Transfer Case Repairs

posted by Marks33527 @ 11:23 AM
February 5, 2015

Many people with 4×4 vehicles have little understanding about how the power from the engine and transmission gets sent to all four wheels.  Lets face it few of us even care until that moment when you go to call on the four wheel drive and its not there.  Vehicles today come with full time four wheel power, power that is always engaged.  And they come with part time four wheel drive when the drive must engage a control function to engage power to all wheels.

Most of the time when you have a problem with the transfer case it gives warning with noise or in late model vehicles a warning light in the dash.

Sometimes in the older vehicle there is no warning until you get in a situation where 4×4 mode is required and it fails you.

If  you find yourself with a failed transfer case give us a call at Transfer Case Repair Seattle.  (206)624-1859

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Transmission Shift Kits

posted by Marks33527 @ 9:58 AM
February 5, 2015

Most people don’t know it but automobile manufacturers intentionally allow the transmission to slip between gear changes in order to create a smoother transition from one gear to the next. The term for this is shift overlap. In lay terms, this means the transmission is in two gears simultaneously. While this allows for a silky smooth transition between gear changes, it is not necessarily good for the transmission, performance or your wallet. Here’s why:

Shift overlap reduces the efficiency and performance of your vehicle because during shift overlap the clutches for both gears are slipping. This spells lost power, wasted fuel and added wear on the transmission clutches. Slipping also creates more heat, which is the #1 transmission killer.

Common Misconception about transmission shift kits

People either do not know that such a product exists or they are aware of shift kits but are misunderstood about what they do and what vehicle applications they are designed for. This is unfortunate because a transmission shift kit is one of the least expensive and most rewarding automatic transmission upgrades that you can make.

The biggest misconception among those that are aware of shift kits is that the kits are for high performance use only. This misunderstanding is somewhat understandable because shift kits are synonymous with high performance. For the performance junkies of the world, installing a shift kit in their street ride or off-road vehicle is a no-brainer as shift kits offer the biggest bang for the buck.

But what most people do not know is that many high performance junkies have shift kits installed in their daily driver vehicles as well. Their motivation for doing so might be slightly different but the end result is the same.

Here are some of the benefits of installing a transmission shift kit in your vehicle.
√ Optimum Performance
√ Improved shifting and power output
√ Eliminates (or drastically reduces) shift overlap and
excessive wear on clutches and banks due to slippage
√ Less heat buildup inside the transmission thus increasing
the service life of the transmission fluid and the
√ Increased fuel mileage. The added efficiency of delivering more
power to the drive wheels requires less fuel to travel the same distance.

Call us for further information.  Kings Transmission Seattle (206) 624-1859

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Flush or Not Flush the Automatic Transmission

posted by Marks33527 @ 9:42 AM
February 5, 2015

How a Transmission Flush Works
A transmission flush procedure is generally performed using equipment that either runs off the transmission pump or has its own pump built into the machine. The machines are connected to the transmission cooler lines, and while the old fluid is pumped out the new fluid is delivered at the same quantity and time. Sometimes there is a cleaning solvent that is forced back into the transmission removing deposits of old transmission fluid from parts and components or the technician performing the flush may run a solvent through the vehicles transmission before performing the flush. The cooling lines, cooler, converter and other parts are all thoroughly cleaned. One of the benefits of this procedure is that all of the transmission fluid is removed and replaced. This is different from a fluid change in which only some of the fluid is replaced. A simple fluid change cannot remove all of the built up deposits that accumulate over time as is done during a flush. Also, some of the fluid is usually stored in the torque converter potentially contaminating the new fluid that is put in. What is the point of that?
Transmission Flush Good or Bad?
I constantly hear consumer, customers and technicians debate as to whether transmission flush procedures can be harmful to a vehicle and is a transmission flush good or bad for your automobile. While many mechanics and experts agree that having a clean transmission will extend the life of a transmission, it is thought by some that the flushing procedure may not be the best way to achieve a clean transmission. One common thought is that the process, which forces liquid back into the transmission in the opposite way of the normal fluid flow, could potentially damage components or block tight passageways. When fluid is forcefully pushed back into the transmission, chunks of debris can be dislodged and possibly block narrow channels or one-way valves. When new fluid is put back in, these blockages can inhibit the normal flow of fluid through the transmission causing lubrication issues. Nonetheless, many car manufacturers and dealerships contend that these procedures are not harmful at all and help revitalize auto transmissions. MDH Motors does not use a reverse flush machine and over the thirteen years of being in the automotive repair industry I still yet to have seen a machine that flushes the fluid in reverse. Most machines just pump the new fluid in through the transmission cooler lines while containing the old fluid in a separate tank. The best transmission flush operation procedure is to:
1. Perform the transmission flush
2. Remove the pan and change the transmission filter
Doing the flush in this order while help prevent the possibility of contaminates going through your transmission and potentially causing a problem by, let’s say hanging up a valve in the valve body.
Checking your transmission fluid
In the past every vehicle had a second dipstick, other that the engine oil dipstick, which was used for checking the level of the ATF. For vehicles that are still equipped with such, checking the ATF is very easy. Most cars require that the engine be running with the transmission in park. Some require that the transmission be in neutral. Honda trucks and cars with automatics require that the engine be off. If you are not sure what your vehicle requires, you can sometimes find directions on the dipstick itself. If that doesn’t work then consult the owner’s manual.
Many new cars do not have dipsticks. On these vehicles the fluid must be checked by climbing underneath the car and removing a plug from the side of the transmission in order to see the fluid level. Some of these newer cars will still have the dipstick tube but no dipstick in it. On top of the tube you will find a plug that says in order to check the fluid level you have to take to take the car to the dealership service department. Once there, the technicians can check it with a special tool that looks just like a dipstick. This seems silly and it probably is. The reason for no dipstick is that the car builders want you to believe that you don’t need to check or maintain the fluid. Many of them actually say that the fluid they use is good for the life of the vehicle. This is not exactly true but with modern synthetic fluids, the fluid is at least good for the warranty period and that’s good enough for them. Some cars have a sensor in the transmission that will monitor fluid, and the level can be checked via the information computer located in the instrument cluster. The level is between the marks, then that is satisfactory, and no more fluid is required. If fluid needs to be added then usually it must be poured down the dipstick tube. These dipstick tubes that double as a filler tube are usually wide enough to put the end of a funnel into them. If the dipstick tube is too narrow to fit a normal sized funnel into the end of it, then there is likely a filler plug somewhere else.
Most cars also require that the engine and transmission be warmed up in order to get the most accurate reading. The reason for this is that ATF expands quite a bit as it warms up. One might believe the fluid level to be low when in reality the fluid is just cold. Many manufacturers put separate marks on the dipstick that are used if the fluid is cold, but what if the fluid is somewhere between cold and warm? This is why it’s just best to check it with the fluid warmed up. The goal when adding or checking fluid is to make sure that the fluid level is between the two are found on the dipstick. If the level is below the lower mark then some fluid must be added, but if besides looking at the level the condition of the fluid can also be examined. If the fluid contains very tiny black particles that rub off on your oil rag or paper towel this is normal, but can it can indicate that the fluid needs to be serviced. These small black particles are bits of clutch pack material that are suspended in the fluid. This is a sign of normal wear and tear but if the particles become excessive, or if the particles are metallic looking; this could indicate some major problems. The last thing you can do that can help determine fluid condition is give it a sniff. Worn out fluid will have a definite burnt smell to it and fluid from a transmission that has completely failed smells downright disgusting.

Seattle Transmission Repair

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Dodge Diesel Performance Update

posted by Marks33527 @ 14:41 PM
January 20, 2015

Sonnax Transmission part supplier now offers a heavy duty input shaft (part number 22121B-01).  It is designed for the hard working Dodge Diesel and the V10 version trucks.  There are several other aftermarket versions of this shaft available, but no one else in the industry uses the same techniques of can fanufacture the same high-quality input shaft as Sonnax.

Design:  The oe two piece shaft hub design is scrapped for a much stronger, one piece design that combines the input shaft and the forward clutch hub.

The sonnax shaft itself is custom forged to allow the internal grain structure of the steel to follow the general shape of the part, improving shaft strength.


Material:  The Sonnax input shaft is made from 300M, a special class of steel commonaly used for aircraft landing gear and airframe parts.  This ultra high strength steel is created through a special vacuum arc re-melting process that improves the desired characteristics of the steel.


Manufacturing:  Small details which may not appear critical can have a huge impact on durabitity.  Sonnax understands this, and over the years created a better shaft by modeling, testion and verifying innoative manufacturing processes to produce the very best results.
Seattle Transmission Repair

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2006 Ford Explorer not shifting right

posted by Marks33527 @ 9:41 AM
January 14, 2015

Customer brought us his 2006 Ford Explorer with a complaint that the transmission would not shift correctly.  He went on to tell us that another local transmission shop had rebuilt the transmission months prior.  When he picked up the Explorer after the rebuild everything was great.  However two months in the transmission would at times not shift right.  The rebuild shop took the transmission out twice.  They replace the TCU (computer that controls the transmission) and even had the dealer reprogram the computer.

We took the car in and hooked up our scanner and found no codes.  Driving the vehicle at different speeds it felt as if the throttle position sensor was not responding correctly.  We checked the TPS and found no problems.   Diving into the wiring of the vehicle we found that the transmission ECU no longer used the TPS to control shifting but the Petal Position Sensor on the gas petal. We tested that sensor and found it to be faulty.  Upon replacement the transmission shifted correctly.  Something to keep in mind.

Seattle Transmission Repair

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Late model Mercedes Transmission Nightmares 722.9

posted by Marks33527 @ 9:08 AM
January 14, 2015

The new Mercedes cars and SUV’s transmission now come equipped with the newly designed 722.9 automatic transmission.  In there attempt to cut out secondary repair shops they have designed the transmission control unit (computer) to be a part of the valve-body solenoid assembly.   After rebuilding and replacing this part the computer must be relearned-re-flashed into the vehicles computer system.  Mercedes refuses to do this for rebuilt after market units.

Kings Transmission of Seattle is on of the few shops in Washington State that can rebuild and replace to ecu and has the computer programs needed to replace and update the software saving the sky high prices of having the dealer replace the transmission with a new unit.

If you find yourself stuck with the high dealer prices and limited options  give us a call at 206-624-1859.

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Ford Explorer Transmission Issues

posted by Marks33527 @ 12:20 PM
October 27, 2014

Ford’s Bad Transmissions Explorers

Their higher mileage transmissions are bound to fail

The Ford Explorer has a huge problem with transmission failure, mostly from the early 2000s — especially the 2002–2004 Ford Explorer.

Signs of Transmission Problems in Your Explorer

Ford Explorer Transmission Problems

Transmission problems in Ford Explorers are one of the most commonly complained about issues of any car on the road. With a typical repair cost over $2,000 it’s easy to see why owners are so upset. One dealer even claims that 1 out of every 10 Explorer’s from the early 2000 model years will have transmission failure at some point. The Explorer model years with the most transmission complaints are the early 2000 models.

What signs can you look for when it comes to transmission failure? Is your transmission slipping between gears, making a clunking / rattling / grinding noises when accelerating or are you suddenly having trouble shifting between gears? You should bring your SUV in immediately to get serviced. One of the major problems is the solenoid packs Ford uses to shift the transmission.  The repair of the solenoids cost under five  hundred dollars.  Make sure you have that checked before you replace your transmission.  Warning the dealer will not just replace the solenoids.  They will sell you a new transmission with new solenoids in it.  Seattle Transmission repair. (206) 624-1859.

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BMW Firm Engagement (D) Harsh downshifts

posted by Marks33527 @ 8:59 AM
September 25, 2014

Audi or BMW cars equipped with the ZF5HP transmission may exhibit a firm engagement in the drive position accompanied with a hars coast-downshift.  This condition may be worse the warmer the tranmission gets.  Mostly effecting cars 2003 and newer.

The cause may be a EDS 1 Solenoid.  If this solenoid is going bad it will cause high valve pressure which can cause high line pressure. 

If you are having these problems give us a call at 206-624-1859 Kings Transmission of Seattle.

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Five clues to transmission problems

posted by Marks33527 @ 8:36 AM
September 12, 2014

If you drive a car with an automatic transmission, you may have thought about what would happen if the transmission started to fail.

Here are five signs of transmission problems you should not ignore:

1. Slippage

If you’re experiencing automatic transmission slipping, it can feel like you’re driving in a certain gear and then it changes for no apparent reason. The noise from the engine may change in pitch or start to sound like whining. Your car may also seem like it’s struggling, is suddenly underpowered, or isn’t accelerating like it should.

2. Rough shifts

Your car may feel like it’s refusing to change gears as it normally does, or the gear shifts aren’t very smooth. Sometimes you can feel or hear a noticeable “clunk” or “thud” when the car shifts gears. You may also notice the car has difficultly getting up to speed.

3. Delayed engagement

If this symptom occurs, you’ll notice a delay before the car actually engages into drive and starts moving forward. When you shift out of “P” and into “D,” there may be a long pause where the car revs the engine as you give it gas, but it’s not moving forward as it should.

4. Leaks

Transmissions are generally sealed units that should never leak fluid. If you’ve noticed leak spots on your driveway or garage floor, lay down cardboard under your car in the front and middle to determine if they’re active leaks.

If your transmission is leaking – fluid is bright red, but can also be a dark red or brown – visit your auto service shop. Before refilling any transmission fluid; factory specifications should be followed because overfilling can create a bigger transmission issue.

5. Dashboard warning lights

A warning light alone, like the “check engine” light, typically doesn’t mean you have a transmission problem, but if any of the above symptoms are occurring in conjunction with an illuminated warning, have it diagnosed by a professional. A warning light typically means the computer is generating an error code that can be checked with a shop’s diagnostic equipment. For transmissions specifically, “P0700” is a code that can indicate a general transmission problem.

Transmission repair considerations

Costs related to repairing your transmission can be as little as $150 or so to replace a defective transmission solenoid and up to $2,500 or more to repair or replace an entire transmission. You should definitely research what shops in your area specialize in transmission repair and call or visit them to get an estimate. If your normal mechanic doesn’t specialize in or provide transmission repair, they should be able to recommend a specialist.

If you’re not comfortable driving your vehicle due to transmission issues, have it towed in. Most reputable shops will want to test drive the vehicle to attempt to replicate the issues you’re concerned with, but that may mean they need additional time to diagnose the problem. Any towing and diagnostic fees should be included in your estimate.

Questions to ask of transmission repair shops

Before authorizing any transmission repair, ask if they plan on replacing parts and where those new parts will come from. If they’re rebuilding the existing transmission or replacing it with a new one, ask what the warranty is. An industry standard warranty is 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first), but you may be able to purchase an extended 24-month/24,000-mile warranty or even a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

You can also ask if your transmission specialist is a member of or certified by the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association. No matter what, make sure you ask any questions about the repair process before it takes place, and that the shop leaves you with a good feeling about trusting them with what could be a costly repair.

Kings Transmission Seattle

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Ford 500 Transmission Problems

posted by Marks33527 @ 10:52 AM
September 11, 2014

The automatic transmission may develop shifting concerns. On lower mileage vehicles, upgrading the software in the powertrain control module (PCM) and the transmission control module (TCM) may correct the problem. As the mileage increases, internal transmission damage can occur. Repairs could involve replacement of the valve body or a complete transmission rebuild. Whenever major transmission repairs are made, it is important to be sure the PCM and the TCM have the latest software updates to help prevent these issues from reoccurring.

Seattle Transmission Rebuild


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