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At Dolphin Transmissions, we understand you may not entirely know what goes on under the hood of your car. When your transmission breaks down, you're just concerned about getting it fixed quickly and affordably. However, we believe that an educated customer is the best kind. So here are some facts on transmissions for you!
The first thing to know is that you should not rev your engine. Doing so on a slippery surface can ruin your car's transmission.
A transmission brings power to the wheels from the engine. When you first begin to drive, low gears create torque for your tires to grip the road. If you rev your engine, your wheels are spinning as your transmission increases gears. If you get free, your car is not designed to withstand suddenly meeting the road in fourth gear.
On cold mornings, letting your car warm up makes the transmission fluid to warm up and can lubricate the engine properly. Traditionally, front-wheel drive cars handle ice and snow better because more weight is on the drive wheels to increase traction. On rear wheel cars, put sand bags in the trunk as ballast to help.
If your car won't respond after being put in drive, watch the speedometer. If the engine speeds up and the car does not move, but the speedometer climbs up, your transmission is probably okay and the problem could be the drive shaft or the drive axle.
This is because your speedometer is connected to the output shaft of the transmission. So, if your speedometer is moving, it means the output shaft is working, but the wheels are not.
If your speedometer does not move, then the problem is your transmission. Check your transmission fluid. If it's low, even by a quart or two, add the correct fluid type to your car, one pint at a time. Check your owner's manual for directions if you're not sure how to do this.
If your transmission is leaking, it may only require a seal or gasket replacement. A complete reseal job can be much more affordable than a complete overhaul.
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Switching between the reverse and first gear, "L" (low) is a better way to rock your car free of ice or snow. Low gear sends more torque to the wheels and prevents the transmission from shifting into higher gears. Make sure that the wheels have stopped spinning and the engine has slowed down before shifting in the opposite direction.