Ever since Volvo built its first car, they were unique in a quirky kind of way. Volvo cofounder Assar Gabrielsson wrote that he and Gustaf Larson built their cars a bit tougher than other cars because “Swedish steel was good but Swedish roads were bad.” Volvo has made a name for itself by paving its own road ever since. That said, Volvo isn’t immune to problems. One such problem can be the transmission. In this article, we’ll go over why we need a transmission in our cars, what happens when they fail, and how to fix it.
What does a transmission do?
An automobile transmission is required for shifting gears while you accelerate, decelerate, or back up. Volvo offers both manual and automatic transmissions. However, it is more common to have problems with the automatic transmission than with a manual transmission. In a manual transmission, you are more likely to have problems with your clutch plate. That is the device that engages with the transmission.
In its most basic form, a transmission is a series of planetary gears, including the center sun gear, the connected planet gears, and the surrounding exterior ring. At the center, connected to the sun gear, is the input shaft. On the opposite side is the output shaft. The speed in which these turn, is based on the clutch packs and the power they transmit. Even in its most simple form, the transmission is a complicated component in any automobile.
What happens when a transmission fails?
You will likely have some signs that your transmission is failing before it actually fails. When you are driving your car and press on the gas to accelerate, you can usually hear the engine rev up, at which point, the transmission will engage and switch gears. You’ll notice that the engine is no longer revving as high. When the transmission is starting to fail, this is one thing that might change. Your car may not switch gears when it is supposed to switch.
Another indication is that you might see transmission fluid on the ground where your car was parked. Transmission fluid is pink and usually translucent. However, over time the fluid may get cloudy or dark. Having your transmission fluid checked periodically and changed can help keep your transmission working properly. Check your vehicle’s maintenance plan.
If you hear your transmission whining or squealing, it can be another sign that your transmission is going bad. Sometimes it will also make a clunk sound when switching between gears, and that’s definitely a sign of a problem.
If you are driving your Volvo and the transmission goes out while you are on the road, don’t panic. Usually, when your transmission goes out while your car is running, it simply stops accelerating. You will probably be able to coast at the same speed you are already driving. Put your hazard lights on and pull over as soon as possible. Call to have your car towed to Autobahn Automotive in San Antonio, TX. Do not drive it with a bad transmission.
How do you fix a failed transmission?
In most situations, you will need a new transmission if it has failed. It is possible to use a rebuilt transmission, but either way, it’s an incredibly laborious process to replace. We are keeping these instructions very general because, in order to do this, you have to follow instructions that are specific to your car’s model and year. You also need to take all the safety precautions recommended by the factory manual you are using to do this work.
The first thing you need to do is gather the items that will secure the engine mount and transmission, then loosen the bolts from above. Ideally, you can put the car on a lift so that you can work under the car safely. If you don’t have a lift, we recommend that you take your vehicle to a shop to have this work done. While you might be able to jack the car up high enough to work under it, it is incredibly dangerous to use a jack. Once you have the car on the lift, protect the car parts that you are removing from falling, and protect the mounts so they aren’t damaged. You’ll need them for the new transmission. Be sure to label everything as you take it apart because you will need to put back together in exactly the reverse order that you took it apart. Follow the instructions for your model.
Autobahn Automotive Can Fix Your Transmission For You
Your Volvo is a precision-made automobile that requires specialized parts and service. At Autobahn Automotive, we specialize in European Automobiles. We have been in business for over 40 years, serving San Antonio, Longhorn, and surrounding communities. Our expert technicians have over 139 years of combined service and are ASE certified. We are located in San Antonio and would love to have you stop by or contact us with any of your automobile questions.