How can you tell if your transmission is bad

How to tell if your automatic transmission is actually starting to go out, now the automatic transmissions in most modern cars are very complex, they’re computer run, most don’t even have dip sticks to check the fluid level, so how do you know when they’re starting to go out.

Now years ago I had a customer who came to me from a different mechanic, the other mechanic had replaced the transmission in his car, but it still had the same problem, at higher speeds the transmission would drop out of top gear and go to the next lower gear, and it wasn’t shifting right, he thought it was the transmission so he replaced it and guess what, it did the same thing, so when he brought it to me I first did a scan of the whole vehicle, turns out that he had a misfire, all he had was a bad ignition coil on one of the cylinders of the engine.

You might think hey what is a bad spark plug coil have to do with the transmission shifting, well modern cars are very complex, they have a really tight relationship between the engine and the transmission and the drive-train, it’s all monitored by computer sensors  and in this particular vehicle, when it senses a misfire, the computer software automatically takes it out of the top gear which was an overdrive gear and puts it into the next one, it’s designed to do that, so in this case the previous mechanic charged this guy for a new transmission, when all’s it needed was a $80.00 ignition coil that was the whole problem, now you don’t want to pay for such an unneeded expensive repair it was thousands of dollars, so I’m going to show you how you can tell if your transmission really is starting to go out.

Now in the beginning I showed you the scan tool and it showed a code of P0730, I hooked it up to this Toyota Tacoma, right away you know, ok it’s got a problem in the transmission, now unfortunately there’s over a dozen different things that can cause this particular code, that’s when you got to use your brain and also use the internet to see what this particular vehicle has a problem with, because we know it’s a transmission problem because P0730 is a
gear ratio incorrect inside the transmission but we don’t know what exactly is causing this code, now this particular code, correct gear ratio, it could be a whole bunch of different things sometimes it’s as small of a thing as the fluid is dirty or the filters clogged up,
but from my experience with many makes and models, when you get an incorrect gear ratio code, especially with ones that are known for having problems, it means that the transmission itself is going out and it needs a full rebuild.

Nowadays with modern complex automatic transmission, you’re talking about thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars, and from my research, one out of every three automatic transmissions in a modern car that’s rebuilt at one of these transmission shops, isn’t fixed right the first time, it has to be done over and sometimes even over again, so it’s something that most people don’t want to get involved with, so let’s say it’s running halfway decently, maybe shifts a little bit weird here and there, well at least with this code reader, we could tell there is a transmission problem and if you have a mechanic check your fluid, which you can’t check yourself anymore because they don’t have dipsticks, and it’s not low on fluid and you can’t find other problems with the scan tool, it’s probably a good idea to just get rid of your vehicle rather than spend all that money fixing the transmission,  i hope you find this helpful if you have any question just give us a call at Boise Transmission Repair here in Boise Idaho and we will do our best to get your vehicle back on the road. Call 208-297-5202