Transmissions and Drivetrains

Transmission and drivetrains refer to a group of components found in a motor vehicle that produces power. The transmission usually comes with multiple gears and has the capacity of switching between them as speed of the vehicle changes.

8,723 Questions
Cars & Vehicles
Transmissions and Drivetrains
Transmission Fluid

Can having rims on a car damage your transmission?

Assuming that you are referring to over sized rims, unless the wheels weight is way too much the rims will not affect the transmission. However the overall diameter of the tire may cause transmission troubles. the rolling circumference (distance per revolution) of your original tires are used to calculate, along with gear ratios of the axles and transmission, your shift pattern as well as your fuel economy based on the federal standards. So check your tires factory diameter compared to the aftermarket diameter. If it is more than 2/10th of an inch. then buy lower profile tires.

Transmissions and Drivetrains

What should the overdrive be used for?

I would like to add that if you drive in the 40 to 50 mph range, don't use overdrive. The transmission will shift back and forth too much eventually causing problems with the transmission and drive train. If you have a shift indicator that has both the letters D and 3, use 3 in this type of speed range. D usually indicates a higher or highway gear setting. When cruising on a 4 lane highway, the transmission does not have to shift very often.

Auto Parts and Repairs
Transmissions and Drivetrains

What is a kickback cable?

What vehicle?

(It is possible that if the transmission is conventionally controlled that there is a cable that connects throttle body to tranny and aids tranny to downshift under heavy acceleration.)

Transmissions and Drivetrains

Can you put motorcycle in neutral without starting?

Yes, mine will, 2001 HD XLH883

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Transmission Fluid
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

When does transmission go out?

All car manufacturers provide a detail information regarding the use/Drive and servicing of a car this contain the automatic or manual Transmission too. If you have driven your car in between 12000 to 15000 miles then its important to have a service. This consist of changing the fluid, filter, and servicing of other parts as well. Other wise the Transmission will definitely stop responding as your instructions.

Transmissions and Drivetrains

Does constant downshifting when accelerating from a stop and downshifting to a stop harm an automatic-transmission over time?

Depending on what shape or how old the shift console is, it can eventually affect it yes. If it has an automatic transmission, why not just brake and at most just put the shift in neutral? That's a lot easier on the transmission than trying to use the 3,2, or 1 setting that's virtually never used.

Well, i dont know for 100% sure... but my friend had a newer Ford Probe GT and he used the auto as a stick shift and his transmission went out at 50,000 miles.. the shop told him it was for that reason..

Its an automatic transmission not a manual. why would you want to put increased wear on it when you could just step on your brakes. Its a whole lot cheaper to replace a set of brake pads then a transmission.

yes, it will make the transmission wear out, and start going out, after awhile youll notice more of a kick when the car shifts, and when the car heats up it wont want to go it will just rev up, same thing happend to me because i was stupid with the car

Auto Parts and Repairs
Transmissions and Drivetrains
Ford Ranger
Late Model 1979-New Ford Mustangs

Can you change a manual transmission to automatic and about how much does it usually cost?

Not knowing the make or the model it is impossible to guess. Generally you would have to change the radiator, run the transmission lines and change out flywheel and possibly driveshaft.

With older cars (early hydramatics, for example), you do not have to change the radiator and there ae no transmission lines, but in addition to changing the flywheel and driveshaft, you also have to add the linkage to the carburetor.

You might need to change the ECM (computer) and you may be able to put in an oil cooler instead of changing the radiator.

Another way to go would be to contact your local automotive junk yard and purchase a wrecked vehicle that is the same as yours except automatic. The vehicle would need to be damaged in a way that doesn't effect the parts you are interested in. You would then have everything needed to swap over including peddle assembly, steering column or console, linkages, wiring, switches, crossmember, flywheel, driveshaft, correct speedometer gears, cooling lines, radiator and so on.

Cars & Vehicles
Transmissions and Drivetrains
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

Why is the automatic transmission stuck in drive and the shifter just moves freely on a 1997 Chevy Cavalier?

It sounds like the transmission shifter linkage is disconnected.

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Transmission Fluid

What does a transmission dipstick look like?

it looks like a motor oil dip stick. but where you put it in is a bigger circle than the motor oil, it is most likely to be seen in the back of the motor towards the firewall

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Chevy Corvette
Chevy 350

What rtv do you use on a transmission gasket?

No sealants are necessary. Worst case scenario, you would use hi-temp.

Mopar (Chrysler dealer parts departments ) stock a RTV made especially for transmission pan sealing. It is used alone ( no gasket ) on certain Chrysler transmissions. FWD in cars and vans mainly.

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Dodge Ram
Ford F-150

What would cause a car to remain stuck in park?

Car Stuck in Park

Check Stop lights--if they are not working vehicle will not shift out of "park" check fuse Here are opinions and answers from FAQ Farmers:

  • Check under the shifting mechanism for loose change or other small items that might have gotten stuck between the gears and baseplate. Fixing this only costs time.
  • You may have a safety switch where you have to press the brake it may have gone bad or your ignition switch also has a safety interlock that could have gone bad.
  • Have you ever wondered why you had so much trouble shifting out of PARK on a steep grade? An automatic transmission, when in PARK position, locks the driving wheels. On a steep grade you'll need more than normal pressure to move the shift lever. This is because the transmission's parking pawl resists the vehicle's tendency to roll.
  • The last answer was cut from Parts and I have to add I am looking for more than this answer since until the transmission rebuild two months ago this van has never had a problem on the slight slope of my driveway. I had to push her up the drive way a bit to get the parking paul off the lock. The pawl wears and I have to ask my tranny guy if he replaced those pawls or not. How many thousands of miles does the tranny have - mine has 120,000.
  • Your pawl probably got a groove cut into it because if you don't use your parking brake, hence the name, when parking on ANY incline you put pressure on it and bit by bit wear down the metal.
  • The reason your car would be stuck in park is because you did not use the parking brake. The purpose of a parking brake is to hold the vehicle, many use the transmission to hold the vehicle but then it will evntually result in spending 2,000 dollars on a new transmission. A transmission is made to shift gears, not to hold a vehicle. That's why they call the parking brake, the PARKING brake. Park or P on the gearshift selector means just plain park it is to show that's where you put it when you stop your vehicle and turn it off. If it were to hold the vehicle I would imagine it would say park brake. The way I apply the parking brake is I stop then before putting it in park I FIRMLY apply the parking brake, then put it in park. You need to push it down hard or else it is pointless to use it.
  • Don't forget to let off the foot brake before putting the transmission into park. My steps: 1) Stop vehicle; 2) Firmly set Parking Brake; 3) Put transmission in Neutral; 4) Let off foot brakes (slowly, to make sure Parking Brake is holding); and 5) Put transmission into park. This puts literally no strain on the transmission.
  • My car recently stuck in park, and it turned out all that was wrong was the top of the shifter where you press the button was a little loose. All i had to do to fix it was take off the top of the shifter with the button, and re-fit it on tighter and better, then it worked perfectly fine. (it was an automatic, i don't think you'll have this problem with a stick shift)
  • Here is a site that will help clear things up: (You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the inforomation.) It is roughly page three that covers the "shift lock release button" and the shift solenoid. If your vehicle is equipped with a "release" or "overide" button then it is almost certain the problem is with the shift lock solenoid. A failing solenoid can be affected by temperature variations. I hope this will help all that reads; it helped me.
  • My car (Ford Taurus 2000) recently got stuck in parking position (not on a steep hill). I called a technician to give me a tip to take it out. He told me to put the keys in the ignition, turn it HALF WAY so that the lights are not on, motor not running, THEN put the shift to neutral and THEN start the car. It worked and saved my day. I will have the car checked but you can try this in case of emergency I guess.
  • The shift's not getting out of park position may be related to the brake signal. If you have such a problem check if your brake light is working too. It might also be out of order.

I simply needed to replace a fuse. I drive a Ford Explorer and had to change fuse listed as "Reverse Park Aid/Shift Change Interlock/IVD Switch".

* This happened to me (1995 Tbrd) last night (24 oct 2008), in an empty parking lot. I was "lucky" to have some tools on board so I took off the shifter handle, took apart the console and found where a cable attaches to a locking mechanism that prevents the shifter from moving. The cable would not travel so I disconnected it. Problem resolved (temporairily). I guess that cable goes to the brake and/or ignition switch.

To do this you need some screw drivers, small socket (didn't notice the size, about 5/16) and needle nose pliers.

I'd never done this before so it took me about an hour to figure out, but at least I got home. I wonder if a 5 minute fuse change would have fixed it???

- The same thing happened to my current car, 99 volkswagen golf..if this is the same model you have, contact Volkswagen. I was told that it was a recall on a safety switch located in the vehicle and to bring it into any dealership and they will fix the problem for free.

if you didn't start the car

if you didn't apply the brake pedal

Or, the shifter assembly has failed.

Cars & Vehicles
Transmissions and Drivetrains
Ford Explorer XLT

When should you use first and second gears in an automatic transmission car?

Gears 1 and 2First and second gear selection in an automatic transmission vehicle do basically what they would do in a manual transmission vehicle. In some (usually older) vehicles, the shifter will manually actuate the transmission valve body, meaning you are manually selecting whichever gear you choose. In newer cars, you are merely telling the car what you would *like* it to do, and transmission computer will override this selection if you try to overspeed the engine.

Shifting *down* to second gear can help use the engine to slow the vehicle on long downgrades, but should not be used when going too fast already (check owner's manual for specific speed). Shifting *up* to second gear from a stop will usually cause the transmission to start accelerating in second gear. This will mean acceleration is greatly reduced, but will sometimes help with traction in slippery conditions, as there will be less torque going to the wheels.

Here is some other advice:

  • When you are stuck or going down STEEP grades. Read the owners manual. (From another FAQ Farmer: this is a great answer however it should be noted that you almost never downshift wile moving over 3or4 mph.also low gears are for going very slow,pulling trailers,and going UP steep grades too. they work great when racing on very curvy roads or short tracks (not drag racing)...I have lived in snow country all my life and in my experience L1 tends to send too much torque to the drive wheels causing them to spin, so it's best to use drive or second.)
  • I don't know where you live and the climate there, but here in Chicago, I usually use these gears in the winter. When the transmission is in 'DRIVE', the tires tend to skid a lot, using '1' and '2' gears, the transmission acts as if you use the 1st gear on a manual transmission, giving you more traction and less skidding; same thing in muddy roads.
  • You also use the lower gears when towing. also, if you put it in 1, you can floor it until it almost redlines, then bump into 2, and wait till it revs way up there, then knock it into the next gear. its almost like a manual transmission effect.
  • If you put it in 1, you can floor it until it almost redlines, then bump into 2, and wait till it revs way up there, then knock it into the next gear. its almost like a manual transmission effect. I would not recommend doing this unless you want to cause costly damage to your transmission.
  • Shifting auto transmissions is not a good thing, either you hold one gear, shift only up gears, or just keep it in drive. On most 1996 and newer transmissions they upshift all gears when brought to a higher rpm, the computer overrides shift function so the engine wont blow up, regardless whether the shifter is in first gear it will still shift!
  • First and second gear (1 & 2) are for when you need more power at the rear wheels.( in rear wheel drive cars) such as wen your pulling a trailer or want to do a good burnout. In the winter and other slick conditions you want to stay in drive, and when you come to a stop, shift your vehicle into Neutral as this keeps the wheels from pushing you through the intersection.
  • When should you use them? Well, when you're at a stop light or before you accelerate, first turn OD off (if your's is 4spd). If 3spd, first, you flick the gear selector (if yours is floor mounted) to "1". Then you accelerate and max the RPM's to peak horsepower (up to like 40+ MPH). After you max them, move the selector to 2. Max the RPM's again to peak horsepower (like up to 70MPH). Then move it up to "D", or 3rd gear. After that, you can go to 4th gear (if you have a 4spd) by turning on OD or shifting selector to OD selection.
  • The 3, 2, and 1 positions can be used to stop a car if the brakes have failed. Shift progressively from D to 3, then 2 (under 40 mph), and then 1 (under 25 mph). Then steer uphill and out of traffic, and shift to P the instant the car actually stops.
Auto Parts and Repairs
Car Shaking Problems
Transmissions and Drivetrains

How much force is needed to stop a truck?

The answer is: any force equal to or greater than the forward momentum of the truck. So many variables enter into calculating a precise measurement of force needed to stop a vehicle - mass of the vehicle, conditions of friction and gravity - is the truck going uphill or downhill, or on a flat surface? Is the road slippery, smooth or rough?

Let's assume that normal conditions apply: a truck weighing 10,000 Kg traveling at an acceleration rate of 5m/s² along a flat smooth surface. Using Newton's second Law of Motion, expressed as a formula F=ma, where F is the Net Force (the sum of all forces acting on an object) in Newtons, m is the mass of the truck, and a is its acceleration rate, assumed here to be 5m/s². By multiplying the mass times acceleration, we see that a whopping 50,000 Newtons would be required to stop this truck. By comparison, the pull of gravity on a person of average weight (72 Kg, or 160 lb) is measured at 686 Newtons. So depending on the type of truck, weather conditions, wind speed, direction of the truck, and effect of gravity and friction (all included in net force, or Newtons) you can see that the actual Force, expressed as N, is a variable.

Transmissions and Drivetrains

Should you use a high gear or low gear when traction is poor?

In motor-driven vehicles it's often best to use a high gear, as it reduces the likelihood of the wheels spinning loose.

For a bicycle it's often better to use a low gear, as it makes it easier for the rider to control the power.

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Clutches and Flywheels

What material is in a centrifugal clutch?

stuff called babbit. The same stuff that your brake pads are made of. also known as asbestos really danger for your health

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Transmission Fluid

Where do you check transmission fluid on 2005 equinox?

remove a12mm bolt that holds down the yellow dip stick it is behind the front motor mount it is hard to see. reach it from the top

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Chevy Tahoe

Why does a 1999 Chevy Tahoe transmission kicks in and out of overdrive not throwing a code?

If it has a 4L60E then you need a new transmission control solenoid inside the transmission. If you have the 4L80E then you need to find and change the transmission control module

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Chevy Silverado
Timing Belts and Chains
Honda Civic EX

Why would your timing chain keep jumping?

that's a tough one.

it sounds to me like your woodriff key is loose, broken or missing.

cam and crank gear keeper bolts

could be coming loose or stripped.

may even be a bad cam shaft bearing.

or a crank shaft bearing.

oh. chain could be wrong size as well.

valve springs to stiff/not worn in maybe? they could be causing the cam to bind a little so the crank's compression is just yanking on the chain causing it to jump.


I'm sorry, you need to specify more info.. like, How do you know its the timing chain or belt (did not specify engine type) etc..

It won't jump time! (but once) Then it quites and most likely wipes out some valves in the process. Makes no difference if it is a overhead cam with a timing belt or an in block camshaft driven by gears or a timing chain set. Once it jumps time that's it until it' repaired. The cam and crank are either in time or they aren't. I resently repaired a 5.0L Ford (302 V-8) that had a problem like this and it turned out to be the distributor. The rotor drive flang on top of the distributor drive shaft that is timed to that camshaft and holds the "rotor button" had a broken weld and it would "skip" around the shaft on start ups and get to a point of out of time where it would not start or quite when being driven on the road. You could re-time the distributor and it would start and run fine for a short while then do it again. I finally took the cap back off and took hold of the rotor drive flang, minus the rotor button, with a large pair of "water pump" slip joint pliers and found I could rotate the rotor drive flang of the distributor shaft back and forth. Not " a good thing", at all! A reman'ed distributor from the Zone repaired it and she runs like a top. This sound more like the problem your asking about. There is not much probibility, AT ALL, your timing chain is actually "jumping" time. If it were to it would just quite and not crank again.

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Oxygen Sensors
Chevy Silverado
Ford Ranger XLT

Are there any sensors for your 4 wheel drive on the tranny that stop it from engaging?

It all depends on the year, and make of the vehicle, anything 1995 or newer can be reset by simply disconnecting the battery for about 15 minutes, if that does not work on chevys there is an inexpensive sensor that can be replaced located behind the kick panel of the passenger side. But I don't know of a universal fix all.

What kind of vehicle do you have, motor size etc.

It does depend on the vehicle but I am having the same problem with my '92 chev K1500 and have been told that there is a switch on the transfer case that activates an actuator on the front differential it may be one of those things or both

If it is an older style truck it is probably the cylanoid. that's what mine was anyways

Auto Parts and Repairs
Transmissions and Drivetrains
Ford Explorer Limited
Ford Explorer XLT

Is leaking oil a sign of a bad transmission?

Not using the dipsticks for the oil and transmission, while seeing leaks are a sign... Check your fuids and keep them clean and full or you will cause damage to whatever componenet relies on their respective fluids. Answer leaking oil is NOT sign of a bad transmission, its a sign of a bad/worn seal(s) or hose(s). more likely a sign of a worn seal or oil pan gasket. Actually it's a sign of money that will go out of you pocket, the more you can see, the more you have to pay. If you don't fix it, you may have to pay for the aggregates, eg transmission parts instead of paying for a small rubber seal.

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Transmission Fluid
Chevy Silverado

Should you use the D4 or D3 gear on an auto transmission?

Auto transmissionsUse D4 or D with a circle around it (indicating OD for overdrive) almost all the time for best economy and lowest engine wear. There are two exceptions to this. When you are going up a long hill or hauling a heavy load and the transmission keeps shifting in and out of overdrive, it is easier on the vehicle to manually shift it to D3. Also, D3 can be used to slightly slow the vehicle when going downhill - this is called engine braking. Do not forget to shift back into D4 when you are past the hill.

D3 always when driving around town after say 55 cruising you should then release the gas slightly and shift to D4 (OD) but don't forget to shift on the highway the extra rpm of running in D3 at higher speeds will burn more gas cause faster engine wear, and also could cause engine to over heat. just a simple answer to your problem.

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Honda Civic
Honda Civic LX
Chevy Camaro Z28

Would it be worth it to change an automatic to a manual in a 1999 Honda Civic and how much would it cost?

no it would no be worth the cost to change you would need to install a clutch pedal a hyd master cylinder and slave cylinder for the clutch as well as change the fly wheel on the motor and possibly the starter as well install a shifter and linkage it would run into about 1500 dollars or more to do this conversion. most people go from standard to automatic it is a little less things that get changed but on a front wheel drive it would be very costly.

AnswerSaying that it isn't worth it is a very inappropriate answer. You have to weigh what you want from the vehicle against the costs. Yes, it will run him probably $800-$1500 or less, but if you choose to have a highly performance tuned engine, then having a manual transmission for both it's increased strength and control of the vehicle might be considered "worth it". AnswerIt would be more cost effective to sell your auto and buy a manual. Answerno Honda "performance" engine is going to be in an automatic car to begin with. Sell the car and buy a manual tranny car and be happy. AnswerIt depends on how customized the car is. If the guy's put a lot of time and money into fixing the car up and he's generally happy with it (except for the transmission), then yeah, changing out the trans wouldn't be unreasonable. If the car's white with stock interior, definitely just trade it in on one with a manual. Besides, if he tries selling the car and it is really Fast and Furious, the people who want a car like that are gonna take one look and think the same thing the poster is: "what's this automatic ****?"

The procedure's simple to understand: buy a wrecked car, park it next to yours and transfer everything under the hood, plus the pedals, shifter, computer and (probably) console, from the wreck to your car. Figure two to three months if you've got plenty of tools.


It is worth it imo i did it on my 03 civic ex and cost my 400 dollars to do it and i installed everything myself. but if you don't like the auto go on civic forums and find used parts that's the best way to go. U can always find good deals on parts.

Transmissions and Drivetrains

Can you change an automatic transmission to a manual?

Yes and no. As far as i know, it is impossible to change the transmission itself but it is possible in most cases to change an auto tranny car to a manual. It will take some work and it is a costly change to do, but it can be done. The real question is "is it worth it".

On the one hand, you would be better off just buying a new car for the type of prices charged to do that. On the other hand if you want to do it yourself, read on.

It is kind of a pain to have to install the clutch pedal and linkage, but basically it is a bolt on for the tranny and clutch, and you need new drive shafts because they will be too long with the new transmission in there. Note that you may also have to change the flywheel because the manual and automatic versions are in many cases different!

Remember that if you go through with it you may need to upgrade the bell housing and change out the driveshaft as well as modify or replace the vehicle's computer. It is pretty easy to do as long as you can find the same bellhousing patterns. If you are looking at a Chevy it is actually very simple -- the only problem is changing safety switches for park and neutral starts and changing the steering column out. You don't necessarily have to change it but it saves some headaches with the electronics end of it.

I'm going to do it to my 92 Ford Ranger in the spring. I once did it on a Datsun B210, taking advantage that I had to remove the auto trans to service an axle oil retaining ring.

Transmissions and Drivetrains

What does hydromatic compounds mean?

You must be referring to an "aromatic" compound which is a hydrocarbon molecule with a ring structure. If you really do mean "hydromatic", then that refers to a GM automatic transmission.

Transmissions and Drivetrains
Check Engine Light
OBD Diagnostic Codes

What is OBD code P0700?

P0700 is EATX code present.

It simply means that the engine computer has noticed that the transmission computer has a dtc in it. This causes the Pcm (engine computer) to turn the check engine light on. You will need to have the TCM (trans computer) checked for codes to know what to diagnose.
General automatic transmission fault. It could be a sticky internal sensor. A transmission shop could read the actual fault from the transmission.


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