April 2016 Archives - Transmission Digest
Chew on This: Curious Tech Sinks His Teeth into a Start-Stop Problem with a Prius Hybrid

I repaired the ground circuits and tested the coils. They were now all firing. I put the plugs and coils back in and cranked it again. Watching the energy monitor on the dash, I could see that the engine was cranking but not starting. This was disappointing since I thought I did well finding the ground-wire issue. The strange part about this car is that the gas engine cranks at 1,200-plus rpms and keeps cranking until it starts, sets a no-start code or you turn off the key. The coil codes were gone, but now I got a P3191 no-start code. I managed to catch some interesting crank no-start data that illustrates pretty well what I mean when I say you can’t tell the difference between cranking and starting on these cars.

Why Your Customers Aren’t Buying What You’re Selling

The language you use while making a sale is critical. If what you are presenting comes across as being a negative, your customer is going to look elsewhere. Most businesses are not buying used DVDs, but it’s the same basic principle no matter what you are selling.

Beyond the Pressure Regulator: Keeping Cool While Investigating Mystery Honda Overheat

Most transmission technicians are aware of the notorious loss of proper converter feed that plagues various Honda transaxles. For those who are less familiar, converter charge oil is cut because there is not enough pump output to keep the pressure regulator valve in the regulating position, allowing the TCC to drag and eventually disintegrating the lining. Many technicians have already learned the importance of installing a modified pressure regulator valve during overhaul that ensures converter charge pressure is available at all times, regardless of pressure regulator valve position.

Time Saved Is Money Earned

The single most critical issue facing a technician today is making a proper diagnosis of the customer’s complaint. A faulty or incomplete diagnosis of the problem creates an event that wastes an enormous amount of money through lost time. Comebacks are always costly due to repairing a problem again with no cash payment at the conclusion and “lost opportunity costs” which arrive from working on a no-profit problem while being unable to perform a paying job. I am not speaking about comebacks, but rather missed or incomplete diagnosis from the beginning of the repair resulting in hours of labor wasted (money) working on the wrong part of the car. Before computer-controlled vehicles, there were mechanical and hydraulic problems to concern us.

When TCM gets cold feet

A couple months ago we had a customer contact us about a problem that he was having with his 2000 Nissan Frontier 4wd Pickup. While he had some trouble explaining the exact symptoms that were occurring, we understood that the problem only seemed to happen when it was driven first thing in the morning, and that in simple terms, “it just didn’t want to go.” We arranged an appointment for him to drop off the vehicle with us so we could perform our initial diagnosis and evaluation after the vehicle sat outside overnight.

How Expenses Can Sneak Up on You and What You Can Do about It

Anyone who has been in the transmission or auto-repair business for a while has experienced this: You come to one of those rare points in time when you think you’ve purchased all the equipment you need, all of your major bills are paid, your debts are all manageable, and you start to feel like you can finally take some of the profits out of the company that you worked so hard to make. Then you wake up. It was a nice dream, wasn’t it? The reality is that there is always something more to purchase or a new or increased expense with which to contend. There’s always a new tool or machine that you yourself or someone else convinces you that you just can’t live without, while at the same time every utility and government agency is working as hard as it can to get you, the small-business person, to pay more.

April 2016 Issue

In This Issue
Mercedes GLK growling noise
Porsche Transmission Converter Seal Leak
Subaru AWD Transmission Variations

Hyundai 5-Speed Transmission Variations (No longer a Mitsubishi clone)

For a lot of years Hyundai, in order to avoid development cost, utilized Mitsubishi for their automatic-transmission needs. All that changed in the early ’90s when Hyundai decided to get into the research and development end of the business by releasing their version of the old Mitsubishi KM series of automatic transmissions. The Hyundai A4A/A4B series of transmissions was launched in 1993, which did have some noticeable differences from Mitsubishi, especially in 2000 when the F3 model was released utilizing six solenoids. Even the case configuration was different from Mitsubishi.