Installing New Transmission Fluid Filter

The reversing procedure must be accomplished inside the transmission.

Inside transmission bellhousing
Transmission (Original)
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Inside Auto Transmission Stock Image - Image: 3141

Inside the Offertory: Aspects of Chronology and Transmission

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  • ­How does the funny "H" pattern that I am moving this shift knob through have any relation to the gears inside the transmission? What is moving inside the transmission when I move the shifter?
    When I mess up and hear that horrible grinding sound, what is actually grinding? What would happen if I were to accidentally shift into reverse while I am speeding down the freeway? Would the entire transmission explode?

    The transmissions used today may have four, five or six speeds forward, but all have one speed in reverse. The reverse gear is necessary because the engine rotates only in one direction and cannot be reversed. The reversing procedure must be accomplished inside the transmission.

  • A band is a steel strap with friction material bonded to the inside surface. One end of the band is anchored against the transmission case while the other end is connected to a servo. At the appropriate time hydraulic oil is sent to the servo under pressure to tighten the band around the drum to stop the drum from turning.

    Most of the transmission problems starts from overheating. Under heavy load, such as when towing a heavy trailer, rocking the vehicle from the snow, having continuous stop and go traffic in hot weather, racing, etc. the transmission overheats. At higher temperatures the transmission oxidizes, losing its lubricating qualities and leaving deposits all over inside the transmission. If you'd check the automatic transmission fluid in an overheated transmission, it would be dark and dirty, with a strong burnt smell. Exposed to the heat the rubber seals, O-rings become hard and brittle. The metal parts warp causing valves to stick in. All this, sooner or later, results in transmission failure. For example, a friend of mine has burned his automatic transmission when he was spinning the wheels too hard trying to free his shiny Audi from the snow; it was on the next day after he bought it!

  • This series of pictures is not intended to be a "how to" on torqueflite transmission overhaul. It is meant to give viewers an idea of what is inside their transmission, to take some of the mystery out. Overhauling one of these is best left to professionals.

Know how the transmission system inside an automobile works

Our 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan with 150K miles was acting up 500 miles from home. We took it to my dad's trusted mechanic who said it was the transmission, and sent us to his preferred transmission shop, an ATRA participant. The transmission shop did diagnostics, and satisfied us that we needed either a repair or rebuild. Being risk averse, and given the price differences, we went with the rebuild. 4 hours and ~240 miles after picking up the car, the check engine light came on. It was diagnosed as a transmission code: P0770 shift solenoid E fault. We were told that if this part failed the car would freeze into second gear. We limped home and took the car to a local transmission shop that participated in the first shop's warranty program. They could find no problem and sent us on our way. 250 miles later (and 150 miles from home) the light came on again. We took the car to our trusted mechanic, who read the same code, but reset the check engine light. The transmission shop said they couldnt diagnose anything from the code number and readout from our mechanic, and that we should drive around again until the light comes on. We did that and another 200 miles or so later, the light returned. We took it to the local (not original) transmission place. 8 days later, they "discovered" its the solenoid valve! But... they say that altough the valve is inside the transmission, it is not part of the transmission. This is because it is an "electrical" part and transmissions are "mechanical". For only $535 they will be happy to fix the solenoid valve. We explained that when we had the transmission rebuilt, we expected the transmission and everything inside it to work flawlessly, at least for the duration of the 15,000 mile - 1 year warranty. The local shop is now talking with the original shop, and say that if they don't come to an agreement, that we can deal with the original shop 500 miles from here. Meanwhile, our car is disassembled at the local transmission shop.



Is a solenoid valve inside the transmission part of the transmission? Should its repair be covered under our ATRA warranty?



Please help. We need our car to return to Grama and Grampa's for the holidays and would like not to lose our shirts in the process.