KEEP TRANSMISSION CLEAN
Although transmission filters are designed to keep the transmission fluid clean, every transmission system will eventually accumulate debris from normal wear and tear inside the gearbox; even ‘lifetime oils’ are not exempt from this problem. It is vital that the transmission fluid is kept clean so that the valve body and other key components do not become clogged, making them inoperable.
COMMON FAULTS AND REPLACEMENT
Whilst the filter keeps contaminants out of the transmission fluid, there are a number of problems that can arise with the filter which reduces its ability to do its job properly. Being aware of the signs to look out for will help in assessing when it is necessary to undertake a repair or replacement.
Contamination of the filter as a result of material wear and dirt ingress can result in clogging of the control unit. If the filter cannot do its job properly, the transmission fluid will reach the point where it is too dirty to perform efficiently and can lead to gear failure.
Rattling can occur due to defects within the transmission system; in this instance fasteners may need tightening or filters and seals may need replacing. Contamination of the filter can also cause noise; if the filter is contaminated, it should be replaced.
Leakage can occur if a transmission filter has not been fitted correctly or there is a defect in the transmission system. This is usually identified when a car has been moved and reveals leakage of fluid on the ground.
FAILURE TO CHANGE GEARS
Inability to change gears easily or not being able to change gears at all could mean that the transmission filter has failed and needs to be replaced. Another common sign is gears grinding or the vehicle surging when gears are changed.
BURNING SMELL OR SMOKE
In extreme cases, a burning smell may occur when the transmission filter has become blocked with particles that it is designed to limit. Smoke can also be emitted from the engine as a result of blocked particles.
By regularly replacing the transmission filter or filter kit, the life span of the transmission system can be extended. It is worth checking the transmission fluid level and filter cleanliness regularly as well as replacing the filter at regular intervals, generally between 5 to 6 years or a mileage of between 40,000 to 60,000 miles.