Why did my original transmission fail?

There are several reasons why a transmission fails. Lack of maintenance such as changing the filter and fluid, poor engine performance, abusive driving, radiator failure (cooling lines) are a few of the reasons for the failure of your transmission. To avoid premature failure on your replacement transmission, make sure you follow the instructions and properly flush and check your cooler lines, make sure the engine is running smoothly, do not abuse the drive train of the vehicle with quick starts or pulling excessive loads and maintain the fluid and filter as a regular maintenance.

Transmission Relearn Procedure

Many of today's transmissions need to have a "relearn" procedure performed in order for the computer to reset and properly be able to control the transmission. For example, a Chrysler 41TE (FWD 4 speed) needs to be "Quick Learned" with a scan prior to driving. Failure to do this could cause major transmission damage and will also void your warranty. Most transmissions will just shift badly without causing damage. In other cases, such as the Saturn TAAT, a relearn procedure should be done while driving the vehicle. A Ford 5R55 S/W will relearn the shift adapts so the transmission will begin to drive properly as it is driven over time.

What is the proper way to fill the transmission?

First, the vehicle must be on a flat level surface. Not all transmissions will properly pump fluid when in "Park". It is important that the fluid level be checked according to the manufacturers instructions. Consult your owner's manual for proper practices and recommendations. It is best to have the drive wheels off the ground if it can be done safely. Chock the non-drive wheels if all four (4) wheels are not off the ground and put the transmission in "Neutral". Do not run the transmission when it is dry! Put 3 or 4 quarts of fluid into the transmission. Prepare the next 3 or 4 quarts to be added.

Start the vehicle and check the fluid level. Remember, sometimes the fluid on the sides of the dipstick tube can make reading the level difficult. A good method is to look at both sides of the dipstick and observe its lowest level. This is the reading you should go by. As long as the fluid is above the "low" level you can begin running the transmission through the ranges. Put the transmission in "Reverse" and see if the wheels engage. If they do not, you may be low on fluid. Add fluid as necessary.

Once "Reverse" is engaged, shift to "Manual 1". Let the wheels turn for about 10 seconds and then rev the engine to about 2000 RPM and shift into "Manual 2". Do the same for "Manual 2" and shift into "Drive". Repeating this, shift into "OD". Leaving the shifter in "OD", lightly apply the brake to stop the wheels. Rev the engine to 2000 RPM and let the transmission shift through the gears. Make sure to check the fluid according to the manufacturers instructions

How do I know if the transmission is properly aligned to the engine

Every transmission uses two (2) dowel pins to align the transmission to the engine. If these dowel pins are missing, the transmission alignment will be off and this could cause the transmission to have a premature failure in a short period of time.

What happens if the Torque Converter is not properly installed?

If the Torque Converter is not properly seated inside the transmission, the pump and gears can be damaged when it is installed onto the vehicle. This will result in the lack of fluid pressure which will also damage the internal components of the transmission when it is engaged. When installing the transmission, there should be a gap between the Torque Converter and the flex plate. If the Torque Converter is tight against the flex plate as the unit is being installed it is not properly seated. Make sure the retaining bracket is tight against the converter and that the converter is unable to slide into the transmission further, without trying to remove it.