Maryland Transmission Diagnostic Procedures

Automatic transmission failures occur for different reasons in the Maryland area, from an dashboard indicator light without noticeable problems, to whining or grinding noises that leave you stranded. Because so many transmission problems are easily and inexpensively corrected, a missed diagnosis can cost you thousands of dollars. The shop that you choose should have the equipment and expertise necessary to isolate the small problems from the large.

Diagnosis of Simple Transmission Problems in Maryland

Before work is performed, a transmission problem should have an initial diagnosis. Because we commonly see the same failures within the same type of transmission, most diagnoses can be done in as little as 20 minutes, usually while you wait.

Diagnosis of Complex Computer Controlled Transmission Problems

The transmissions in most vehicles built within the past twenty years are computer controlled. Electronic data is collected from various sensors on the engine and transmission, and calculations are made that control shift timing and firmness. In the Maryland area, often a failed electronic component will create the illusion of an internal transmission problem. This could prompt an expensive transmission replacement when the issue is simply a wiring or sensor malfunction. Scanners do a great job of checking codes and identifying simple electrical transmission problems, however, they are inadequate at solving complex electronic issues, which can take much longer to diagnose. We utilize specialized equipment that allows us to operate the transmission independently of the vehicle's transmission control module, the ‘computer’. We can also monitor specific signals given by the transmission control module to the transmission. These techniques eliminate the uncertainty between computer, vehicle wiring, and transmission electronic control issues. This prevents our customers from incurring unnecessary expenses.

Intermittent Transmission Problems in Maryland

Some transmission problems are intermittent. These issues, usually electronic, may be difficult to diagnose unless the problem occurs while being driven with test equipment attached. Billing a customer for driving their car around for 3 hours can be unpopular, especially if, during that time, the problem doesn’t occur, and consequently cannot be diagnosed. If the customer says the problem may not occur for hours at a time, a master technician can drive the vehicle to and from home, while monitoring the diagnostic equipment. Since we are going to be driving home anyway, we will not charge for this time. The long trip, about 40+ minutes each way, raises the probability that the problem will occur during the drive. Sometimes a transmission indicator light will come on after a long drive, but goes off after a restart as the codes are not always stored in the computer. In this scenario, try bringing the vehicle in for a diagnostic scan with the light on. Call ahead, and don’t turn off the car when you get to the shop. This allows us to immediately scan for the cause of the light. So you do not accidentally shut off the car, you may want to take your ignition key off your key ring, as this helps.

Note: We strive to keep the cost of an initial diagnosis for an automatic transmission problem in Maryland as low as possible. For a simple transmission problem diagnosis, we consider it a cost of doing business in Maryland. A simple diagnosis, where the problem is evident, is free of charge. The most complex problems usually take one to two hours to diagnose, and typically require a diagnostic charge. Our diagnosis includes documention of the problem, along with the cost of repair in Maryland.

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