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Minor Auto Repairs

Just because your vehicle is showing warning signs of trouble doesn’t mean you’re looking at a big expensive repair. Sometimes the issue is minor and can be fixed quickly and easily without removal of transmission/transaxle assembly.

If the transmission isn't the problem, what might be instead?

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External seals and gaskets

Sometimes the problem is as simple as a faulty seal or gasket. This is typical the problem when you’re only dealing with leaky fluids. While you should always have your vehicle thoroughly inspected by an experienced professional to ensure this is truly the only problem you’re dealing with, replacing external seals and gaskets is a very inexpensive fix. But just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s not important. Maintaining the proper fluids is critical to the health of your engine, so faulty external seals and gaskets that aren’t replaced could lead to very expensive repairs down the road.

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Driveline U-joint

The universal joint (U-joint) is a key part of the driveshaft assembly – in other words, it’s part of what keeps your vehicle moving down the road. While you might be able to drive with a faulty U-joint briefly, at some point it will give out. If this happens while you’re driving, it can result in extensive damage to your vehicle.

Keep your vehicle – and yourself – safe by having it looked at as soon as possible if you notice any of these signs:

  • Excessive vibration that increases with vehicle speed
  • Chirping or squeaking noises
  • Loud clunks when vehicle is shifted into reverse or drive
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Vacuum modulator

The vacuum modulator is a load sensor, which is how your engine knows how hard it needs to work. If the sensor goes out, your engine may be working overtime for no reason, or unable to keep up with load resulting in lower performance.

The vacuum modulator is relatively inexpensive to replace, and as it plays an important role in the transmission system, you don’t want to drive with a faulty one.

There are four signs that your vacuum modulator is malfunctioning:

  • Bad engine performance
  • Engine warning light
  • Excessive emissions
  • Problems shifting
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Transaxle CV joints and boots

CV joints, axle shafts, and boots are what gets your vehicle moving by transferring power from the transmission to the wheels, so if they are damaged or beginning to wear out, they need to be inspected to determine which part is the problem. Depending on the issue, you may simply need to replace the boot, or you may need to replace the entire CV axle.

Signs that of faulty CV joints, axles, and boots:

  • Loud clicking noises when turning
  • Grease on the edge of your tire
  • Excessive vibration while driving, especially when increasing speed
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Speed sensors (input, output, vehicle speed, turbine, etc)

There are multiple types of speed sensors in your vehicle. They measure vehicle speed and transmission speeds like input shaft speed and output shaft speed. While you may think that this will only affect you being able to see how fast you are going, bad speed sensors actually affect much more. Speed sensors help your transmission know which gear to engage for efficient driving, and if the speed sensors aren’t working your transmission is driving blind.

To ensure your transmission is running efficiently and effectively, have your vehicle checked out if you notice the following signs: 

  • Cruise control failing
  • Rough shifting
  • Check engine light
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Neutral safety switches or reverse light switches

The neutral safety switch is a small device designed to keep the engine from cranking (or starting) while the transmission is in gear. It may seem minor, but it was designed to save lives. If a vehicle is in gear when it is started, it can launch forward (or backward) damaging property or hurting people or animals.

Signs that you have a faulty neutral safety switch include:

  • Engine doesn’t start when shifter is in Park
  • When shifter is in Neutral, engine starts normally
  • Engine starts when shifter is in any gear 
  • Reverse (back-up) lights aren’t working

These are just a few examples of other repairs or replacements your vehicle might need if you’re noticing some unusual behaviour or warning signs. To be sure of what the problem is, book an appointment at your nearest National Transmission location.

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