Once upon a time cars were simple: If the transmission didn’t shift right, you probably had a transmission problem. You took your car to the transmission shop and they fixed it. Simple, right? As with most stories that begin this way, times have changed. Today, when your car’s transmission isn’t shifting right, well, it could be the transmission, but there’s just as good a chance that it’s something else… something seemingly unrelated to the transmission.
For example: You’re driving down the highway. The converter clutch locks up, right on time. Then, suddenly, the car begins to lurch and buck. Bad converter clutch, right? Maybe. Maybe not. It could also be a problem in the converter clutch solenoid or the solenoid control circuit, opening and closing erratically. Then again, you could have a bad spark plug.
Wait, a bad spark plug? How would that cause the car to buck when the converter clutch comes on? Actually, the situation is more common than you’d think. When the computer applies the converter clutch, it also leans out the air/fuel mixture, because it thinks you’re approaching cruise levels. And, with the transmission locked to the engine, the converter clutch increases the load on the engine, while eliminating any cushion between the two. So, if a spark plug is worn, the extra load, combined with the leaner mixture can degrade the spark, causing an intermittent misfire. And since there’s no cushion between the engine and transmission, you feel every misfire through the entire car. Replacing the spark plugs eliminates the misfire, and improves the car’s performance.
This is just one example of how a seemingly unrelated condition can appear to be a transmission problem. How can you identify the actual cause of the problem? You can’t. Not yourself, anyway. This is where an experienced technician comes in. The technician knows where to look for problems of this nature, and is equipped to isolate and pinpoint the root cause of those problems.
It’s also why you need to expect to pay for diagnosing those problems. Because very often, finding the source of that buck or slip is the most demanding part of the job. And in the case of the faulty spark plug, the diagnosis is what takes the most time. It just doesn’t make sense to expect the technician to supply his knowledge and experience without getting paid.
It’s also another reason why it’s so important to let the shop know exactly what you’re experiencing, without trying to diagnose the problem yourself. If you brought that car into the shop and asked for a transmission repair, you might have found yourself paying for work you didn’t really need. Because if the technician doesn’t know there’s a problem, he won’t be able to diagnose it for you.
We are an ATRA Member shop equipped with all of the tools, training, and technical support necessary to identify the root cause of your car’s problems, and will be happy to help identify and correct those problems as quickly and inexpensively as possible. You just have to meet us half way, by explaining the condition instead of trying to diagnose it yourself.
Why are we an ATRA member, and why is it important?
This is the world’s largest trade organization of transmission rebuilders, transmission specialists and transmission part suppliers. Founded in 1954, the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) is an international trade association for the professional automatic transmission repair industry.
With members across the US and Canada, ATRA’s network of automatic transmission repair professionals can offer you repair and warranty coverage anywhere you’re likely to drive. Because, wherever you go there’s always an ATRA member nearby.
With over 1,900 Member shop across the USA and Canada, ATRA is the largest automatic transmission repair network in the world… more than twice the size of the largest chain in the US. This means that no chain can provide better warranty coverage than ATRA’s network of professional service centers.
Every ATRA Rebuilder Member must adhere to ATRA’s Code of Ethics…ATRA’s standards for providing honest, professional service. So, when you take your car to an ATRA Rebuilder Member, you’re assured of polite, professional service, at an honest price.
And not just automatic transmission repair: most ATRA Rebuilder Members also provide diagnostic and repair service for manual transmissions, clutches, differentials, driveshafts, drive axles, and transfer cases.
The Rebuilder Members of ATRA agree that while they remain members of the Association, they will practice the pledges of the Association code of Ethics: that they will adhere to the Service and Repair definitions which are part of the ATRA By-Laws; that they will subscribe to the Guarantee Standards which are shown herein; and that they will practice the Advertising standards of the association as per the following:
THE ATRA CODE OF ETHICS AND MEMBER PLEDGE for Rebuilder Members of the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association
As members of ATRA, we pledge to ourselves and to each other to diagnose transmission problems for customers and for each other in an expert and honest manner, and to state that the removal of a transmission from a vehicle in correction of its problems is necessary, only when this is the case.
• We further pledge to provide prompt and courteous in-car diagnosis on behalf of customers of other member shops free of charge (Members may assess a charge up to one (1) hour of diagnostic time for electronic testing and scanning based on the current Golden Rule rate provided the charge is agreed to in advance by the warranting Member).
• We further pledge to act with integrity, and to speak at all times in a responsible manner, and in all ways to adhere to the concept of the Golden Rule in our dealings with the motoring public and with our competitors of industry.
• We further pledge ourselves to the promotion and improvement of the automatic transmission service and repair industry through maintaining the highest standards for parts and workmanship quality at our places of business.
• We further pledge ourselves to the continual training and retraining of ourselves and our employees, in order to keep abreast of the constant changes in the state of the art of our industry.
• We pledge to have ourselves and our employees tested and certified on a continuing basis in such a manner as will demonstrate the ATRA member shops are staffed with capable personnel.
• We finally pledge that such transmission assemblies as we represent to the consuming public and to other members as “rebuild”, will have been re-processed according to the Association Rebuilding Standards and Definitions as outlined in these By-Laws.