If you have a car fitted with an automatic transmission, then technology can certainly make your life, as a driver, a lot easier. Yet while you may not need to worry about changing gears on a daily basis, you do need to keep an eye on the transmission system, especially if you want to avoid an unwanted and costly failure. Why do you need to pay particular attention to the filtration system within the box itself, and how do you know if something is amiss?
Protecting the System
In order to ensure smooth operation, the automatic transmission system needs to rely on high-quality and well-engineered lubrication. This fluid is designed to work under extreme operating conditions and to provide as much protection as possible to the moving parts within, but it will degrade as time goes by and will eventually need to be replaced.
Issues with the Filter
In the interim, however, a special transmission filter is designed to protect operation and to trap any unwanted contamination before it can cause a problem. However, this filter can become clogged in certain circumstances, and should this happen, tiny flakes of metal, pieces of rubber and other contaminants can build up in the system. In the worst-case scenario, they will accumulate to such an extent that they can begin to burn, leading to fluid degradation and, ultimately, damage.
As you may know, it is relatively easy to change the oil filter attached to an engine, but it is a lot more difficult to change the transmission filter itself. It's typically contained within the engine and in the transmission pan and may be made up of several different parts that will all need to be swapped out.
Replacing the Filter
Once the casing has been detached and all the fluid removed, then the filter itself can be replaced. The filter may be in the form of a metal plate that is lined with individual cuts and filled with a fibrous material. This is meant to trap all those contaminants and keep them out of the fluid before it is recirculated through a pickup tube. Typically, you will need to replace the tube as well as the filter, together with the gasket that provides the tight seal and the rubber O-ring that connects the pickup tube.
If you notice any performance issues associated with the transmission, then you may need to have a close look at your filter as soon as possible. For example, the vehicle may appear to shudder when a new gear is introduced, or you may notice an odd, rattling noise from underneath. In any case, talk with a mechanic as soon as possible so that they can check and potentially replace the filter.
Reach out to an automatic transmission service to learn more.