The word transmission alone usually incites fear and stress. Transmission repairs are often among the costliest repairs an auto owner may face. The fear and stress often arrive from the car or truck owner’s concern that they will be overcharged or agree to repairs they do not understand, leaving them to rely solely on someone else’s knowledge. This can be a scary thing, especially when it may cost so much.

At Sanford’s Automotive Service in Columbia, SC, we want our customers to feel completely comfortable with every repair and to always have full trust in the advice we give. To help make transmission troubles less of a mystery, a basic understanding of your transmission can assist in understanding where and what your particular transmission repairs may involve.

Transmission problems are usually a car grounder, meaning they often involve the inability to drive the car in a specific gear, or in some cases, any gear. If you have a transmission problem and you are not grounded yet, it is likely you will be soon. Transmission issues never get better by their self, and often the decline may happen rapidly from the first signs of trouble.

Your transmission has a vast number of parts and components, obviously too many to go over here. Here are the basics to help you in understanding or at least being able to comfortably discuss your transmission issues with your mechanic. Let’s have a little look at the transmission fluid, transmission filter, transmission gears, and the bell housing.
Transmission fluid is vital to the proper operation of any transmission. The red colored fluid in your transmission is its life blood. Transmission fluid leaks can occur in a variety of locations and can lead to much bigger problems down the line. If you feel your transmission has a leak, or you have seen evidence of a leaked reddish fluid under your car, you should seek a mechanic or professional auto repair shop to find and fix the leak before it becomes a larger, more costly issue.

Transmission fluid requires filtering, leading us to the transmission’s filter. The filter must be free of trash and debris to allow for the proper flow of transmission fluid. A filter that is blocked with debris or “gunk” can create problems within your transmission’s operation. Replacing a filter is much easier than having to replace or rebuild an entire transmission, so catching problems at an early stage, like when a filter is simply obstructed, can save you from greater damage to come. Because adequate transmission fluid flow is so important to proper transmission function, always make sure your filter is clean and allowing the optimum flow.

The transmission’s gears are a complex system. There are main gears and planetary gears, all of which must have full function in order to allow for proper transmission functions. A problem with the transmission’s gears can be quite a repair. There are many factors in proper functioning of the transmission gears. They must be in good shape, free of dings, cracks or chips that allow for the gears to slip or failure to engage at all. This is where we often find the car grounded, or at least unable to function in one or more of the gears vital to safe vehicle operation. Any problem within the transmission system’s gears requires a professional.

The bell housing is another component of your transmission. The bell housing is located in different places, depending on if your vehicle is front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. It is a cone shaped metal casing that should be in good shape to allow the components it protects to work properly. Your bell housing should be intact and free of cracks, damages or other problems that can be detrimental to the transmission’s proper operation of parts within it.

Transmission repairs and rebuilds can be quite costly, but once repaired properly, should not give you trouble for a great number of years to come.  You should never leave your car or truck in the hands of anyone you do not have full confidence in.  Be sure to check out the mechanic or shop you will use, as transmission repairs require precision and specialized knowledge and special types of tools. Our shop, Sanford’s Automotive Service, in Columbia, SC provides transmission repair and auto repairs of all types, making sure every customer is fully informed about exactly what their problems are and what steps will be taken to correct them.  Sanford’s Automotive Service earns our customers’ loyalty, and we’d like to earn yours too! Call (803) 735-7902 or contact us online for questions or to schedule an auto repair or service appointment.