April 2014 Archives - Transmission Digest
Vacuum Testing ZF6HP21/28/34, Gen. 2

From the TASC Force we reprint a series of in-depth test instructions for checking the serviceability of valve bodies.

Rules to Live By in the Modern Business Climate

If you’re lucky enough to have your own shop or to work for a good business owner you might be able to scrape by on only that, but you might work yourself into an early grave. And, of course, if the job goes away, the money stops. It’s no way to live and no way to teach your children to live.

Anyone can make the leap to this form of entrepreneurship and, subsequently, financial freedom. Sure, you may have to learn new practical skills, but mostly it’s a matter of changing your mindset. Once you break free of “middle-class programming,” half the battle is won.

Here are 15 Universal Laws of Entrepreneurship for you to consider.

Staying Grounded

As a member of our team of technical advisers, I have come across many different scenarios that have been traced to the improper grounding of a component, or case. There are many different symptoms, but all have a common cause and repair: They are all elated to a grounding problem in an electrical circuit of the vehicle. We always think about the importance of source voltage, but the ground side of the circuit is equally important. As automotive design has evolved over time, the electrical integrity of all control circuits is critical for proper function.

The following cases are some real-world examples of customer complaints, symptoms and repairs that were traced to faulty ground circuits.

How Do You Spell Freedom?

How does a transmission-shop owner spell freedom ? T-E-C-H-N-O-L-O-G-Y. I don’t know about you, but I have spent more time in a transmission shop than i would like to admit. In my career, it was not uncommon for me to get to the shop at 7 a.m. and leave anywhere from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. I worked every Saturday until 5:30 p.m. and slept all day Sunday. I worked through my vacations and sometimes did not get a vacation for five years. When I was a professional manager I had to quit to get any down time.

Sound familiar? It does not have to be that way nowadays. Today’s shop owner has a variety of technology at his disposal that enables him to leave the shop and still be in control of his business. You just have to slow down and take the time to find out what is possible.

The New Jatco JF015E: When is a CVT not a CVT?

The CVT (continuously variable transmission) concept has been around forever, but CVTs have been on the road now for decades, in one form or another. Although there are several different models of CVT, they all have one thing in common: basic operation.

Over the years there have been variations in CVTs from vehicle model to model, starting with the original DAF European CVTs, up to the first Jatco CVT, Saturn VT20E, ZF VT1, Ford CFT30 and then on to later-model Jatcos. There are CVTs that use a torque converter and some that don’t. A CVT may have a push belt, while others use a drive chain. Electrical components also vary widely among models. In addition, certain models use a direct-drive pump while others use a chain-driven remote pump. The CFT30 uses a pump with oscillating pistons. A CVT will also have a planetary gear set, primarily for reverse.

Gen 1 Prius Keeps Going, Going

It’s no secret that the Generation 1 Prius is my pick for favorite commuter vehicle. When these cars are properly serviced and running as they should, you just can’t beat them for transportation. They were designed to be the best hybrid vehicle on the market, and there were few cars that could compete with them when they first came out. Toyota put the cars in service in 1997 and had time to work out the bugs and even redesign the high-voltage (HV) battery.

Have You Heard of the Telephone?

The greatest sales tool ever invented is not social media. It’s not LinkedIn. It’s not NLP. It’s not SPIN Selling or some other formal sales process. It’s not Salesforce.com or other CRM software. It’s not the fax machine. It’s not the iPhone. And, it’s certainly not email. Those all are great tools, but they are not the best. No, the greatest sales tool ever invented is the telephone.

The Wild and Wonderful World of Warranty

In the auto-repair industry it is customary to warrant the product we provide to the customer for a period of time and mileage. A warranty is defined as a promise to the customer of a level of performance for the product they are buying to ensure that for a specified period any problems or failure of the product will be repaired or replaced at no expense to the customer. This sounds like a fairly simple issue, but it is anything but in the United States of Litigation.

April 2014 Issue

In This Issue
ZF 8HP rear-wheel-drive eight-speed

Replacement of Battery Causes TCM Damage

A 2003 Volkswagen Passat come into our shop with multiple codes and harsh engagements and was in failsafe mode. The customer said he parked the vehicle and when he started it the next day he noticed the problem. At times the TCM would fail to communicate with the scan tool. When we removed the carpet at the passenger-side floorboard to check the TCM for voltage, we noticed the whole bottom of the floor had about 2 inches of water.