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Is your manual transmission getting harder to shift? Does it feel like it just doesn’t grab like it used to, or maybe it’s starting to chatter or vibrate? Is your clutch slipping? A worn clutch may be the culprit here, or it could be the result of something else, such as a transmission misalignment. One obvious sign that misalignment is the problem would be rust residue on the disc and pressure plate.
Pinpoint the problem
In the case of the driveline shown to the right, one of the two transmission dowel pins was missing, which allowed the transmission to tilt down on the passenger side of the vehicle, causing the misalignment. The input shaft on the transmission was also heavily worn where it rides on the pilot bearing, due to the misalignment.
Correcting the cause of the problem was simply a matter of making a new dowel pin for the transmission and installing it. Although this relatively simple fix is just one example of many possible problems that might need to be addressed, the procedure for service and reassembly applies to clutches in general.
The difference between an “OK” and an “incredible” result is tied to the tools you use and the time you spend on the job. It helps to use specialized car detailing products for specific tasks. For instance, toothbrushes come in handy for small areas that are harder to clean, like vents and grilles. Cotton swabs are useful in these spots, too.
Also, try to use name brand products to play it safe, but be certain to read the labels. Even name brand products aren’t suitable for all paint finishes. If the product does not list that it’s safe for clear coat finishes, it’s probably not. And keep in mind that this likely won’t be a five-minute commitment; a high-quality car detailing job can take between four and eight hours.
Step 1: Getting the hard-to-reach places
Work on the interior first. Use compressed air in a can to blow dirt out from the tiny crevices. Save exterior cleaning for later. By taking this approach, you’ll prevent all the dirt you brush out from undoing exterior detailing efforts.
Step 2: Cleaning vinyl, plastic and windows
Hard interior surfaces can be cleaned with a cloth dampened with all-purpose cleaner. Use a window cleaner and paper towels on the interior glass. Pro tip: Finish the glass by rubbing with balled-up newspaper to give it a gleaming shine.
Step 3: Scrubbing the seats
Specific products are important when you get to the seats. Treat dirty fabric upholstery with foaming cleaners designed for the task. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Remember, it also helps to have an upholstery brush. Use only a leather conditioner on real leather – never a vinyl cleaner. For tears in vinyl seats, repair kits can work wonders. Pro tip: If you have pet hair on fabric upholstery, wrap duct tape or wide masking tape around your hand with the sticky side out. Then, roll your hand over areas until the tape is full of hair. Repeat with new tape until all areas are done.
Step 4: Taking out the floor mats
When it concerns floor mats and carpeted areas, it’s best to create extra room by getting all of the heavily soiled items out of your car. Follow these tips:
- Rubber and fabric floor mats should be washed outside of the car.
- If these mats are worn, consider replacing them with new ones.
- If you use a dressing on rubber floor mats, use one that will not make them slippery.
- Use a foaming cleaner for minor carpet stains.
- Avoid getting carpets saturated with water or cleaner, so mildew won’t become a problem.
Step 5: Considering the nitty gritty
This is definitely an optional step. The dashboard and steering column present some of the most time-consuming tasks. Any knobs that can be removed without damage should be taken off so that the bezels beneath them can be more easily cleaned. After you get the air vents cleaned up, spray a light mist of aerosol rubber or vinyl dressing for a polished, “brand new” look. Pro tip: Some crevices can be cleaned with a thin cloth placed over the end of a plastic knife.
When you visit Mr. Transmission, having a truck transmission in need of repair does not mean you have to take your vehicle “somewhere special.” Mr. Transmission provides special service, no matter what type of vehicle you have. Many of our locations service delivery trucks, box trucks, RVs, and 4x4s. We are the specialists when it comes to truck transmissions.
Without a properly functioning drivetrain, your vehicle will not have the power it needs to move from one place to another. There is more to this crucial component than meets the eye. Because of this, it is important to seek the help of a drivetrain specialist like Mr. Transmission. Here, we pay attention to the details, something that matters most when it comes to drivetrain repairs. Maintaining your differential fluid and performing differential services can prolong the life of your drivetrain. Clean fluid helps keep the gears from wearing and also helps regulate the gear temperature. Clean fluid also lubricates the gears making operation smoother. Maintaining your differential can help prevent total gear failure. What We Repair At Mr. Transmission, we repair all drivetrain components: CV Joints Axle Shafts Drive Shaft Transfer Case Differential Make an Appointment Now Have a drivetrain, flywheel, or other drivetrain-related component in need of repair? To learn more about our services, contact a Mr. Transmission location near you.
When should you service?
Differential Service is recommended at 30,000 mile intervals or according to your manufacturer’s specifications. If you drive under more severe conditions such as frequent starts and stops, extreme weather, towing or off-roading, we recommend more frequent servicing. What is typical wear and tear? The gears within the differential are very strong and made of long lasting materials. But as vehicles age, those gears can start to wear. Differential fluid is present to lubricate and cool those gears. Dirty fluid can lead to poor performance and excess wear. You should have your differential fluid checked from time to time. What are the symptoms of an issue with the differential? Vibration of front or rear of vehicle when turning Clunking heard when shifting gears Noise such as chatter or growl coming from axle Whine on acceleration or deceleration.
Road salt and other chemicals cause rust and corrosion, but waxing your car after washing it applies a protective layer between the paint and the elements. You should wax your car at least twice a year if it lives in a garage, but if you keep it outside your student apartment — exposed to punishing Northeastern winters like mine is — you may want to wax it more frequently.
Additionally, taking your car to a car wash that sprays the undercarriage will remove the salt from exposed parts like the hydraulic brake and exhaust systems and prevent potentially dangerous damage.
Most major oil brands market oil made specifically for engines that have more than 75,000 miles of wear, claiming that additives help reduce engine wear and provide anti-aging benefits. They are often a blend of synthetic and petroleum-based oils, and they typically cost at least a couple of dollars more per quart than conventional oils. But are they worth the extra dough?
Some oils may be more beneficial than others because they contain conditioners purported to rejuvenate seals to prevent or stop oil leaks, a common ailment in engines with a lot of miles on them.
Internal seals and gaskets become brittle and shrink as they age, allowing oil to seep by. Sometimes this becomes visible as oil stains on a garage floor or as streaks of oil on lower engine parts. When valve-guide seals wear, oil can leak into combustion chambers and the engine will literally start burning oil. With small leaks, blue smoke from burning oil may not be visible from the exhaust, but your oil level will probably drop below the full mark on a regular basis.
The seal conditioners found in some high-mileage oils may reduce or eliminate small leaks and seepage by rejuvenating seals to their original size and shape. If an engine isn’t burning or leaking oil, or if it uses, say, less than a quart over 6,000 miles or so, switching to high-mileage oil may not be worth the extra cost for you. It’s really a judgment call if you should pay more for high-performance oil when your car has 100,000 miles on it but is using little or no oil. It doesn’t hurt and it could prevent leaks from starting. Most vehicle manufacturers would say it’s normal for an engine to consume some oil between oil changes.