condition.

How Often Should Your Transmission Be Serviced?

Maintaining the condition of your vehicle’s transmission is critical to its operation, enabling power delivery to the wheels. Regular maintenance, including adhering to manufacturer-recommended service intervals, is less expensive and more beneficial than waiting for problems to occur. Like oil changes or tire rotations, the transmission also requires scheduled maintenance.

Transmission service frequency varies, as does the type of service needed. For example, it could involve a transmission fluid change or a transmission flush, which fully cleanses the system before refilling with fresh fluid. These services can significantly extend your transmission’s lifespan.

Service is generally recommended for automatic transmissions every 15 months or 15,500 miles. With appropriate care, they can last over 124,000 miles. However, heavy usage, such as frequent acceleration, deceleration, or towing, may necessitate more frequent fluid changes.

Manual transmissions offer better fuel economy and control over engine RPMs. For these, it’s advised to have the transmission fluid level checked during every alternate oil change to determine if topping off or changing the fluid is necessary.

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How Long Does Transmission Maintenance Take?

At LMW Auto Repair, serving the Maryland area, we’re committed to providing you with a clear understanding of how long your transmission services may take.

Time for Flush and Fill Services

One of the most common maintenance procedures for your transmission is a flush and fill. It involves removing the old transmission fluid and any accumulated grit and debris, which could wear down your gears. On average, a transmission flush and fill procedure takes around 3-4 hours at our workshop.

How Long Does Transmission Maintenance Take?

Intermediate repairs are likely necessary when your transmission shows signs of malfunction but doesn’t need a complete rebuild. The required time for these repairs depends on the nature of the issue and the mechanic’s expertise. Plan for your vehicle is in our shop for 1-2 days. This is just an estimate; we might be able to fix your car within hours, but we always suggest preparing for a slightly longer duration.

Time for Rebuilding Your Transmission

In some cases, it may be more cost-effective or beneficial to rebuild a transmission rather than replace it. However, rebuilding is a time-intensive process. It typically takes about 3-4 days in a professional auto repair shop like ours. However, this can vary based on the mechanic’s efficiency and the complexity of your transmission. We’ll always provide a more personalized estimate when you bring your vehicle in.

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Get Service Now in Maryland

At LMW Auto Repair, serving Randallstown and Eldersburg, MD, we recognize the importance of regular transmission maintenance and repair for your vehicle’s smooth operation and longevity. Our team of professional mechanics is adept at handling all aspects of transmission care, from routine maintenance to complex repairs and rebuilding.

We invite you to bring your vehicle to our professional, friendly auto repair shop for all your transmission needs. Let’s work together to keep your vehicle running smoothly for miles to come. So don’t hesitate to contact LMW Auto Repair today to schedule your next transmission service!

Our Service Area

We have locations in Randallstown and Eldersburg/Sykesville, but we have happy clients all around Baltimore, including Ellicott City, Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Westminster, Finksburg, Marriottsville, Granite, and even as far away as Towson. Get the car care you need.

Call today to schedule an appointment for quality automotive repair and maintenance.

Randallstown: 410-655-0686


Eldersburg: 443-920-3784


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Operating Hours:

Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Eldersburg location open Saturdays 9am-3pm

*Shuttle Drop off or pick up until 4 pm!

We Have TWO Locations:

10917 Liberty Rd, Randallstown, MD 21133

6100 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg, MD 21784



Appointments not available on Sundays or select Holidays

Closed on: New Years, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Randallstown Location

Eldersburg/Sykesville Location