Commercial vehicles often have different forms of transmission than cars and trucks do.

What’s so special about truck transmissions?

You may think that all transmissions are alike in cars and trucks, but that's wrong. Beyond the use of automatic and manual transmissions, cars and light trucks often have a different set of transmissions than what you find in motor homes, delivery vans and other commercial vehicles. With different sizes and a wide array of gears, most trucks are a little more complex to handle than the average vehicle. So it may seem like you need to go some place different to get your transmission repaired. However, the professionals at Mr. Transmission want you to know that your vehicles are welcome here.

The main difference between transmissions in commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles is size. While some motor homes may have lesser gears, the size is still pretty larger. Many trucks and motor homes, however, use a larger number of gears than cars and light trucks usually possess. Sometimes, they'll have up to nine gears to shift between. This is especially the case with box trucks, which are considered a step below semis. This is because they have larger engines that are capable of carrying significant loads of cargo and thus need extra power to drive.

More importantly, though, many trucks have a slightly different form of manual transmission, called an unsynchronized manual transmission. This means it lacks a part called a synchronizer that allows the gears to latch when shifting with the clutch. With this type of transmission, however, it means that not only does the driver have to shift gears, but he or she also has to manually get the transmission to match the speed of the gear to latch on properly. This requires a technique called double-clutching, which requires moving the clutch to neutral every time you switch a gear. Recently, more commercial trucks are using automatic transmissions, but many trucking businesses still require learning to drive in manual.

For more information on truck transmissions, visit the Mr. Transmission website!

If your drive shaft is looking like this, it might be time to visit a Mr. Transmission.

Dealing with drive shaft vibrations

The drive shaft is a critical part of the vehicle and any damage it sees should be looked at by a professional. As the source of torque from the engine to the wheels, the shaft makes it possible for the vehicle to move forward. However, what makes drive shaft problems unique is that they are mostly consistent. All of them usually involve some form of vibration, usually at a specific speed. These vibrations vary in different ways, depending on what's actually broken. The professionals at Mr. Transmission want to ensure that you're driving safely, so here are some tips on how to tell what type of vibrations affect the drive shaft.

Slowing down
If you're experiencing any sort of vibrations while driving, the first thing you want to examine is the mounts of the motor and the transmission. If either of those parts is broken, that can be the source of the vibration and not the drive shaft. Head to an auto repair shop and get it replaced.

The most common forms of vibration occur at low speeds, usually under 30 mph. Sometimes they can be felt while shifting gears. When vibrations occur, three problems usually appear out of this. The first is the phasing of the single-cardan or u-joints. This problem concerns the orientation of the two joints located on each end of the drive shaft. On a normal car, the joints should be oriented in the same exact position on either end, so as to cancel out any variations in speed. Phasing changes the orientation on the front end, creating a so-called torsional vibration where the wheel is changing speed, either to slow down or speed up, twice per revolution.

That can mean that, when running at 1,000 RPM, the wheels will be making 2,000 speed changes per minute, creating vibrations that don't cancel out. When that happens, the shaft is slowly bending and twisting apart and will eventually break apart. Heading to your nearest Mr. Transmission can alleviate this problem, where experts can reorient the shaft.

Out of line
The second problem is angle alignment. As a general rule, the drive shaft joints should be in a line that varies only 1 to 3 degrees from the ground. If they aren't, more vibrations will be felt, especially at low speeds, during acceleration or under a significant load. If this is the case, the drive shaft won't last very long. Heading to a repair shop will enable you to get the drive shaft at the right variation.

The final problem concerns vibrations felt at high speeds, particularly above 60 mph. The reason these vibrations occur has to do with the weight balance in the drive shaft. Its center of mass, made through welding weights inside the tube, is thrown off because the part got dented by debris or bent out of shape. Sometimes confused for a suspension problem, this form of vibration is most often seen in all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles where center of mass is more critical. Because of the likely shape of the shaft, it's best to head to a Mr. Transmission right away to get the part replaced before it causes other problems.

For more information on auto repair, visit the Mr. Transmission website!

You want to make sure your car is in good shape so that your road trip is a success during the Labor Day weekend.

Tips for a successful Labor Day road trip

The upcoming Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year for driving. According to AAA, nearly 35 million people will be driving more than 50 miles on the road this weekend, the highest it has been since the Great Recession began in 2008. For about 86 percent of those drivers, it will be their last road trip of the year, taking a final journey on the road before the school year starts for a great number of children and young people. With this in mind, Mr. Transmission would like to remind you of some tips to ensure that your travels are safe, and your car can endure the long distance.

Undergo a routine check
If you're going out on a long-distance trip, you want to make sure that everything is functioning properly. You don't want to end up breaking down in the middle of nowhere because your coolant is leaking, after all. There are many ways to ensure your car is in top shape for the trip, and one of them is to visit an auto repair franchise such as Mr. Transmission, where professional mechanics can look through everything, including the parts you may have trouble inspecting. The things they should be looking at are the suspension, the steering gear, the A/C unit, and the transmission. You may even need to have your transmission fluid flushed, so that it doesn't bake in the sun and get cooked by the engine. Among the things you can check yourself are the oil, the wiper blades and fluids and the coolant levels.

Keep your tires well-inflated
The Labor Day weekend is the last real weekend of the summer, so the weather will likely be between warm and hot. That can have a great impact on your tires. Too much air, and the expanding air caused by the hotter temperatures, will cause the tire to pop. If there's too little air, the tire will rip apart in a blowout by stretching beyond its intended limits. A blowout could cause a great hindrance on your trip at best, an accident at worst. It's a good idea to check the tires' air pressure during a routine drive. From there, inflate the tires until they're at the optimal, not maximum, level. It will save you a lot of trouble throughout the trip.

Have a back-up repair plan
Of course, even with the best preparation, something can go wrong. You suffer a breakdown of some kind in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest gas station or repair station being dozens if not hundreds of miles away. As a consequence, you want to make sure you have something in place to ensure that being stuck isn't too much of a hassle. Having a basic repair kit that includes screwdrivers, duct tape, vice grips and a flashlight, can be a great start. A roadside rescue service can also be a useful help, so that when things go really awry, you'll have access to a tow service that will at least get you somewhere safe.

Avoid traffic as much as possible
Steering clear of all traffic can be a tricky business, especially during the holiday weekend. However, stop-and-go traffic can really affect your car's performance, and can do things such as wear down the brakes over time. Long traffic jams will make that worse. So it's a good idea to do what you can to avoid all congestion if possible. Plan your trip so that you avoid major areas of congestion during rush hour, or before traffic really starts rolling in. When possible, take some back roads or scenic routes to your destination. In doing these basic steps, you can not only help your vehicle, but can likely get to where you're going faster.

For more car care tips, visit the Mr. Transmission website!

A healthy transmission will look like this. It won't if it's leaking or has a broken gear.

4 common transmission problems

Your transmission is an incredibly important component of your car. When the transmission breaks down your car won't be able to drive effectively, if at all, as the transmission enables the application of power from the engine to the wheels. To minimize the danger to yourself and keep the repair bill on the low side, pay attention to the sounds your vehicle makes as you drive. We here at Mr. Transmission believe your car safety is important, and can explain some common transmission problems that can occur while driving, as well as what should be done about it:

  • Transmission fluid leakage
    The most common and obvious problem involving transmissions is the leaking of transmission fluid. When working properly, transmission fluid serves as a lubricant and a cleaner, and doubles as a hydraulic fluid. If it gets too low, the vehicle will stop moving. Automatic transmission fluid essentially functions as the catalyst for the entire drivetrain, and thus its leakage is dangerous. Drivers can easily spot such leakage underneath the car. To determine the depth of the problem, check the fluid itself. If it's bright red in color, a repair at the source of the leak is needed. A darker color with a burnt smell indicates the fluid is old or contaminated and requires either flushing or changing after repairs are made. A professional service center such as Mr. Transmission would be recommended for these types of repairs.
  • Slippage
    When a transmission works properly, it stays in gear, allowing you to maintain a consistent speed on the road while driving. When the transmission starts slipping, that won't be the case. A blog post on Angie's List explained you'll feel like your car is starting to lose speed even with the gas pedal pressed to the floor. You may also suddenly feel it shift from one gear to another – even slip into neutral – without doing so intentionally. You might also experience trouble accelerating. More than likely, there is an internal fault. In either event, head to a repair shop such as Mr. Transmission as soon as possible for a Free Performance Check to determine the cause of the problem.
  • Gear grinding
    Shifting between gears using either a manual or an automatic transmission should occur with no reaction from the gearbox. If there is a reaction, there is a problem. For manual transmissions, the issue is often that during a shift, you'll hear grinding sounds from the transmission. For automatic transmission vehicles, the situation is initially subtle, more like a gear wiggling into motion, but then increases over time into grinding and shaking. When these issues occur, the most likely problem is that there is something wrong with the actual gears. Sometimes, though, it may also be that gears are running out of sync.
  • Check engine and general warning lights
    The check engine light, usually an outline of an engine, and the general warning light – an exclamation point encapsulated within a circle – are the most universal lights to indicate car trouble. Even the transmission will give out a check engine warning, in part because it has a sensor that can detect certain problems more easily than others. Whenever you see these two lights, it is important to get to an auto repair shop such as Milex Auto Complete Care to have the vehicle checked..

For more information on transmission maintenance, visit the Mr. Transmission website!

Some of the dashboard lights you see here are important to check on, for your car may need some repairs.

Understanding your warning lights

Often, your car can give you advance warning to go to an auto repair shop before it breaks down on the road. Warning lights can give you a clue as to what exactly is wrong with your car, utilizing a vehicle diagnostics system. Even if you see the light but don't think there is anything wrong with your car, it's still a good idea to head to an auto repair franchise to have things checked. Here are some dashboard lights you should be on the lookout for, according to the Technical Department at Moran Family of Brands,; Franchisor for Mr. Transmission, Milex Complete Auto Care, Multistate Transmission and Dr. Nick's Transmission:

Oil pressure warning
A red oil can, this light indicates that oil pressure is low. The engine will shut off until it receives the correct amount of oil.

Coolant or temperature alert
This light usually shows up as a thermometer within water on your dashboard.  This light appears when there is a temperature problem in the engine cooling system.   What this means is that there could be something wrong with your coolant level, which should be inspected by a trusted auto repair center as soon as possible.

Brake system or ABS alert
This light may indicate low brake fluid or a leak in the lines. It can show up as an exclamation point within a circle or even the ABS symbol. Sometimes an ABS fault can cause this light to come on in conjunction with the brake warning light.

Check engine
This is the most basic warning light. Usually a triangle with an exclamation mark, it is telling you that something is wrong with your car, and is sometimes accompanied by other warning lights.

Battery warning
Sometimes shown as a picture of a battery, this light indicates there your vehicles. Without power, you may not be able to start your vehicle.

No matter what lights appear on your dashboard, it's always good practice to take your vehicle to a professional, such as Mr. Transmission or Milex Complete Auto Care, to diagnose the exact issue that is occurring in your vehicle.

To learn more about trusted brands in the automotive aftermarket, visit the Moran Family of Brands website!

Truck drivers seek transmission specialists with necessary tools.

Truck transmissions require special care

When a truck driver hears humming or buzzing sounds coming from his or her vehicle, it may be the transmission acting up. The transmission facilitates gear shifts, cools the engine and lubricates moving parts. The system comes with a filter that flushes out fluid to keep the transmission clean and fresh. If any parts of a truck's transmission are not in working order, they could cause a variety of issues. For example, a truck just won't go or it won't drive smoothly.  

How truck drivers can detect transmission trouble
Truck problems vary from a burning smell, which indicates the transmission is overheating, and noises coming from the transmission, signaling the potential need for a replacement of parts, to black fluid leakage and the "check engine" light turning on. Many cars come with sensors that pick up vibrations, indicating these potential problems. 

Transmission fluid makes the car drive smoothly, but if the fluid turns from red to black, there's a problem with the system. When fluids deplete, it becomes hard to shift gears. Unfortunately, truck transmission fluid can become low quickly, giving drivers an incentive to take their vehicle in for frequent check-ups. However, drivers don't have to wait until a problem arises to bring their cars to an automotive repair provider. It doesn't hurt to come in for regular maintenance services. 

Transmissions for trucks differ from typical car systems
Truck transmissions are built to withstand tough conditions and designed to lug large weight and pull heavy equipment. Truck owners do much of their driving in difficult conditions, which means these individuals should get their transmission fluid levels checked more often than regular cars, according to Cars.com. Hauling heavy loads accelerates the deterioration of trucks' transmissions. 

A certified specialist addresses specific problems
When truck owners decide to take their vehicle in for a diagnosis, they may seek a truck transmission repair specialist. This type of professional needs to have specific knowledge and skills to approach these systems, CarsDirect reported. Many repair experts need to have special equipment to perform their jobs correctly. Truck drivers who can find a repair shop, like Mr. Transmission, will encounter technicians who have experience handling trucks' common problems. 

Mr. Transmission offers these types of services. From in-stock parts to specialized tools, this unique repair franchise meets truck drivers' needs, eliminating their concerns. The truck transmission repair business services delivery trucks and RVs, as well as four-by-fours. 

To learn more about transmission repair services, visit the Mr. Transmission website!

Transmission rebuilds are an affordable alternative to transmission replacements.

Transmission rebuilds benefit your wallet and the environment

A worn-out transmission may require a complete replacement. However, some vehicles don't warrant a shiny, new one. A transmission rebuild is an alternative approach to a transmission repair. A rebuild involves disassembling the system and inspecting each part. After examining the components, a mechanic may replace or refurbish them if they are beyond repair. Rebuilds restore the transmission to its optimum function. Because it's affordable and effective, some car owners may consider taking this route. 

Transmission rebuilds cut costs 
A transmission rebuild is less costly than a transmission replacement. In fact, a rebuilt transmission will save more than half of the cost of a new one, according to Cars Direct. Those hesitant to pay a hefty sum often opt for a rebuild, and it is equally effective. 

Go green with a transmission rebuild 
Car Direct indicated that remanufactured transmissions are good for the environment because they require less consumption of natural resources and energy than replacements. In fact, industry analysts estimated transmission rebuild uses approximately one-tenth of the energy needed to develop a new one. Additionally, the manufacturing of parts produce fewer carbon emissions than the manufacturing of new transmissions. 

When it's time to get a transmission rebuild
Always be aware of any problems with the transmission, such as low fluid levels, a dark color or burnt smell. It may be time to get a rebuild when the transmission is slipping between gears, you hear unusual grinding and humming sounds or the clutch is dragging. These symptoms are a good indicator to take the car in for a check-up. After having a transmission rebuilt, it is best to come back for services annually to make sure the system stays in optimal condition.

Finding a qualified repair shop is vital in the evolving aftermarket climate
According to Diamond Certified, a company ratings business, transmissions have become more complex. New technology is shifting the automotive landscape, and manufacturers are updating and adjusting designs to meet consumers' demands. Given these trends, it's crucial to find a top-notch automotive aftermarket repair shop. Make sure the mechanics are aware of the modifications and are trained to work on these new types of transmissions. 

To learn more about automotive repair and transmission services, visit the Mr. Transmission website!

It is recommended to receive maintenance services every 60,000 miles.

Regular check-ups extend vehicles’ longevity

Over the years, a vehicle's transmission endures some tough conditions. From stop-and-go traffic to extreme temperatures, it's normal for a car to wear down. To ensure vehicles are running smoothly, car owners should get regular maintenance performed on their vehicles. With regular check-ups, cars have a longer life span.

Consistent oil, air filter and fuel changes ensure a car is road-ready. Individuals can visit friends in nearby states and relish a joy ride.

Unwrap and read the owner's manual
While it may be hidden and untouched, the owner's manual often resides in the glove box of a vehicle. It has everything car owners need to know about taking care of their vehicles. The book provides information on when to take the car for repair and maintenance services. Cars.com recommended turning to the back of the manual to find a list of service intervals. This will inform car owners how often they should get a check-up.

Cars.com suggested changing fluids every 60,000 miles because they deteriorate around that time. Degraded oil can affect the car's ability to prevent rust and freezing, as well remove heat, which impacts the longevity of the vehicle. Unfortunately, if car owners don't seek out regular maintenance services, they may need to say goodbye to their beloved method of transit earlier than originally necessary.

Changing the differential fluid, the oil that is placed in rear wheel drive cars, is often overlooked, which could cost car owners thousands of dollars. Getting regular check-ups saves money over the long run and boosts the health of cars. It's better to find problems early than repair a car issue when it's too late or costly.

Safety and trust are crucial for a successful maintenance appointment
One of the most important reasons to get a car checked is for safety. Make sure brakes, airbags and seat belts are operating well. If there's a loss of power upon acceleration, late shifting gear or the transmission is leaking, take the vehicle in as soon as possible.

Cars.com recommended finding a trustworthy mechanic. The relationship should be a partnership. Drivers can make wise decisions when top-notch mechanics provide them useful and accurate information. With regular maintenance appointments, car owners can rest easy knowing they're maintaining the health of their vehicles.

To learn more about trusted brands in the automotive aftermarket, visit the Moran Family of Brands website!

When the service engine light comes on, it's a car's way of saying it needs to visit the auto-repair shop.

Don’t forget these important automotive repairs

Drivers vary greatly in terms of the effort they put into repairing and maintaining their cars. Some get an oil change every 3,000 miles, others never crack open the owner's manual. While no one is excited to spend money on a car repair, it's actually frugal consumers who visit the shop most frequently. Those who watch their spending closely know that putting off maintenance or repairs is often more costly and dangerous.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some car repairs are worth every penny, and drivers should not ignore or delay them.

  • Replace windshield wipers: It's easy to forget about windshield wipers. Their performance is only noticeable when it's raining and depending on where people live, they may rarely turn them on. However, when it's raining or the window gets dirty, wipers are essential. Reduced visibility from an obstructed windshield can lead to an accident. If wipers are cracked or noisy or streak when used, it's probably time for a new pair. This can usually be done at home, although a mechanic can also do this while performing other routine maintenance.
  • Check all the fluids: Most drivers know a car needs gas and oil, but it's important to check the manual for the schedule on transmission fluid, brake components and fluid and engine coolant. Many of these important systems do not have the user-friendly dipstick that the engine does, and it is best to have their levels checked by a professional in the automotive repair industry. In these closed systems, low fluid levels can often be a sign of a larger problem, such as a leak or blown gasket.
  • Don't Ignore service lights: The check or service engine light is an easy one to avoid. To many drivers, it's just light on the dashboard and they don't realize that it is truly the car's way of communicating that it needs a repair. The car may be operating fine, but the light is still an important symptom that should not be ignored. Even if the light is on because of a small electrical malfunction and the rest of the car is fine, it is still a problem that needs to be fixed. However, only a professional mechanic in the automotive aftermarket can tell you why the light is on because it requires a special computer to diagnose the problem. When the light comes on, drivers should head to an auto-repair business as soon as possible.

To learn more about other automotive maintenance tips, visit the Moran Family of Brands website!

Welcome to Our Road Ready Blog

Welcome to our new website and our new auto repair blog! We’ll be sharing our insights on how to properly maintain your vehicle, how various systems in your car work, what you should expect from an automotive repair shop and what’s the latest technology that helps keep you safe and your car Road Ready.

About Us

Our nationwide franchise includes notable names like Mr. Transmission®, Dr. Nick’s Transmission®, Multistate Transmissions®, and Milex Complete Auto Care.  These are all brands that are part of Moran Family of Brands, a leading, nationwide automotive aftermarket franchisor. With over 50 years of experience in vehicle repair, you can trust the highly-trained service technicians at our nationwide car service centers.

Comprehensive Transmission & Car Repair

Not only do we provide specialized or general transmission repair services at our Mr. Transmission, Dr. Nick’s Transmission, and Multistate Transmissions locations, we also provide total car repair at Milex Complete Auto Care. Transmission repair and rebuilds, brake services, air conditioner repair, oil changes, engine maintenance — no matter the make and model of your car, we really can do it all, be it big or small.

Nationwide Car Repair & Service

Our car repair services are not only comprehensive, but also offered nationwide. Our warranty is honored at any of our  locations, meaning you can get reliable, expert car repair when and where you need it.  Check out your local service center today!

Honest, Affordable, Effective

When you seek out transmission or car repair at one of our locations, you’re partnering with a trusted vehicle expert committed to providing honest, affordable, and effective transmission and car repair. Your car repair won’t turn into a costly or drawn-out process that only puts a short-term band-aid on the situation — our skilled technicians approach car repair as a long-term solution.

We offer free towing with a major repair, a free performance check, and high-tech computer diagnostics to detect internal issues. We do all we can to evaluate your specific vehicle, diagnose its issues, and offer the best car repair plan and service. And the best thing…you can avoid the costly dealership service department – saving you money.

To learn more about our car repair or any of our locations, feel free to explore our website, and stay tuned to our blog for updates.