Author Archive for Ben Kane

Where to Find the Best Transmission Help in Charlotte

Transmission shops in Charlotte can often be one of the types of companies you don’t turn to often. Today’s vehicles have transmissions that can last for numerous years, even sometimes the life of the car if the vehicle is well maintained. But, when you notice there is a need for repairs, such as a transmission that is not working to change gears or transmission fluid leaks, you need a reliable, dedicated company to call on. A quality company to call should be one with ample experience, affordable rates, and long lasting workmanship. How do you know who to call?

Ensure the Company Has a Specialist

It is always a good idea to turn to a company that either specializes in transmission repair or one that has a certified technician on staff to provide these services. Don’t choose just any shop that offers car repairs. This is a complex vehicle component requiring expertise as well as specialized tools and equipment to repair. Look for a company that has a professional that’s truly dedicated to repairing transmissions. Some have certifications from specific vehicle manufacturers as well.

Do Ask About the Types of Repairs They Offer

You may just need the transmission flushed. You may need it repaired, rebuilt or replaced. In all cases, you need a provider that can meet those needs. Rebuilding is far more affordable than replacing the transmission, but it can take time and it is not always available from all companies. On the other hand, you need a technician that isn’t going to require you to replace the vehicle’s transmission if it can be repaired. Ask if the company offers rebuilding service. And, if they do, they should offer a long term warranty on their service. If not, go elsewhere.

Look for Special Offers, But Be Careful

When it comes to finding a transmission repair shop, you also need a professional that offers an affordable price. Of course this is one of the biggest investments you may make in the vehicle, but it does not have to be overpriced. Ask about rates. Get a written estimate of any product or service they plan to provide to you. And, be sure to ask about discounts, coupons, and free towing offers. Many will offer benefits like this. However, if you see prices that are very low, be worried. Why would a highly skilled professional with certification in transmission repair need to offer such low prices? Chances are good the service and workmanship will not be worth that low price.

While it can be hard to get a written quote for transmission repair since it often requires the removal of the transmission (a very intense process) to even learn about the problems, it is possible to get an idea of pricing. Learn about warranties, the number of years of experience the technician has, and the overall length of time for the process. The more information you get, the more likely you are to be satisfied with the finished product.

Should I attempt my Transmission Repair on My Own?

There are many types of car related repairs that you may be able to handle on your own. You may be able to change the oil, fix the wiper blades, and even tackle that leaking tire. However, there are other types of repairs that should be done by a specialist. Your transmission is one of those areas. Even if you are fairly skilled at auto repair, you may find that this is still one of the most important areas to turn to a professional transmission mechanic. Doing so can help to minimize the risks to your vehicle long term and may even help minimize the costs related to repairing your car right now.

Not just any mechanic will do

Take into consideration this fact. In nearly all cases, you will want to work with a mechanic that specialized in transmission repairs for your car. That is, you do not want to take your car in for transmission work from just any mechanic. That even goes for one that is ACSE certified. You need a company that has the right equipment and expertise to ensure that your car is taken care of the right way.

Repairs are complex

The reason for this is very simple. Transmissions are not like most other parts of the car. They are made up of many small, intricate pieces that can be very hard to repair. And, the process often requires very specialized equipment. This can make it near impossible for any at home repair person to handle the task of repairing your transmission. If it just needs the fluid changed, that may be something your typical mechanic can do. However, if it needs more than this – repair, replacement, or rebuilding, always turn to a professional with ample experience and know-how.

It’s often too costly

When you try to do the work yourself, you’ll likely find that the job is too costly to handle. These components are expensive, but what is even worse is paying out of pocket for all of the equipment and materials you need. Instead of doing this, it may be best for you to work hand-in-hand with a local provider. They can help you by giving you the best price possible. They can also complete the project faster than you can or a traditional mechanic can. This, too, can help you to save money on any repairs that you may need to have done.

Ultimately, working with a transmission specialist will save you time, save you money, and ensure that your car is getting the best level of maintenance and care it can have. That makes it very important for you to take a step towards hiring a specialist. When you turn to a professional for the repairs and rebuilding you need, you’ll have access to both affordable service and fast results. Don’t let just anyone handle your car’s transmission repair needs. The impact of doing so can be very expensive and time-consuming in nearly every case.


Troubleshooting Automatic Transmissions

If you are unlucky enough to have to deal with any sort of transmission problem, then you should definitely learn how to attempt to figure out the problem. There may be common symptoms to transmission issues, but each cause may be different than the other. Assuming its one problem when it’s actually another will leave you with wasted time and money. Being able to diagnose the problem will also determine if you could potentially fix this yourself or if you’re in need of a professional. Obvious, being able to do it yourself will save you a ton of money, compared to taking it in to the shop. So, let’s see if we can help you diagnose your car.

So, first thing you should look for under your car is for a sign of leaking. Leaks can happen for a variety of reasons, including cracked pans, gaskets, and loose bolts. You should look for a red, sweet-smelling fluid that feels a bit slippery to the touch. If you feel that, then you’ve got yourself a transmission leak. You should definitely take a look at the pan and fluid line. Check for any punctures in the part and replace them if they are damaged. Look for cracks on your gasket, because gaskets can get those cracks over the time spent driving your car. Tighten the bolts and hope the fluid stops leaking. If it doesn’t, then you’ve got a problem with your torque converter. If that is the issue, then you need to see a professional as soon as possible.

If you think you’re hearing noises in between shifts, like clunking or whining noises, then you should most likely take a look. Those noises can soon become strong rattles that will make you want to avoid driving as much as possible. So, before anything, take a look at your transmission fluid levels. If those are low, then it should be a cheap fix to top it off. Keep that fluid at the right levels, because with low transmission fluid you’ll experience a different set of problems. If the fluid levels don’t fix anything, then you will want to have your torque converter looked at. Again, this should only be done by an experienced professional.

If your car begins to rattle in between shifts like I mentioned before, then you could be experiencing multiple issues with the fluid. First of all includes low fluid levels, so like I said, keep those at an appropriate level. If the fluid seems to be at the right level, but you’re still experiencing issues, you may be using the wrong fluid. Always buy the appropriate type of fluid and get rid of any contaminated fluid with too much build up. If it doesn’t turn out to be your fluid, you should check your broken vacuum line. If it is indeed broken, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. You should always remember to consult your mechanic for his professional opinion. Finding the right mechanic that you can come to for years is something that everyone should do, for those just in case moments.


Signs of Transmission Trouble that Should be Checked Immediately

Sometimes it’s obvious when something’s wrong with your car, but unfortunately, the signs of car problems don’t always make themselves known right away. This means that in order to stay on top of things, you need to know what to keep an eye out for. When it comes to your transmission, there are a handful of things that point to trouble, so keep this list in mind if you’re not sure whether or not there’s a problem with your transmission.


  • Your Fluid Levels are Low

If the fluid level of your transmission is too low, it will keep it from operating properly, and can also pose a high rise of overheating, which will only cause further damage to your car. Use your transmission dipstick to monitor the fluid levels, and if you’re coming up short, the fix is simple: add more of whatever fluid the manufacturer suggests you use. If the problem persists, contact a professional for advice.


  • The Fluid is Ineffective or Burnt

This is one of the most common signs of transmission troubles. Use your nose—if your fluid smells like it’s been burning, it’s time to get it checked and changed. If the fluid is ineffective, you should be able to tell. It’ll have contaminants in it, be less viscous than normal, or be dark brown.


If you want to avoid dealing with ineffective or burnt transmission fluids, consider using synthetic fluids, as they have longer life spans and are more resistant to the elements and everyday wear and tear.


  • The Solenoid Is Acting Up

The solenoid is an electrical component designed to keep track of how much fluid passes into the transmission. If your solenoid isn’t working properly, not enough fluid will make its way into your transmission, which will cause your transmission to overheat.


If your solenoid is the problem, you’ll probably have to replace it. However, sometimes the problem stems from issues in the circuitry, so check your car carefully to determine the exact source of the issue.


  • You’re Experiencing Transmission Slipping

Transmission slipping usually becomes an issue when the transmission fluid is burnt, dirty, or low. Broken bands, worn out gears, and clutch problems are also potential sources, albeit somewhat less likely ones. Transmission slipping can also point to overheating. Whatever the exact source is, you need to figure it out immediately and fix it as soon as you can.


The best way to prevent trashing your transmission is knowing what signs to look for so you can catch problems early, and closely monitoring your car for any issues. Even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong, keep an eye out for early signs. And if you do discover something amiss, get it fixed as soon as it possible; waiting on repairs will only create bigger, pricier, riskier problems. Remember: your car has limits, so don’t put your transmission under any unnecessary stress, and you’re a lot less likely to have problems with it!


Transmission troubles? Other car concerns? If you’re in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, contact Twin Automotive today for help!


Transmission Overheating, What do to do


You have probably heard it a million times and you’ll probably hear it a million more times… transmission problems are the worst. There is nothing more universally hated than having to deal with transmission issues, and for a good reason. Transmission repairs are tough for the one dealing with the repair and they are tough on your wallet. There are also so many different things that could potentially be wrong with your transmission that it’s hard to keep track of it all. From clunking, shaking, and feeling like it’ll all fall apart… it’s all very overwhelming. So, what if you’re dealing with one specific problem in general, like overheating? Sometimes it’s out of our control, like when we’re stuck in heavy traffic. Other time, we may have ignored the problem for quite some time and we’re paying the price. Let’s go over some tips on what you should do if your transmission is overheating.


If you do notice your transmission is overheating, the first thing you should do is check your fluid levels. Wait for the car to cool down, get into the thick of it and check to see that you are filled to the right amount. Not having enough transmission fluid means that there isn’t any proper lubrication to allow the multiple components of the transmission to move properly. If the fluid levels seem to check out, you should look at the quality of the transmission fluid. If you’re seeing a bunch of black stuff floating around, then you should switch out the fluid entirely. Contaminated fluid will only cause more harm to your transmission. Another tip is to make sure you’re adding the right type of transmission fluid, because not doing so will increase your frustration. Whether or not the fluid is contaminated, you will still want to change the fluid regularly. Doing so is just part of the proper maintenance that a car needs to run for as long as possible.
The radiator in your car is in charge of cooling your transmission. To do that, it needs the proper coolant. Making sure that coolant levels are sufficient to cool your car is important to avoiding overheating. If you know that you’re leaking coolant or you don’t have sufficient levels of coolant, you should definitely consider staying home on those hot summer days. They will be your worst enemy for the rest of the summer, so making sure your car is equipped to battle what the sun throws at you is a good idea. If your car continues to overheat or leak coolant, then you should get in contact with a local mechanic right away. Choose one that will give you a fair price and one that you feel you’d be happy to come back to. Finding a mechanic that you trust is something that should be done by all car owners, because the process of finding a mechanic can be daunting. We all need our “go-to-guy” for those moments when our cars get sick.

Obvious Signs of Transmission Problems


If you dread waking up every morning and having to get in your car for work, I feel your pain. I’ve been there, to the point where your friends don’t bother asking you to drive anywhere and they offer to just pick you up. Let’s face it, your car has suddenly become a deathtrap to those around you. The shaking, rattling, and clunking coming from your car sounds as if there are two bears fighting under it, and it can be quite a frightening experience. The signs of transmission problems can be quite obvious and as equally terrifying. Everyone dreads having transmission issues, but no one ever thinks about the symptoms. Amazingly, some choose to ignore it and drive the car until it gives. I don’t recommend that option, because there may be cheaper solutions than buying a whole new car altogether. First think you should educate yourself on are what the signs of transmission problems might be.


The first would be one of the most obvious, the noises that your car is making in between shifts. It’s as if your car is crying out for help and you’re ignoring the poor thing, how dare you? You should definitely take your car in for a look by a professional if you are experiencing any sort of noise in between shifts. This could potentially lead to more startling symptoms of transmission problems. Another thing about transmissions is that the longer you wait to get them fixed, the bigger the problem may be in the end. Do yourself a favor and get some help with this problem, you’ll thank me later.


This next sign of transmission trouble is if your car suddenly feels like riding a roller coaster. When driving, if you’re experiencing rough and shaky shifts, most likely from 1st to 2nd gear, then you’ve got yourself a bit of a transmission problem. The cause can range from simple fluid problems, to some more technical and serious issues. There are a few guides online to help guide you through diagnosing your problem, but you can only be sure by taking it to a mechanic. I know I may have said that a lot already, but they are the best at giving you specific diagnoses of your car. You don’t diagnose yourself based off of WebMD, do you? Ok, you might… we all do from time to time; but, we eventually go to the doctor and he sets us straight. A proper professional will do the same for you!
The next obvious sign of transmission trouble is gear shifting. If your car is slipping into gears, without you accelerating or hitting the break, then you’ve got yourself some transmissions woes. You definitely shouldn’t run through the 6 with these, but instead take it to a mechanic that you trust. Gear shifting can cause abrupt changes in speed and could cause accidents if not enough space is given between you and the vehicle to your front/rear. Again, all of these are just symptoms. You can never be 100% certain of the causes unless you seek out a professional.

Determining the Type of Transmission you have


Transmissions are very important and extremely complex. Having a transmission problem can cost someone a pretty penny, so knowing what transmission you have is important. When you know the type of transmission you have, you can understand the proper steps in taking care of it. Each transmission is different, so having detailed information about your own can save you money on unneeded repairs. Now, how do you determine what type of transmission you have? There are numerous ways to figure that out and it’s recommended you have all the details about your car at your disposal.


The first and most obvious way to determine the type of transmission you have would be to check the owner’s manual. This manual will have all the specifics about your car and should be kept with your car at all times. There is very important information in that manual, including the type of transmission it came with. What if you don’t have the owner’s manual? There are many sites online that sell the owner’s manuals to certain cars online. They usually don’t go for more than a few bucks, so it is something to consider. Older cars usually don’t come with the owner’s manual, so take some time to hunt yours down.


The white card that is stuck to your driver’s side door comes with a ton of valuable information. It comes with all the needed info on your car, which includes how much air to put in your tires, the gas your car takes, engine details, make/model, year it was made, and the type of transmission you have. This card is the go to place for those that have recently purchased a car without an owner’s manual. I would still recommend finding the owner’s manual for your car, but if you’d rather not, then this will have the specific car specifications without all the detail. There is also a sticker you can find under the hood of most cars. If you can’t find the information you need on your car door, then lift the hood and look for it there.
The next way to check the type of transmission you have should be left to those that know how to maneuver their way under the hood of a car. Look for your oil pan and try to determine the shape of it. Some manufacturers can be determined by the shape of the oil pan. You should also be able to determine automatic or manual transmissions by the shape of the oil pan. If none of the above steps lead to any answers, then you should take down the VIN number of your vehicle and find websites where you can type in the VIN and get the specifications of your car. The VIN will have all the details of your car, so it is an important number to have at your disposal. Contacting a professional and asking them to find out the details of your car is another way you can figure out all this information.

Fluid Leaks and their Causes


If you’ve backed your car up or drove your car forward and noticed a little spot on the ground, then there are probably a million things running through your head. We automatically think of worst case scenario, so you get out and check what it is. If it’s a little reddish spot that smells a little sweet, then you’ve got yourself a transmission fluid leak. There is no need to worry, because there may be a way for you to fix this yourself. Before going over the ways to fix a transmission fluid leak, we should go over what may have caused yours.


This first cause that may be the reason for your leak is your transmission pan. Transmission pans are susceptible to damage over time. The wear and tear could be too much for your individual pan to handle, so you should check for any holes/punctures in your pan. While you’re at it, check for any loose bolts or drain plugs. Those being loose could contribute to the amount of leakage coming from your vehicle. While driving, your car is constantly coming into contact with small amounts of debris. Doing this could be the cause of your punctured pan. The bolts coming loose over time are something that tends to happen to all bolts. There may be no need to replace them, so simply tightening should do the trick. That same debris that put a hole in your pan could have also punctures the fluid line. Driving at high speeds on the freeway is the most likely time for you to come in contact with this loose material. Heat may also damage your fluid line, so having regular maintenance on your car is highly recommended.


The pan and fluid lines aren’t the only thing that could potentially crack under the constant use of your car. Pan gaskets can occasionally be the reason for your leak, so it is worth checking if any of the reasons above weren’t the cause of your leak. If your gasket hasn’t been replaced in a while, it can grow cracks that allow transmission fluid to seep through. If your gasket wasn’t placed or aligned properly, it can begin to warp and allow that same fluid to come through. Once warped, the gasket won’t seal properly and will continue to be an issue. Pan gaskets can be purchased fairly cheap at your local auto parts store.


If you are unfortunate enough to have your torque convertor as the reason behind your leak, then I have some bad news. If your torque convertor is cracked and begins to leak transmission fluid, there is no choice for you other than to take it to a shop. Unless you have the proper training and experience fixing cars, I would not recommend you tackle this job on your own. It is always good to have a professional in your area that your trust, so I would advise you to get online and find one right away. The longer you hold out and let your car leak, the worse the damage may become.

Setting a Reasonable Timeframe for Repairing Your Transmission

For a car to be able to work, there are many parts of the machine that come together. Some area and parts of the car are much more complex than others are and can cause a lot of trouble if problems were to arise. One of these complex systems is the transmission, in charge of a number of the actions connected to the rest of the car. The car is meant to run smoothly with the transmission but a problem arises related to it, it is important to take it in for repair as soon as possible.


However, this can mean an extended amount of time without your car for you and if you use your car often, this can mean trouble. If you have been confronted with this problem or may in the future, here are a few tips for setting a reasonable timeframe to repair that transmission. Moreover, maybe save yourself a bit of trouble.



  • Keep Up Regular Maintenance


Keeping up regular maintenance of your car can be very important in general. In this specific case, it can help you catch any problem that you may have with your transmission much earlier on. Using your five sense, pay attention to catch any first signs of trouble. The earlier you catch the trouble the less damaging it may be.  Therefore, it may take a less amount of time to repair overall and you can spend less time without a car. Regular maintenance could result you spending less or even no time at a repair shop.



  • Communicate Properly


Once you must go to the repair shop for your car, many times the power may no longer be in your hands. You must be able to perform your part to ensure that it all goes well and maybe even faster. Communicate with the repair shop and your mechanic to make sure that they diagnose and fix the problem in a timely manner. In addition, you should make sure that you communicate your availability to set up a time that may be more convenient for you whether it be time or day. Get a clear expectation of the wait.



  • Expect a Wait


With the previous point being said, this tip has more to do with how you will approach the repair. You should be realistic in what you expect about the repair time for your transmission. Not all repairs can always be quick and if it is quick, you must expect that there are to be cars ahead of you. It could be possible to leave your car for most part of the day. Keep this in mind as you set out to repair your transmission.


Keeping regular maintenance of your car can definitely help keep your car running well and avoid major repairs later on. However sometimes it can be unavoidable. For the best and quickest results in repair, it is important to catch the problem early on. Then when it comes to repair, it is important to communicate with the repair shop correctly and expect a wait.


You cannot always control the timeframe for your transmission repair but it is possible to take some times to set it a bit more in your favor.


Three Reasons to Hire a Transmission Specialist


Transmissions are not something most people think about very often. They are not the most commonly thought of component of the vehicle, until they stop working properly. That is when you will learn all about all of the missed symptoms of a problem you have and just how expensive rebuilding a transmission can be. In short, it’s not something you likely want to talk to your technician about very often. However, when it does happen and you find yourself struggling with repair needs, it is always best to turn to a transmission specialist over any other type of mechanic. In doing so, you will properly protect your investment long term. Why do you need a specialist over a mechanic?

Your Manufacturer May Require It

If you have a warranty in place on your car, you may still have coverage for your transmission. You will need to use a transmission specialist specifically or you could risk having your vehicle’s warranty terminated. In short, you will need to turn to a company that has ample certification in this area, not just some experience. This can ultimately help you to ensure your warranty remains in place long term.

Certification Gives You Confidence

Let’s be clear, here. Most transmission repairs are due to a lack of maintenance or not getting help as soon as you notice the problem. What you need when hiring a transmission specialist is someone who can get your car back to the best possible working order. You also need to know that once the work is complete, that professional is going to be able to help you keep the problem from happening again. Transmission repairs are expensive, even when they are not too intensive. For this reason alone, you need a professional that you can ensure is doing the job properly the first time so that you do not need to worry about it later.

You Need a Warranty

Not all mechanics will provide a warranty on their workmanship and that is a problem. Again, transmission work is expensive. When it starts to go wrong and problems arise, not only do you risk needing repairs again, but those problems can impact other areas of the car, including the engine. Transmission specialists, who know and do a great job on repairs, are happy to offer a long term warranty on their services and workmanship. This is especially important in the more invasive process of rebuilding a transmission. You need to know the company is going to be able to get the vehicle running at its best and then provide a warranty for that work.

When you find that you need transmission repairs, turn to only a certified company that specializes in transmissions. These professionals should have training and experience with the make and model of your car. And, they should have all of the equipment and time to dedicate to getting your car back to working at its best possible level so you don’t have to worry about additional repairs later.