Q: What are the basic automatic transmission’s advantages and disadvantages?
A: Automatic transmission increases the comfort of driving. The absence of necessity of manual gear shifting allows to concentrate on driving. The presence of torque converter in automatic transmission creates more favorable service conditions, both for the engine, and for a running gear, that increases their resource. In case of driver’s errors, the automatic transmissions control system of work prevents occurrence of overloads of the engine and the running gear of the car. The car with automatic transmission is equipped with the system of passive safety, which does not allow to start the engine in positions distinct from “P” and “N”. In addition, it prevents spontaneous movement of the car on parking on a rough platform, since it is possible to take the key out of the ignition lock only in position “P”.
Automatic transmission carries lower efficiency (because of losses in torque converter), that increases the fuel expense. Though it is not always so. Modern automatic transmissions in some modes of movement allow higher profitability achievement in comparison with manual transmissions at the expense of maintenance of optimum turns of the engine, and “intellectual” management of torque converter blocking. The other lack – slightly worse dynamic indicators of dispersal of the car with automatic transmission, than from a manual transmission. The difference is not so great and for the most drivers is insignificant.
It is necessary to notice that an overwhelming number of drivers, who have had an experience with both types of transmissions, irrespectively of prosperity level and driving experience, give unconditional preference to cars with automatic transmission.
Q: What is the difference between “hydraulic” and “electronic” transmission?
A: Transmissions are identical in both cases. The basic difference concerns the control systems. The control system can be divided into three parts: forming signals of transmission condition and bodies of its management, analyzing and executing. In case of “hydraulic” transmission, working capacity of all these three parts is provided with hydraulics by formatting the corresponding pressure. In addition, in “electronic” transmissions case all signals (entrance and target) are formed in an electric way, and only at the end of the operating chain, the hydraulics are used. Besides, for the analysis of the arriving information and decision-making the computer is used. It allows to make transmissions control system more flexible, providing the operating modes inaccessible to the hydraulic control system.
Q: What is an adaptive automatic transmission?
A: This term concerns more a control system than a transmission. The “electronic” transmissions development has led to occurrence of adaptive transmission. Developed algorithms of management are becoming more and more intellectual, which leads occurrences of new quality transmissions, from the mechanical point of view. The onboard computer watches the driver’s manner to operate the vehicle by adapting to it. Besides, an algorithm of work of such computer, the deterioration account is put in transmissions frictional elements of management. All this results not only in increase of comfort of a trip by the car, but also in increase of its resource and profitability.
Q: Whether it is necessary to shift the gear to “N” at a stop at the traffic light?
A: It would make sense only at long stops, such as high traffic in a hot weather conditions, in order to decrease thermal emission and to prevent overheating of oil in a transmission. In all other cases it is not recommended.
Q: What should you know before buying a pre-owned vehicle?
A: At the purchase of the car with an automatic transmission, the oil should not have a dark brown shade or a burnt smell. Take the dipstick and immerse into the transmissions oil (if applicable), drip a small amount on a white paper napkin, make sure that the oil is easily absorbed and there are no extraneous inclusions. If it is a faulty transmission sometimes at the careful analysis of the oil drop, it is possible to distinguish small black parts, which are not a good sign and can indicate malfunctions. Frequently, it is possible to see a black touch on a dipstick. In this case, it is necessary to wipe it well and to repeat the analysis of oil condition. If the touch has not reappeared, that means that the dipstick has not been used for a long time. It is also recommended to look in the engine's cooling system and to make sure that antifreeze is transparent and does not contain water –oil emulsion. Keep in mind that it is possible to see antifreeze of red color, at first sight reminding automatic transmission's oil.
Q: Whether it is necessary to warm up the transmission before a start of motion?
A: First, after a start of motion, it is recommended to avoid dynamic driving while the oil in all transmission units has not gotten to a working temperature and only in a cold season it is recommended to warm up the transmission, prior to movement of the vehicle.
Q: When to service the transmission?
A: Transmissions service is reduced to the control of oil together with the filter and its timely replacement. Timely replacements, at the operation in the city conditions, on the average should be every 15,000 miles. The design feature of an automatic transmission is that it is impossible to fully replace the oil without the transmissions dismantling, so it means that at the next service only a big part of it will be replaced. We recommend servicing your transmission by professional technicians.
If you have bought a pre-owned vehicle, do not hasten to change the oil in the transmission; whenever possible try to find out when was the last transmissions service. There are three options: to leave the old oil and to continue maintaining the car, and lastly, to take it to the repair shop.
Note! Many manufacturers use high mileage oil. Please read your vehicles owner's manual or consult the professionals.
Q: Is it necessary to stop completely while shifting from gear “D” to “R”?
A: Yes. By fully stopping the vehicle, while shifting gears from “D” to “R” or opposite, will remove all the damaging stress from the drive train. This will significantly extend your vehicle’s transmission life.