Your Premier Transmission Repair Shop for Modesto and Surrounding Areas

(209)551-4050

Ford 7.3 diesel transmission overheating

CTT Transmissions

The Modesto transmission shop you can rely on.

Transmission Tech Tip: Ford 7.3 Diesel Transmission overheating

7.3 to 6.0 transmission cooler swap

We get calls often on the 7.3 diesel with automatic transmission overheating when pulling steep inclines with trailers. There can be several factors that will cause a transmission to overheat. It should always be diagnosed first. The temp sensor could be faulty, the fluid could be low or need to be changed or there could be internal problems. The 7.3 diesel tends be under powered and can cause extra pressure and heat in the transmission when trying to pull steep hills, but replacing the transmission cooler with the newer 6.0 diesel cooler makes a huge difference. We recently replaced the cooler on a F350 with a 7.3 that was reaching temperatures of 240 degrees when pulling their 40 ft. toy hauler up the grapevine. They called us and were very impressed as they pulled the same hill under the same conditions and only reached 185 degrees. You can add deeper pans with fins and we recommend a synthetic fluid but the cooler will make the biggest difference and is a must on the 7.3 engine.

7.3 to 6.0 external trans cooler

7.3 cooler at top, 6.0 cooler on the bottom

 

Call today for an appointment. 209 551-4050

Clutch & Transmission Technicians

CTT Transmissions 3424 Oakdale Rd Modesto, CA. 95355 209 551-4050 www.ctttransmissions.com

Transmission shop for Modesto, Turlock, Riverbank, Oakdale, Patterson, Sonora, Waterford, Ripon, repair and service

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Transmission Service Tech Tip

CTT Transmissions
Transmission Service Tech Tip
We get a lot of calls every day with questions on servicing a transmission. It can be very confusing when inquiring on when to service a transmission, how it should be done and how much it costs. We hope that this will answer some of your questions and feel free to give us a call at (209) 551-4050 if you have any further questions. One of our certified transmission techs will be happy to help you.

Why do transmission repair shops offer a transmission flush?

Older transmissions did not have solenoids, and the valves were not as prone to sticking as the newer transmission valves. Some also had drain plugs so you could get more fluid out. Then in the 80’s and 90’s, car makers started using electronic transmissions that had solenoids and smaller springs in the valve body which were more prone to sticking. These electronic transmission also came with smaller bearings that failed if not properly lubricated. These changes created a greater need for a complete fluid change, which lead to the development of transmission flushing machines which do a more thorough job of changing the transmission fluid.

If you take a cup of coffee and pour half of it out, then fill the cup back up with water, it still looks like coffee. The same is with the transmission fluid, if you only remove a portion of the used fluid and then top it off with clean fluid. The result is that you still have dirty fluid in your transmission, that is not lubricating properly.

Can a flush hurt the transmission?

We use a machine that does not put any pressure on the transmission, it will not hurt the transmission in any way. We drive every vehicle before and after servicing them to make sure it is operating properly. If we feel that the fluid is too burnt or there is existing transmission problems, we will not perform the service.

How often should I service my transmission?

If your vehicle is still under the factory warranty or if you have an extended warranty. It is very important to service the transmission within their recommended service periods. This should be in their contract and/or in your owner’s manual. The intervals change with different types of vehicles. Important! Remember to keep your receipts for all services done as they may ask for these, should you need any repairs done under factory or extended warranty, in the future. They may even ask for engine oil change receipts, even though you are having a transmission problem, so it is a good idea to keep all your vehicle maintenance receipts together.

(We recommend checking the condition of your fluid every year or 12,000 miles with overdrive transmissions, and sooner if your vehicle is used for heavy towing or over heated for any reason). Your transmission fluid should be a pink color on most vehicles and should not smell burnt. If it is smells or black, it is time to take it in and have your transmission checked. Servicing may be recommended after the transmission is checked for other problems.

What is the difference between a basic service and a complete flush?

On a basic service, the pan is removed and the filter is cleaned or replaced. Most transmissions only allow you to change about 4-5 quarts of fluid with this method, they hold about 12-14 quarts. With a flushing machine, we are able to flush the fluid out of the cooler and torque converter to do a more thorough job.

Should the filter be changed when servicing the transmission?

Yes. We recommend removing the pan and changing or cleaning the filter where applicable. Some filters are internal and can not be changed without disassembling the transmission which is not feasible.

“You wouldn’t change your engine oil without replacing oil your filter, nor should you with your transmission.”

There are a few transmissions that the filter is internal and can not be changed without disassembling the transmission. In this case we recommend monitoring your fluid condition even more often to prevent any sticking valves or solenoids. Honda is common to have this type of transmission on some of their models. Call and one of our techs can advise you what type you have.

Will a transmission Service fix my transmission problem?

If you are having a transmission problem like shifting issues, slipping, etc. We do not recommend wasting your money on having it serviced until you have it checked out by a knowledgeable transmission technician.

Very rarely will a transmission service fix a problem unless you just have a valve sticking intermittently, however it is very important to keep your transmission properly maintained to help avoid problems. Most of today’s transmissions do not have band adjustments, however some of the Dodge Pickups and many older vehicles have them and a band adjustment help with some problems.

If you are having a transmission problem, first check your fluid level and color of the fluid. If it is low, try topping it off or bring it by and we can do it for you. Low fluid can cause several problems. If it was low, have it checked for leaks. If the fluid is full but very dirty, this may be the sign of a transmission problem and should be checked out.

For example, we do not recommend servicing the transmission if it is slipping, having any other issues or any transmission codes. A service is more for maintenance and will rarely repair a problem. Changing the transmission fluid at this point could make your situation worse and be a waste of money. You are better off having the transmission diagnosed at this point.

Should I use a stop leak product in my transmission?

No, we do not recommend putting any stop leak products in your transmission. They are designed to swell the seals which may fix your leak but will also swell the internal seals and could do more harm than good, to your transmission. If you are broken down and have no other alternative and plan on rebuilding the transmission very soon anyway, then this would be a time that it could possibly be used. A transmission rebuild includes replacing the seals anyway.

There are basically three different ways to service a transmission.

1: Basic service, includes dropping the pan, cleaning or changing the filter, cleaning the pan and adding fluid. This typically only changes about 4 quarts of fluid.
We recommend this on some of the older vehicles that are not computer controlled.

2: Transmission Flush, Flushes the fluid out of the transmission, cooler, lines and torque converter, (pan does not get removed and filter does not get changed).
We recommend this when a full service can not be done or a full service has recently been done and the fluid just go hot for some reason.

3: Transmission Flush and Service, does both of above.
This is the method we recommend if applicable to your vehicle. We call it the ultimate transmission service. 

We hope that this helps in understanding and maintaining your transmission. See our coupons for savings.

If you have any further questions, please give us a call at (209) 551-4050.
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CTT Transmissions serves the following areas: Turlock, Patterson, Waterford, Ceres, Modesto, Riverbank, Ripon, Escalon, Oakdale, Sonora, Don Pedro and surrounding areas. Remember to save our phone number in your cell phone.

Modesto Transmission Shop

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Honda Transmission Problems

CTT Is Your Honda Transmission Specialist

honda transmission repairHonda vehicles have long been one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. For many years, they had one of the best transmissions which were capable of going 350,000 miles before rebuilding.

In 2003 Honda came out with a 5sp automatic transmission and we started seeing problems with them as early as 80,000 miles. We were seeing more of the Accords and the Odysseys then the other models. The most common issue was the transmission slipping in 2nd and 3rd gear. It usually starts out to be intermittent then worsens to where it slips all the time. Many times this type of transmission problem can be a simple repair, such as a solenoid or sensor causing that is causing a shifting problem. Remember, when you notice shifting problems, it is important to have your transmission checked as soon as you can.

How to make your Honda transmission last longer

Most Honda transmissions are set up different than typical automatic transmissions. They are built similar to a standard transmission and most don’t have a pan to be able to replace the filter. The Honda transmission filter is internal on most units, and can’t be changed without disassembling the transmission.

honda transmissionsTherefore, we recommend servicing the transmission on a frequent and regular schedule. Checking the condition of the transmission fluid is very important on Hondas. The fluid should be a pinkish color. If the fluid is a brownish color, it is ready to be changed. We also recommend using Honda transmission fluid. Changing the fluid on a regular basis can help prevent sticking solenoids or valves, and help prevent bearings from premature failure.

When checking the transmission fluid on your Honda, check your owner’s manual for instructions because most Honda transmissions are checked with the engine off.  If you are unsure. We will be happy to check your transmission fluid level for free.

Your Honda transmission experts

Should you have a transmission problem, we have the latest in diagnostic equipment and technical support available to diagnose and repair your Honda transmission quickly and efficiently. Many times what seems to be a transmission problem, can be one of the many components that control when your transmission shifts.  Have your transmission checked at the first sign of any shifting irregularities to avoid further damage.

Call today to set up an appointment or talk with one of our technicians. 209 551-4050

electronic transmission repairTech Tip: Avoid spraying cleaner directly onto the shifter area when cleaning your vehicle. The shifter has electrical and circuit boards inside that can be damaged by liquids. Spray your cleaner onto a rag and then wipe the area. We have seen where customers have spilled a drink onto the shifter and shorted out the circuit board which caused shifting problems.

With todays’ electronic transmissions, intermittent problems are very common and it can be difficult to reproduce the complaint when in the shop. The more information you can give us, the quicker we can duplicate the symptoms and diagnose the problem.

“Last year we had a vehicle that the customer advised us that she lost all power while driving at freeway speeds. She was not able to give us much information as she was panicked as she was in heavy traffic and had a hard time getting off the freeway. She had it towed in and we proceeded to drive it over a three day period with no issues. We had talked with the customer several times, on the third day she recalled that it had did something similar a few months previous and both times the vehicle had sat for a few days when it is normally driven every day. This helped us as we were driving the vehicle every chance we had. We then let the vehicle sit for a day while monitoring the battery voltage, we noticed that the battery voltage was dropping and kept falling below 12 volts. This led us to the problem. The vehicle had actually lost the fly by wire gas pedal and would not respond to her pushing on the gas. It ended up not needing any transmission repairs and a new battery corrected the problem. This is just one of many vehicles we get on a regular basis where the information given to us has helped in getting to the root of the problem quicker.”

Here is a list of some of things to make note of that will help your technician advise you of what the problem is, and what to do next.

Especially if you are experiencing an intermittent problem, it is a good idea to keep good notes about the problems you are experiencing.

“The following questions will help us help you, when you are looking for a phone quote.

What does the fluid look like?           “Is it pink, light brown or black?”

When was the transmission serviced last?

Has a check engine light been coming on?  Any other indicator lights?

Are there any noises?

Does it make the noise just sitting there running or does it have to be moving?

“Is the noise a clicking, knocking, whining, or howling sound?”

Does the problem happen when cold or hot, after driving short distance or after driving more than 20 or 30 miles?   (This information helps us to duplicate the problem.)

Have there been any recent repairs, or additions to the vehicle? (alarms, stereos etc.)

“Many components are linked together in the electrical system and can affect the transmission”

We hope this was helpful and help getting your vehicle back on the road as painless as possible.

Call (209) 551-4050 and speak to one of our transmission technicians for an estimate, advice or to make an appointment.

Transmission Overheating Problems

Caring For Your Automatic Transmission In Summer

temp guageExcess heat is a major cause of early transmission failure. During the summer when temperatures can reach 100+ degrees for day or weeks at a time, driving in congested traffic can be the death of your automatic transmission! With today’s electronic transmissions, excess heat is one of the major causes of transmission failure.

Summertime Transmission Care Tips

First, make sure your transmission fluid is at the proper level and in good condition. In most cases, that means that it should be pink in color. If your transmission fluid is turning brown, you should bring it by the shop and have us take a look at it for you.

The next thing you can do is to make sure your engine is running in the recommended temperature range. If you engine is running hot, it’s likely that your transmission will be running hot as well. So fix whatever problem you are having with your engine cooling system as soon as possible.

Do A Visual Inspection

Check your radiator and if your car is equipped with one, your external transmission cooler to see if the fins are clear of debris. Many auto parts stores carry a cleaner for radiators that helps to remove bugs and other debris without the need for high pressure water sprayers. Of course you could have your radiator professionally cleaned if you prefer.

Other Options For Dealing With Transmission Overheating

If your transmission is only showing signs of overheating when climbing hills or towing heavy loads, you may want to consider switching to a synthetic transmission fluid, as it will handle higher temperatures than standard transmission fluid.

How To Tell If Your Transmission Is Getting Hot

Newer cars have temperature sensors on the transmission and either have a gauge or a warning light that will come on to tell you that your transmission is getting hot.

On older cars and trucks, there may not be a gauge or trouble light. In this case, you can check your transmission fluid to see if it is running hot. The transmission fluid may smell burnt and change to a brown color, indicating that excess temperatures have been reached.

A temperature gun is the best way to check for transmission overheating, as you can check the temperature going into and coming out of the radiator, and make sure the transmission fluid is cooling down as it goes through the radiator/cooler.

It is always a good idea to check your fluid before going on a trip. If you are not sure how or have a transmission without a dipstick, stop by or give us a call.

Clutch & Transmission Technicians

CTT Transmissions
3424 Oakdale Rd
Modesto, CA. 95355
209 551-4050
www.ctttransmissions.com

Transmission Limp Mode or Fail Safe Mode

check engine lightDoes your transmission not shift, feel sluggish on takeoff and will not reach higher speeds? This will usually be accompanied by a check engine light, transmission light or odd light flashing. If so, there is a good chance that the vehicle is in “limp mode or fail safe”.

Dodge and Chrysler vehicles are most common for this but, it may happen with almost any vehicle with a computer controlled transmission.

Your car’s computer is constantly monitoring all of your car’s systems, through various sensors. When it detects something that is outside the normal specifications, it can put your transmission into a ‘fail safe’ mode. This is usually 2nd gear, which is why your car feels sluggish on takeoff and the rpms will be higher than normal at speeds above 25 mph.

What to do when this happens

We recommend that you pull off to a safe place, put your vehicle in park and shut off the engine. Sometimes this will reset the computer, and it will allow your transmission to shift normally until the computer notices a problem again.

This could be immediately or up to several days later before your car computer puts your transmission back into fail safe mode. If it still feels like it is in fail safe mode after you restart, we recommend not driving the vehicle as this could cause further damage to the transmission.

If your vehicle begins operating properly again and does not go back into limp mode. You should be able to get the vehicle home or to a shop to have it checked. If you hear any abnormal noises or other drivability issues or don’t feel comfortable driving the vehicle. Pull over and have your vehicle towed, to avoid further damage.

Should I keep driving the vehicle if the problem does not happen again?

No, you should have a transmission shop run a computer diagnostic on your vehicle to avoid any further problems, or inconvenient breakdowns.

What can I do if I take it to a shop and they don’t find anything wrong?

It is possible that they will not find any problems with it. Sometimes, when you will have an intermittent problem, it may not show up for several days or months. However, these problems don’t fix themselves so it will probably show up again at some point.

What shops are qualified to diagnose this type of problem?

First, you want to make sure that the transmission repair shop is equipped and trained to deal with both electrical and mechanical transmission issues. Some shops just don’t deal with electrical, or computer, problems. Many times automatic transmission shifting problems are the result of an electrical problem, either a lose wire or faulty sensor.

You can help

service engine lightWhen you take your car to the transmission shop, give them as much information about the problem as you can. There is no irrelevant information when it comes to finding an intermittent problem. Write down everything that you can think of leading up to when the problem first started. You can save yourself days of diagnosing a problem telling the shop all you know about the symptoms you’ve been having. Don’t feel that something is not important as that detail may lead us to the source of the problem.

Saving you money

Here are some things that may help in diagnosing your transmission problem, and get your vehicle back on the road faster, and with a cheaper diagnostic bill.

  1. How long were you driving the vehicle when the problem occurred? Was it freeway speeds or city driving?
  2. Did any lights on the dash come on and did they come back after restarting the vehicle? Did they come back after driving a distance or as soon as you started it?
  3. Was any other work done to the vehicle in the last month previous to the problem?
  4. Was anything added to the vehicle, alarm, stereo etc.?
  5. *Have you had any problems starting the vehicle, dead battery or any electrical issues?

(*The transmission needs 12 volts to operate and we have seen low batteries, dirty battery cables and faulty alternators cause a lot of intermittent issues. The transmission can also be tied into many other electrical components in the vehicle.)

Thank you for reading this article, we hope you found some useful information here.

If you have any further questions, please give us a call at (209) 551-4050 and we will be happy to help.

Clutch & Transmission Technicians
3424 Oakdale Rd
Modesto CA 95355

Four Wheel Drive not working?

Four Wheel Drive  is not working

Another tech tip from Clutch & Transmission Technicians.

Modesto Ca

Have you ever gone to the snow or mud and find out to late that your Four wheel drive is not working?

Not Now!!! Does your 4wd work?

Not Now!!!
Does your 4wd work?

Most people that have a four wheel drive vehicle, only use it about once or twice a year in California.  Many times, they find themselves stuck when they get there as there 4wd is not working. Unlike the old days where you manually locked the hubs and could get under the vehicle and put the transfer case in 4wd if you had a problem. Now you have a computer system, fuses, wiring, motors and switches that run the 4wd. Therefore when you need it most, it is unlikely that you will get it working if it fails without visiting a shop.

The first thing that everyone should check before leaving on a trip to the snow or mud is that it is working.  This can be done on your street at home. Must be on a concrete  or asphalt road, not dirt.

Just because you feel it engage the transfer case and the light says 4wd, does not mean that the front hubs are locked. It will gear down and feel like everything is working until you get there and have no front wheels driving.

We will start by explaining how it operates.

When you actuate the 4wd. It puts the transfer case in the range you selected. It also locks your front hubs to give power to your front wheels. You can feel if the transfer case is engaged as the vehicle may clunk as it engages and you will notice the vehicle is in a lower gear as driving. The best way to check and see if the hubs are engaged is to turn your wheels all the way and drive forward. You should be able to feel the vehicle bind and not roll smoothly. If you can not feel  a bind. Then your hubs are probably not working. (Be carefull driving in 4wd on pavement as the vehicle will not steer the same and is very difficult to turn sharply)

Other common 4wd complaint

We have a carwash close to our shop which brings up another common problem we see. We get quite a few customers come in with a complaint that there vehicle is shuddering and vibrating and hard to turn.  The first thing we ask them is if they just had their car washed. When having their car washed, they wipe down the dash and often hit the 4wd button engaging the four wheel drive. So if you have recently wiped or had the dash wiped down. Check to make sure the 4wd has not been activated

2003-2007 Chevy/Gmc Trucks

This type of switch is the most common to fail. Notice the N for neutral.

This type of switch is the most common to fail.
Notice the N for neutral.

 

If you have one of these 4wd trucks and loose all gears or find it putting the transfer case in 4wd randomly. There is probably a problem in the transfer motor. This can be very intermittent which can make it hard to diagnose. If you loose all gears and it feels like neutral but there is a loud grinding noise when you try and put the vehicle back in park. Try this simple trick. This may help having to tow the vehicle. I will first explain what might be happening. When you turn your ignition on. The computer checks the 4wd switch. If the encoder ring in the transfer case motor is failing, the transfer case can be placed in neutral during this process. Try cycling the key on and off a few times and retry. The 4wd light on the switch should go to 2wd or auto instead of the neutral light. Try a few times as this will usually work to get the vehicle to move again. Sometimes the motor can fail completely and this will not work. If this works, take it to a shop to have checked and repaired as it will probably happen again.

Thank you

CTT Transmissions blog.