Why Your "Transmission Problem" May Not Be Originating From The Transmission


When your car's transmission is acting up, it would be difficult to suspect that the problem is coming from another part of the car. However, this is what sometimes happens, making it difficult to diagnose a transmission problem, since you might be focusing solely on the transmission. Here are two examples of non-transmission issues that may cause transmission problems:

Air Sensor Malfunction

The mass airflow sensor (MAS) monitors the mass of air entering the engine. Just like other sensors, it passes this data to the car's Engine Control Unit (ECU), which uses the information to regulate the amount of fuel being injected into the combustion chamber. This regulation is necessary to maintain the correct air to fuel ratio for smooth operation of the engine.

If the sensor malfunctions, it will send incorrect data to the ECU. This will interfere with the air to fuel ratio and cause transmission problems such as late, early or no shifting. A common cause of MAS failure is clogging with debris or oil. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid the associated problems.

Throttle Position Sensor

Just like the MAS, the throttle position sensor (TPS) is part of the fuel system that ensures the engine has the right air/fuel ratio. The TPS does this by monitoring the position of the gas pedal and sending the information to the ECU. The ECU interprets the data and uses it to determine how much gas to send to the combustion chamber. For example, if you press the gas pedal to accelerate, the TPS reads its position and sends it to the ECU, which increases fuel flow to the engine.

As you can see, a malfunction of the sensor can interfere with the amount of fuel flowing to the engine. For example, it can misread a lower position of the gas pedal and increase fuel flow to the engine even if that isn't needed. That can result in unnecessary acceleration and shifting into higher gears.

The TPS is sensitive to excess heat, vibrations or moisture; the same things can damage it. Unfortunately, the TPS is a sealed unit, which means it is difficult to repair. The best way of dealing with a malfunctioning TPS is to repair it.

Therefore, don't always suspect the obvious if you have transmission trouble. Consider all possible scenarios to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Consult a professional auto transmission mechanic like one from Budget Automotive Center if you can't find what's wrong with your car.


13 July 2016

Learning About Auto Services

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