January 2014 Archives - Transmission Digest
The Numbers Don’t Jibe

For whatever reason, the tech lines get an inordinate number of calls regarding a few specific issues. That such a high volume of calls is generated by just a few problems leads to the belief that we need to revisit and speak about the lack of understanding by the technician that leads to all this wasted time and phone traffic, as well as failure to get the job right the first time. Let’s start out the year by getting to the nitty-gritty of why certain issues seem to confuse so many people.

Easy Returns = Easy Sales

Just before I popped the top off the ECM unit, I realized that the part number on top did not match the one in the instruction manual for my chip. Rats! The instruction manual specifically pointed out that if the part number does not match for any reason, “DO NOT INSTALL THIS CHIP. YOUR CAR WILL NOT BE HAPPY.”

Theft System Spooked

I recently fixed a neighbor’s car that wasn’t starting due to the theft system not reading the key. I’m sure that some of you are familiar with the method of fooling the security module by bypassing the passkey ignition switch with a resistor. I got a call from him a few days later saying that it messed up again with the same problem. He wanted to know if the resistor went bad.

I took a look at the car and realized that the theft light was staying on, but it wasn’t working normally. It didn’t flash with the door open and it wouldn’t set the security system. It also wouldn’t disarm with the key in either door. I realized that it was a security issue, but not a passkey problem.

Which Way out of Here?

Five survival tools that will help you lead your automotive business through the concrete jungle

Odds are you’ve watched one of television’s many popular survival reality shows. You know the type: A group of people are dropped into the wilderness far from civilization with only the clothes on their backs and perhaps a few other items. Then, it’s up to them to choose a leader to help them survive until they can reach safety or their time limit is up. Along the way, viewers are amazed by the tools they fashion to make survival possible: A fire-starting bow drill made of sticks, a fishing line made of shoelaces and a thorn, a water container made from a cactus or gourd, a frying pan made from a rock, and shelters made from trees, leaves and vines or even snow, just to name a few.

Keeping Customers Happy at the Heat Farm

A manager who worked for me got so wrapped up in the sale that he would say anything to close the sale. Everything would be ready tomorrow at noon with him. No matter what it was or when you asked him, he used the noon delivery time as a crutch to sell and as a stock answer to buy time after the sale. Needless to say, his shop was blown up all the time.

For most of my career, I have walked into shops that are heat farms, where you can cut the tension with a knife – mad customers, owners pointing fingers at the manager, managers pointing fingers at employees, employees pointing their fingers back at management, one ego clashing with another. My goal some days – for real – was to just get out of there without getting beat up by an employee or a customer.

ZF 4HP16 FWD Four-Speed: The obscure ZF transmission

For decades, ZF, the German transmission manufacturer, has been cranking out an array of automatic and manual transmissions, from basic three-speeds to cutting-edge eight- and nine-speed automatics. The company has been first to market with several innovations now used by most OE manufacturers in one form or another. Not all of its development projects, however, have been familiar to the aftermarket repair industry.

Vacuum testing the Aisin AW 60-40LE

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

January 2014 Issue

In This Issue
Vehicles that hang out too long – going bad sitting still
6R140 upshift squawk – the noises that transmissions make
U140/U240: harsh engagement – friction sizes and shapes
Aftermarket hang-ons – and the problems they can cause

Tag, You’re It!

This story is about the grown-up “shop” version of the game. The vehicle in question is a 2005 Ford F-150 4WD with only 49,568 miles. It all started like so many others: It came in with erratic shifts, abnormal noise and metal in the pan. The vehicle also had two transmission codes: P0712 and P0713. Initial diagnosis determined that the unit had internal hard-part damage. A remanufactured replacement transmission was in order.