How To Tell If The Transmission Is Slipping

Is your transmission slipping?First things first: what does it mean when someone says your transmission is slipping? A “slipping” transmission is what happens when you’re driving in one gear and suddenly it changes gears without you doing anything. You may notice strange noises from your engine, like “whining” or grinding. This can happen with either a manual or automatic transmission, so it’s a good thing to be aware of no matter what you drive.

The Importance of Routine Maintenance

Some of the common causes of transmission slips include worn holding devices, electronic control problems, lack of internal pressure, or bad transmission fluid level/condition. The vast majority of these causes can be avoided or eliminated by keeping up with your routine vehicle maintenance, but sometimes transmission problems can’t be helped.

The easiest way to tell if your transmission is slipping is to simply pay attention to your car. Make a mental note of how it drives normally so that you can quickly tell when something isn’t quite right. Take your car to an empty parking lot and shift gears while you drive so that you know what each one sounds like. When you’re driving normally, notice if your car’s handling changes without warning. Turn the music down and listen for changes in pitch or whining from the engine. If any of your gear shifts feel “clunky” or jerky, that’s another sign that your transmission is having problems.

If you do notice your transmission slipping, there’s no reason to panic – it doesn’t mean the car’s ruined, it just means you need to go in for maintenance right away. Waiting will only make the problem worse and cause issues that can’t be easily fixed. Procrastination is rarely the answer, and especially not in this case. If you catch the slippage in time, your car may just need a minor part replacement or a fluid change. Wait too long, though, and you could be looking at serious transmission repair or replacement.

We hope this answers your question! If you have any other questions about transmissions or other maintenance concerns, let us know.

Hope For Your Vehicle’s Transmission


Transmission repairs have become an interesting phenomenon in the automotive repair industry.  I thought I would share some information with you that could result in saving you money!

  • Most cars will start to experience transmission issues around age six
  • When a check engine light illuminates, 20% of the time it is because of the transmission.
  • 50% of those issues can be fixed easily
  • 80% of repair shops, because they don’t have enough knowledge about transmissions will tell you it needs to be replaced.  That is because for them it is just easier to replace the entire thing since they don’t know enough about transmissions to fix it or don’t want to be bothered with it.

Many consumers are keeping their vehicles longer these days due to the economy.  We make sure we help in this area.  Consumers might opt to buy a different car rather than pay to repair their current one if the cost is high.  Replacing a transmission is a lot to pay for a repair and if the vehicle will need more of the same, say in six months, I am completely upfront with them.  I want them to make the right decision for them and for their budget.

If you feel you are having transmission problems, before you pay out an exorbitant amount of money to have it replaced, ask what the problem is exactly.  A really good shop, like Certified Automotive Specialists, can save you a lot of money!  The average repair shop just guesses instead of investigating.

Sometimes, of course, it really does need to be replaced but again, a shop that really knows what they are doing will give you options rather than “just replace it” as a solution.

If you suspect your vehicle is experiencing transmission problems, give us a call!  We’ll tell you upfront what the problem is!  We want to be the solution to your vehicle problems!

Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814 or visit our website at

Hometown Service You Can Count On!


Where Did The Transmission Dipstick Go?


I remember when we checked transmission fluid by pulling the dipstick out.  We could tell many things by that dipstick but today it isn’t that simple. Many new models don’t even come equipped with a transmission dipstick!

Automatic transmissions have become marvels of precision and durability over the years. Many are 5, 6, 7 or even 8 speeds and do not have a dipstick to allow checking or adding to the fluid level or inspecting the fluid condition, unless you have specialty tools to do so.

Vehicles with “dipstickless” transmissions came about due to people adding incorrect fluid. For example, a person or non-qualified shop, added or changed the fluid with the incorrect type of fluid. The transmission would fail prematurely because the less expensive fluid did not lubricate properly and failure was imminent. The consumer might put the fault on a poorly designed or defective transmission.

Some of these transmissions are filled with what the manufacturer says is “lifetime” fluid that they claim does not require changing, while other makes may require fluid service at very long intervals that are often 100,000 miles or more. I have seen many transmissions over these last 38 years, and I recommend changing your transmission fluid at 50,000 miles. If the fluid checks out okay, then a longer change interval is acceptable.

With rules regulating the automotive manufacturers that mandate fuel mileage be increased every year, vehicles have replaced the good old “one type of transmission fluid fits all” cars with very specific synthetic fluids. The cost of today’s transmission fluid can be staggering, ranging from $6.00 to $26.00 per quart. Adding the wrong fluid will damage the internally lubricated parts over time.

Please do your homework when having any service performed. It can be devastating if the wrong fluid or incorrect fill procedure is performed.

Please call us with any questions at 626-963-0814 or visit our website at

Hometown Service You Can Count On!


A Cool and Smooth Transmission in Glendora

When it comes to preventive maintenance on our vehicles, most of us Glendora auto owners remember to get our oil changed. But Certified Auto Specialists services that occur at longer intervals — like transmission service — sometimes get overlooked. Yet transmission service is an essential part of car care for Glendora auto owners. A poorly maintained transmission will diminish MPG and lead to expensive repairs.

The transmission transfers power from the engine to the drive wheels. When it’s clean and well – lubricated, it gives maximum fuel efficiency. But when it gets dirty or worn down, your fuel economy will suffer. Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to keep everything running well.

Transmission fluid has two jobs: to cool and lubricate the transmission. The transmission operates at high temperatures. It can get 100-150°F degrees hotter inside your transmission than inside your engine. Transmission fluid transfers some of the heat away from the transmission. Transmissions work hard. Their parts need constant lubrication to prevent excessive wear and keep them running smoothly for Glendora drivers.

The constant shifting and movement of gears inside the transmission cause bits of the gears and clutch material to wear off. These bits of dangerous grit get into the transmission fluid. This grit increases friction inside the transmission and causes even more wear – it’s like liquid sandpaper. Also, the high temperatures inside the transmission cause the transmission fluid to break down over time, making it a less effective lubricant. The fluid can actually become sludgy, which can gradually plug up the maze of passages inside the transmission. Gradually, the transmission loses efficiency and stops operating smoothly. Eventually, the transmission will be damaged or fail altogether.

This is why the transmission fluid must be changed periodically. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended time schedule for this vital service. Or, you can communicate with your reliable Certified Auto Specialists service specialist. Generally, the interval is around 35,000 miles (55,000 km) or every two years. But the interval for your sedan may be shorter or longer.

Of course, if you give your transmission a real workout, you’re going to have to change the fluid more often than the auto manufacturer recommends. If you drive in hot, dusty California conditions, if you tow a trailer around Glendora, if you haul heavy loads or if you do a lot of stop-and-go Los Angeles driving, then you need to change transmission fluid more often. Also, if you demand frequent bursts of speed from your engine — especially shooting away from stops — your transmission is working harder and will need more frequent care. Check your owner’s manual for the “severe conditions” service interval.

Transmission fluids vary from vehicle to vehicle, so you’ll also need to check your owner’s manual to know what kind your sedan needs, or speak with your reliable Certified Auto Specialists technician.

At Certified Auto Specialists in Glendora, transmission fluid can usually be changed while you wait and is simple and not particularly pricey. Compared to the cost of costly transmission repairs or a new transmission, it’s downright cheap! So take some good auto advice from the team at Certified Auto Specialists and take care of your transmission. It will pay you back in improved gas mileage and a longer, smoother ride.

Gear Up: Transmission Service at Certified Auto Specialists in Glendora

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The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.

How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.

Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some auto manufacturers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Glendora drivers: it improves gas mileage and increases performance.

But there is a drawback for Glendora auto owners: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Glendora auto owners. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.

That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a vital part of preventive maintenance for Glendora auto owners. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer expensive damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.

Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.

New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Glendora car owners at Certified Auto Specialists. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Certified Auto Specialists. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing pricey transmission repairs.

Smooth Shifting in Glendora California: Transmission Service

So you have some exciting plans for the California weekend. You’re going to take some of your Glendora, California friends out on the boat for some water skiing. Of course, you’ve gotten the boat all ready. And you haven’t forgotten about your tow vehicle. You’ve gassed it up and even vacuumed it out. However, there is something even more critical than the cleanliness of the interior: you want to make sure that your sedan maintenance is up to date.

Think about it – heavy interstate traffic on the way out of Glendora. There’s hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and it’s going to be pretty hot in Glendora this weekend. And all the time you’ll be towing around several thousand extra pounds. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission.

Let’s just consider the transmission. It’s going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. A fun little blast to the local California lake for you is really severe duty for your transmission.

It’s vital to have enough transmission fluid. If it runs low, the transmission will run hotter and won’t have the protection it needs to cope with the added stress of towing. Transmission fluid breaks down and gets dirty over time. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it’s key for Glendora car owners to have it serviced by automotive professionals like the team at Certified Auto Specialists in Glendora to make sure it runs efficiently.

An automatic transmission contains a maze of passages through which the fluid must pass to keep it shifting smoothly. Glendora auto owners who neglect regularly scheduled transmission service risk the passages clogging up and starting to have problems.

Glendora car owners who neglect their transmission for too long will eventually experience pricey transmission failure. You really don’t want to pay for a major transmission repair.

This reminds us of how much of our driving around Glendora, California is under severe conditions. Towing or hauling a big load is obvious, but there are lots of other things that constitute severe driving conditions. Things like short trips, driving in very hot or very cold California weather. Dusty roads and city driving around Glendora, California add to the strain. Basically, any driving that’s not at highway speeds or under ideal conditions.

While you have your vehicle in, ask for a trip inspection. Your tech at Certified Auto Specialists will check your belts and hoses and let you know if your brakes are in good shape.

Now, don’t forget the sunscreen.

The Certified Auto Specialists Guide To Caring For Your Transmission

Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Azusa drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Azusa. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there’s an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you’re doing.

Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That’s what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on California interstates. And automatically shifts back down to climb Azusa hills, pass or start up again.

sedan automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.

At Certified Auto Specialists, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.

Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.

Not enough fluid can starve the transmission or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission, then the lubricant is blocked and can’t get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Certified Auto Specialists see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.

And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Glendora service center can be quite costly. That’s why manufacturers have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.

It’s really important for Azusa motorists to carefully follow the manufacturer’s transmission service schedule.

At Certified Auto Specialists in Glendora, we hope you never become shiftless in Azusa because you didn’t take care of your transmission.

Transmission Service

Let’s talk about transmission service. It can be easy to forget about getting your transmission serviced because it doesn’t need it very often. It’s easy to remember to change the engine oil – you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your car running smoothly and helps you avoid costly repairs down the road.

The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit you see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it’s 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and loose efficiency.

As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to costly damage.

When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves fuel economy. That’s why manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your service center can tell you what the manufacturer recommends.

Hot and dusty conditions; towing, hauling, stop and go conditions and jack rabbit starts all increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means you need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your manufacturer suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions, you will need to change it more often.

Most service centers have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It’s downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Your service technician will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it’s getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your car a favor and have it done. If not this time, then on your next service stop.