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July 10, 2018

Types of Transmissions: Automatic, Manual and CVT

Different Types of Transmissions Key Transmission & Gear DenverDid you know that there are 3 different types of transmissions? Today, our experts at Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood, Colorado, will tell you all about them. Most people at least know that there are 2 basic types, manual and automatic. The third is called a continuously variable transmission or CVT. Let’s talk about what a transmission does, and then we’ll give a quick description of all three types.

Transmissions

A transmission is your car’s method of channeling power from the engine to the wheels. In other words, torque comes from the engine through an input shaft into the transmission. It passes through the gears of the transmission and is then transferred to the wheels by way of an output shaft.

Different gears control your car at different speeds. Each gear has its own specific ratio that turns your wheels at just the right speed, even in relation to each other. And as we said, there are 3 different types of transmissions.

Manual Transmissions

In a vehicle with a manual transmission, the driver is responsible for changing the gears. We disengage the gears by pressing the clutch pedal and then shift between them with a stick on the console. Back in the day, the stick was sometimes on the steering wheel but in modern cars, you’ll find it on the console.

Many people like the control that this gives them over a vehicle. They can control the exact point when their vehicle shifts gears. In most cases, this design offers better gas mileage which is another plus.

Automatic Transmissions

The automatic transmission does all the work for you. The transmission still has various gears, but you don’t have to switch between them. Multiple sensors in the vehicle monitor specific parameters and change gears accordingly.

Automatic transmissions tend to be more comfortable to drive, particularly if you spend a lot of time in stop and go traffic. They also usually require less maintenance than manuals which is a nice bonus.

Continuously Variable Transmissions

This transmission is steadily gaining popularity in the US, but you may not have run into it yet. Instead of gears, the CVT uses belts and pulleys that give the ability to have an infinite number of ratios.

In short, the transmission never has to shift. Some people find this disconcerting if they are familiar driving one of the other two types of transmissions. Always test drive a car before you buy. Some people just can’t get used to a CVT.

Needless to say, the ride is generally smoother, and the vehicle gets better gas mileage. This type of transmission is already commonly seen in scooters, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. Because of the smoothness, they’re also being seen more and more in hybrid cars.

Want upkeep or repair on any of the different types of transmissions? That’s what Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood is here for. With over 20 years of experience with all things transmissions, we’re certainly qualified to provide our expertise. Give us a call to schedule an appointment or stop by the shop.

June 8, 2018

Driving A Car With A Transmission Problem

Driving A Car With A Transmission Problem  Key Transmission & Gear DenverHow much do you know about driving with transmission issues? Our staff here at Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood, Colorado have put together a bit of information for you.

How do you know that something might be wrong with your transmission? Is it safe to keep driving your car if you feel the automatic transmission slipping? Let’s take a look at a few signs that your transmission is not in great shape and what could be happening with this crucial component.

It Changes Gears When It Shouldn’t

When an automatic transmission changes gears, you can usually hear a noise or change in pitch. If you start hearing that noise when your transmission shouldn’t be changing gears, such as driving on a flat road at a steady speed, that’s an indication that you’re driving with transmission issues.

Rough Gear Changes

While it is normal to hear a change in pitch when an automatic transmission switches gears, clunking or thudding is not. Also, notice if you feel unusual or more pronounced vibrations. These are indications that the gears are not changing smoothly. You also may find that the vehicle doesn’t accelerate well due to difficulty with the gear changes. These should be fluid, and the vehicle shouldn’t jerk or shake.

Vehicle is Less Responsive

When you shift from park to drive, a car should respond and begin moving right away. If you experience a significant delay, that’s an indication your transmission isn’t functioning correctly. Your engine may rev up and sound like it’s doing something, but your car won’t go anywhere for a time. This is unacceptable.

Low Fluid Level

The first thing to do if you notice that the transmission is slipping is to check your transmission fluid. Put the vehicle in park and leave it idling while checking the fluid level. The transmission has a dipstick to see the fluid level. If you find that it is low, give us a call immediately to service the transmission fluid.

Fluid Leak

Sometimes the fluid level is just low. But sometimes there is a reason, such as a leak. You can often tell if you have a leak by simply checking your garage floor. Transmission fluid is red, and a significant leak will leave marks under where your car is usually parked. If you notice these spots and transmission slipping symptoms, you can be very sure there is a leak. In that case, have an expert take a look.

So, should you continue driving with any of these transmission issues? It's not recommended. If it’s bad enough, your vehicle could be quite unsafe. You don’t want your vehicle unexpectedly changing gears at random moments. It’s dangerous and could end up causing extensive damage to your engine.

Be sure to have your transmission checked out by the experts. We here at Key Transmission and Gears have over 20 years of experience working on transmissions. We have the knowledge necessary to get you safely back on the road again. Give us a call today and don’t risk driving with transmission issues.

May 15, 2018

5 Warning Signs You Need Transmission Repair Near Me

Transmission Repair Near Me from Key Transmission and Gears in Centennial, ColoradoHow do you know if you need transmission repair near me?

Transmission repairs are the most expensive auto repairs, with an average rebuild running about $2000. Repairs don't have to involve a complete rebuild, but they might have to if you don't know the signs of a transmission problem.

Not dealing with the problem early can lead to major issues, such as a complete rebuild.

If you want to know the top signs your car may be having transmission issues, keep reading. And if you need transmission repair near me, Key Transmission and Gears is right here in Centennial, Colorado to assist you.

1. Engine Light is On

One of the most obvious indicators that something is wrong with your vehicle is if the check engine light is on.

There are other warning lights that you need to be aware of as well, such as transmission temperature light. That means the transmission is running at a high temperature.

In that case, you'll want to check the transmission and coolant fluid levels in your car.

2. Leaking Fluid

Have you found fluid under your car and you're not sure what it is?

Your car is made of many moving parts that function under intense heat and friction. Oil is critical to keep your car moving smoothly.

If your car is out of a certain fluid because of a leak, that can cause major damage to the transmission.

The first thing you'll want to do it check the color. Different fluids in your car have different colors. For example, engine oil tends to be light brown to black. Coolant is usually green.

Transmission fluid is brown and thick or red and a little thin. If you see this under your car, you need transmission repair near me. The sooner, the better.

3. Shifting is Rough or Delayed

You may have noticed that your car "feels funny" while driving it. You may have noticed that there's a slight delay from when you press down on the gas pedal, and the car accelerates.

When the car is shifting, you may find that the movement is a little jerky or the car shifts gears out of nowhere. It happens in both manual and automatic transmission cars.

This is a big warning sign that you're having transmission issues. Take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible.

4. Your Car Makes Strange Noises

Another sign of transmission problems is when the car makes strange noises. If you hear unusual noises coming from your car, note when you hear them. Are you accelerating or is the car in neutral?

These noises may not be directly related to the transmission, but you should have them looked at regardless.

5. Your Car Has a Burning Smell

When your gears get too hot, they can give off a burning smell. You can also smell burnt transmission oil when the transmission is likely to give out.

You're likely to experience a burning smell when you leave the car, not while driving.

Repair Transmission Issues Right Away

Now that you know the most common signs that you need transmission repair near me, it's critical that you take action right away if you suspect a problem.

Putting it off can create more damage in your car and turn into a costly repair.

Don't let that happen by scheduling an appointment with Key Transmission and Gears today.

April 25, 2018

Hauling, Transmission Damage and More

Hauling, Transmission Damage and MoreToday, Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood offers a few quick pointers on hauling, transmission damage and more. If you operate a tow vehicle on a regular basis, whether for work or for fun, you want it to last. Keep these pointers in mind as you hit the road, and you’ll have a pleasant journey. 

Overworked Engine

This is the number one mistake made by people towing. Pay close attention during hot weather, to all of your pressure gauges, temperate gauges, and exhaust gas temperature gauges. If temperatures reach a critical point, it will cause a meltdown of the engine system, and that can only spell trouble.

Take it easy to prevent transmission damage. Arriving at your destination a bit later will spare you from a blown transmission and big repair bill to get you back on the road.

Loading

For safety reasons and transmission longevity reasons, be sure to load your trailer correctly. This is going to make a bigger difference than you realize. You want the majority of the cargo weight in front, near the tongue. Then disperse weight all the way to the back.

Need for Speed

This seems like an obvious one, but accidents caused by racing down the highway while pulling a trailer happen daily. Of course, you want to get to your destination, but at what cost? Take it slow and steady like the turtle and get there safely.

Tire Pressure

This is a pretty basic yet often overlooked safety measure while towing a trailer. Make sure that your tire pressure is correct. Not only will the trailer or camper roll more efficiently, but this will reduce the risk of a blowout and make your driving experience smoother.

Ball Mounts

Each of the three ball mount sizes is rated for various weights, so be sure to use the correct size for your towing job. If you plan to make several tow trips with different tow loads, go ahead and change out the ball mounts for the specific job.

Brakes

The brakes on your towing vehicle are critical and need regular servicing. Don’t neglect to maintain the brakes on your vehicle and trailer or you can guarantee some issues out on the road.

Lube Components

Axles, pivot joints, and tongue jack all need lubrication to work smoothly. Anywhere that steel meets steel or rubber requires some lubrication. Making sure the components are greased is going to go a long way in contributing to a safe towing journey.

Distribution Bars

The distribution bar is going to help you have a better connection between truck and trailer eliminating a lot of the bouncing that may usually go along with towing. Keep as much steering control as possible ensuring the distribution bar is parallel to the trailer frame.

Now that you have more information on hauling, transmission damage and more, you will be able to keep things operating effectively for longer. And if your transmission needs thorough, high-quality repair work or maintenance services, come on by and see us at Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood.

March 14, 2018

Changing Gears with an Automatic Transmission

gear selector Key Transmission & Gear DenverHave you ever wondered about changing gears with an automatic transmission? Key Transmission and Gears in Englewood, Colorado has the answers for you. Even though you don’t change all the gears like in a manual vehicle, you still have some control over the gears. Knowing when to shift will help improve the power and efficiency of your car, truck or SUV’s engine. 

Use the RPMs

The computer in your car understands how to shift the transmission according to the revolutions per minute or RPM. If the RPM goes up too high, the computer upshifts. Conversely, if the RPM drops too low, the computer sends the signal to downshift.

If you want to get your transmission to upshift, simply stomp down on the gas pedal until the RPM goes high enough to shift. Then ease off the pedal, so you don’t go rocketing down the highway. You may have already unintentionally used this tactic when you wanted a burst of speed to pass someone.

You can also do the opposite. If you want your transmission to downshift, let off the gas pedal. Once the RPM drops low enough, the transmission will shift down.

Use the Lever

Depending on your vehicle, you may have noticed that the transmission lever has more settings than the ones you typically use. You probably use park, reverse, and drive all the time and neutral on occasion. But have you ever noticed that there are a couple more after drive? These are usually labeled with numbers or simply an L. These are your extra low, strong gears.

Here’s when you might need to use them.

Towing

The computer on your vehicle’s engine is calibrated to the weight of your car and makes the gears shift based on that number. When you add extra weight to your vehicle, the computer doesn’t know that and often ends up choosing a gear that is too high for your current load. If you’re towing a trailer, boat or other toys, you’ll want to force it to drop down by changing gears with an automatic transmission.

Going Uphill

Even though you don’t actually add extra weight, when you go up a steep hill gravity essentially makes your vehicle heavier. This puts added torque on your engine that you can balance by using a lower gear.

Going Downhill

You might be wondering why you would use these lower gears to go downhill. Obviously, the load on your engine has been lessened quite a bit. You don’t need extra torque from the transmission, what you need are good brakes, right? Not so fast.

Instead of riding your brakes down a steep hill, which can be dangerous if they overheat, downshift. Changing gears with an automatic transmission (to a lower gear) helps to brake your engine, which slows you down without having to use the actual brakes. Knowing how to use this feature can really save your brakes in mountain driving.

We hope these tips from Key Transmission and Gears have been helpful. Now that you understand more about changing gears with an automatic transmission you may actually put those extra gears to use if you decide to head up into the mountains or tow a sweet teardrop trailer for your summer road trip. While driving a car with an automatic transmission is not as complicated as a manual, knowing these little tricks can help your engine run more efficiently and cause less wear and tear on your vehicle.

 

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