Description: An aluminum case containing a torque converter, an arrangement of planetary gears, clutches & bands, servos, a hydraulic system, solenoids, and a valve body. On front wheel drive cars, the transmission and differential are combined into a single housing called a transaxle.
Purpose: An automatic transmission/transaxle changes the engine’s speed and torque in relation to the speed and torque of the drive wheels. This keeps the engine’s output matched as close as possible to varying road speeds and loads. The torque converter, connected to the transmission/transaxle input shaft, connects, multiplies and interrupts the flow of engine torque into the transmission.
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: Most of today’s automatic transmissions/transaxles do not require any regular adjustments. Check your owner’s manual to see if any adjustments are required. Owner’s manual recommendations on transmission fluid changes vary considerably and may go as high as 100,000 miles or more. For best results, have your car’s transmission fluid and filter changed every two years or 24,000 miles. Fact is, the overwhelming majority of transmission failures are heat-related, and automatic transmission fluid breaks down rapidly when subjected to high temperatures. Driving conditions such as trailer towing, quick stops and starts, ascending and descending mountains, and wheel-spinning in slippery conditions are but a few scenarios that can devastate the life of the transmission fluid. Although changing the fluid yourself is not difficult, it’s probably best left to a qualified service technician. This is also a good time to drain the transmission fluid from the torque converter, if possible.