Most people driving in the city of Austin are familiar with their car’s transmission. It’s the part of the vehicle that shifts the gears and it’s not fun to repair. The automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is the key element keeping the transmission running smoothly. Without it, and your car wouldn’t get you anywhere. The transmission pan is needed to hold that ever-important fluid. Beyond acting as a container, the pan can also impact transmission performance.
The transmission experts at Christian Brothers Automotive Brodie Lane are going to help you understand the basics of the transmission pan; common problems that occur and how you can take better care of it.
Functions of the transmission pan
The ATF is necessary to provide fluid pressure, lubrication and cooling functionalities for your automatic transmission and it’s all held in the transmission pan. Aside from containing the fluid, there are a number of important duties the pan performs:
- Protect the fluid from contamination
- Cool the ATF before it’s sent back into the transmission
- Transmission pan gasket prevents fluid from leaking
- Collect dirt and other particles in the ATF through the pan’s magnet
- Prevent debris on the road (such as a rock) from causing a leak
The average transmission pan holds 12 quarts of fluid. Bigger, more powerful trucks can hold up to 36 quarts! The more ATF a vehicle requires, the harder the transmission is working.
It’s also important to know that the pan only holds half of the transmission fluid at any given time. The rest of the fluid stays in the torque converter or other parts of the transmission. This is why local Austin auto repair shops suggest a complete transmission flush, which will clear out all old fluid. A simple drain and refill service only replaces the fluid held in the transmission pan.
Common pan problems
Most car owners cringe when mechanics talk about the transmission. The transmission can have its fair share of problems, but most people don’t think about the pan. Even though it’s a simple part it can also develop issues.
Large objects that puncture the pan, old gaskets, loose pan bolts or even a loose drain plug will cause the fluid to leak. The ATF is usually bright red in color. Simply checking your parking spots can tell you if there’s a leak.
Transmission pan maintenance
There are a few easy steps you can take to make sure your pan stays in good condition. Be sure to inspect the pan whenever you have a fluid change. If it’s warped, cracked or broken it needs to be replaced immediately. Also, make sure it’s tightened to the manufacturer’s pressure specifications. This ensures that the pan won’t get damaged as you drive and it will perform its functions correctly.
Periodically, you should also check the oil pan for the red transmission fluid. Leaks can occur in other places other than the pan and you can usually find evidence of a leak in the oil pan. Always stick with a rubber pan gasket when it needs to be replaced. It will last much longer than the cork counterparts.
Transmission services and repair in Austin, Texas
At Christian Brothers Automotive Brodie Lane in Austin, we’re always helping our customers catch transmission issues before they become big repairs. Simply replacing the ATF when specified in your owner’s manual will go a long way in keeping your transmission healthy. Our services are backed by our 2-year/24,000-mile Nice Difference warranty so you know your transmission will go the distance. Call Christian Brothers Automotive Brodie Lane to schedule your transmission service at our local auto repair shop in Austin. See the nice difference.