Servicing of the automatic transmission is an important function which is often overlooked. The importance of regular servicing of the automatic transmission is due to high ambient temperatures and inadequate transmission coolers on most vehicles in South Africa. High transmission temperatures cause the viscosity of the transmission oil to break down and the seals and o-rings in the transmission to harden. The transmission oil filters, in most cases, have a Dacron element, which cannot be cleaned and must be replaced. A partially blocked filter affects the oil pressure causing slippage of the clutch friction plates and, eventually transmission failure.
The recommended service period is every 20 000kms.
The torque converter is a sealed unit, which works on the same principle as a turbine, which gives the vehicle the power to accelerate. The torque converter has no effect on the shifting of the transmission, a function which is carried out by the transmission. The torque converter being a sealed unit has to be machined open to determine any internal wear and tear.