Clutch Replacement and Life Span

Clutch Replacement: The Road to Smooth Shifting

In a car with a manual transmission, an experienced driver knows how to properly work the clutch for smooth starts, shifts, and downshifts.  For those that are not so inclined when it comes to working the gearbox, the smell of a burning clutch may be all too familiar.  If a clutch is abused for too long, it will lose its ability to function, and a dreaded clutch replacement could be in order.  Though it is not nearly as big of a challenge as repairing a gear within the transmission itself, changing a clutch is quite the job, even for an expert home mechanic.  Properly installing a clutch requires patience as well as knowledge of the form and function of the transmission as a whole.

A clutch replacement requires extensive knowledge, as accessing the clutch is quite the task in itself.  The flywheel and clutch generally go hand-in-hand, but sometimes the flywheel can be resurfaced instead of replaced all together.  Each time the clutch is engaged and disengaged, it is worn down by a microscopic amount.  If the clutch is being ridden, or not engaged and disengaged properly, it will wear down at an excessive rate.  This excessive wear can cause the lifespan of a clutch to diminish rapidly.  Though some clutches have been reported as lasting as long as one hundred thousand miles, others have been known to need replacing as soon as twenty thousand miles.  This fluctuation in lifespan is further reason to believe that it is based upon how the driver engages the clutch.

The professionals at West Coast Transmission are able to identify a worn clutch, and replace it with dexterity and timeliness.  A bad clutch can cause for a ride that is rough and uncomfortable, which is why it is important to replace a clutch as soon as signs of excessive wear and tear begin to show.  A clutch replacement could make the difference between a relatively small and quick repair, and a large, time consuming transmission swap or repair.  With proper knowledge and a smooth driving style, it is possible to get the absolute most out of your clutch before it needs to be replaced.  At West Coast Transmission, our expert diagnostic allows us to determine whether or not the clutch needs to be replaced, or if there is something else affecting the function of the transmission.

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Torque Converter: What You Should Know

The Importance of a Torque Converter

The key to a modern automatic transmission is the torque converter. It is generally a type of fluid coupling that is used to transfer rotating power from a prime mover, such as an internal combustion engine or electric motor, to a rotating driven load. It normally takes the place of a mechanical clutch in a vehicle with an automatic transmission, allowing the load to be separated from the power source. It is usually located between the engines flex plate and the transmission. Its key role is its ability to multiply torque when there is a substantial difference between input and output rotational speed, thus providing the equivalent of a reduction gear. Some of these devices are also equipped with a temporary locking mechanism which rigidly binds the engine to the transmission when their speeds are nearly equal, to avoid slippage and a resulting loss of efficiency.

This component is really important, and if it happens to malfunction it could potentially cause erratic behavior such as shuddering and slipping. The difficult thing is diagnosing the exact cause of this components problem. There are a lot of potential reasons that could be causing the malfunction, and your converter might not be to blame. It can be hard to pin point a transmission problem as an issue with the torque converter but some symptoms can include overheating, slipping, shuddering, dirty fluid, high stall speeds, or strange noises.

A simple test can help diagnose potential problems. What you need to do is start your car and let it idle for a few minutes. Afterwards, step on the gas lightly a few times, let it come back to idle, press down on the brakes, and then shift into drive. During this period, you are going to want to listen for any strange sounds such as clicking or reviving or if you experience any lurching. If not, proceed to shift through all the gears including reverse and try to notice for any of the aforementioned signs again. Finally, drive your car and test for the same things as well as shuddering or slipping. On most occasions, the torque converter will not be causing the problems so don’t rush into any conclusions until you get your transmission checked out first. At West Coast Transmission we are more than happy to help you find the issue and make sure we get it fixed! Stop by West Coast Transmission and get your car checked out!

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Standard Transmission

Tips for Driving a Standard Transmission

Many people in the world have never driven a stick shift car, mostly because the majority of cars are automatic these days. A stick shift car is one with a manual transmission that requires you to switch gears yourself, as opposed to the car doing it automatically for you. Although driving a standard transmission seems like one of the hardest tasks on the planet, just like everything else, practice makes perfect! With the right instruction and the right amount of practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. At West Coast Transmission we came up with some useful tips to remember while learning how to drive a stick shift!

First and foremost, stay off the roads! Just like when learning to drive an automatic car, its best to stay away from anything you could possibly run into. By staying away from moving vehicles, it will also keep you calm and not on edge about what other cars are doing around you.

Don’t worry about stalling. Seriously though, when you first start learning you are going to stall at least a few times and that’s completely normal. It happens to everyone and it doesn’t harm your car in anyway.

Use your brake when stopping on hills. Having to stop at a red light on a hill can be scary for a lot of people. To eliminate the chance of rolling backwards, use the parking brake and put the engine into neutral while braking. This will keep you from possibly rolling back into the car behind you!

No cell phones while driving. This may seem like an obvious one, but it is especially important when driving a standard transmission. This is because all hands, feet, and eyes must be focused on driving in order to stay safe and drive proficiently. It’s best to keep any cellphones off while the car is in motion.

Driving a standard transmission can be a challenging process to learn how to do, but don’t get discouraged. Once you finally get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you were ever struggling in the first place. So don’t be afraid to buy a car with a manual transmission because at West Coast Transmission we’ll make sure to keep your transmission in tip top shape so you never have to worry about having car problems. Come check us out today for more information!

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Check Engine Light

What you should know about your Check Engine light

Every car owner should get to know their dashboard lights and their meanings because sometimes a light will pop up on your dash telling you to check or service your engine and it usually comes without a warning and with no explanation. Like most car owners they have little idea about what that light is trying to tell you. It’s the most misunderstood indicator on your dashboard; the check engine light can mean many different things.

While there are literally dozens of reasons your light may be triggered there’s no need to panic, unless your car completely stalls in the middle of the road, then you don’t need to pull over and get out of your car, no need to call a tow truck. It’s typically not an emergency; many people don’t know this, but a loose, cracked, or damaged gas cap can cause the light to appear. Aside from the gas cap, all the other reasons  may include everything from a damaged vacuum hose or ignition coil, to a failing catalytic converter, to worn out spark plugs, and these are just to name a few.

If the check light comes on and it’s steady rather than flashing, the most obvious answer is to get the engine checked, but many people do nothing, maybe fearing an expensive repair bill. Some drivers with older cars even want to get the most out of their car before having to bring it to the shop. Ten percent of all cars on the road have a check engine light on, and the drivers of half these cars have ignored the light for more than three months. Most car owners also don’t know that to pass a state vehicle inspection all your dashboard lights have to be off. So if your check engine light appears, or any other light on your dashboard, make your way to an auto repair shop like West Coast Transmission to make sure your transmission as well as the rest of your car is working the way it is supposed to.

At West Coast Transmission we are more than happy to help you find the issue and make sure we get it fixed in a proficient well-timed manner, so next time your dashboard lights start flashing at you, drive by West Coast Transmissions to get your car checked out!

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Transmission Shop

Behind The Scenes at Your Local Transmission Shop

Before you go in to have your automobile serviced it is a common question what are they going to do?  How long it is this going to take? How much is this going to cost? These questions can lead to you thinking that you may be able to assess the car yourself by researching it or asking around. However this can be time consuming and result in problems if not handled correctly. That is why at West Coast Transmission (WCT) we like our customers to know exactly what is being done behind the scenes at your local transmission shop. This means making sure our current and future customers are always aware as to what occurs when they bring their car to our shop, including evaluations, procedures, labor, and even pricing.

At West Coast Transmission we want the reputation of your transmission shop to be a business you can trust and count on.  Whatever concerns or questions you may have we are confident that our helpful and knowledgeable team can help. Our business practices are developed for our customers to feel welcome and safe with our work. Full communication with our customers is a top priority for us, here at WCT.  This in return has strengthened our work ethic and performance while increasing the satisfaction of our clients.

By making sure our customers are involved, informed and updated throughout their visit we can better serve their needs and requests. Our goal is to not only ensure our customers are happy with the service we provide, but that we are maintaining the same great standards each and every time. This means focusing on providing the same great service every time. Here at WCT we understand that taking your car in can feel like a hassle especially when you may not understand why it’s necessary. Buy having an established transmission shop built on customer satisfaction we want to assure you that there’s no need to worry because you are in excellent hands. It’s our job to do the work necessary to have your automobile safe and reliable.

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Car Warning Lights

Car Warning Lights: Know What They Mean

Have you ever been driving to work or school, listening to your favorite song and all of a sudden a flashing red light appears on your dashboard and about a million thoughts run through your head? Is it your transmission? Is a car door open? Did a tire just pop? Wait….is your car going to blow up? Probably not, but if this has ever happened to you, then you know the importance of knowing what the heck those little lights mean when they do appear. If you’ve had the pleasure of it never happening to you, then it’s good to be informed about your car warning lights and how to react to them when they suddenly appear.

Most of the time, the lights that appear can be as simple as just putting on your seatbelt or closing the trunk of your car. Other times they can be serious transmission issues that need to be attended to as soon as possible. In these cases color will be your best friend! Depending on what color the warning light is, will determine the level of importance. If the light is green or blue, it is only telling you that the system is on or operating at the moment so don’t fret. If the light is yellow or orange, this means that something needs to be repaired or serviced soon. So if you find time in your schedule, try and swing by a repair shop to get it checked out. If the light is red, this indicates that there is potentially a serious problem with your transmission and it should be treated as soon as possible! Color is key when it comes down to car warning lights.

Some of the most common and serious lights include: brake lights, engine coolant temperature indicators, engine oil level or oil pressure warnings, engine oil sensor and charging system warning light symbols. Many times these lights or other lights appear at random times which means that a fault has occurred somewhere in the vehicle or transmission. The light does not pinpoint exactly what the issue is though, so if one appears it is best to make it down to an auto repair shop like West Coast Transmission to ensure your transmission is working properly.

At West Coast Transmission we are happy to help you discover what the underlying issue is and making sure we get it fixed in a timely manner. So next time one of your car warning lights appears, don’t panic just swing by West Coast Transmission to get your transmission checked out!

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How to Check Tire Pressure

West Coast Transmission Gives Tips: How to Check Tire Pressure

It is important when owning and operating a vehicle you have the proper knowledge how to maintain it. It can be dangerous being unaware to the different procedures needed to keep it safe for the road. An unmaintained vehicle can cause harm to you, other people, and even the environment. That is why at West Cost Transmission (WCT) we are grateful for our knowledgeable staff. Our staff helps educate and assist drivers on the safety precautions for their vehicles to be safe and manageable to drive. Providing you the best customer service in a timely manner to meet your vehicle needs, is what we pride ourselves on. With our focus on meeting and exceeding our customer’s expectations we are happy to share tips on how to check tire pressure. It is caring for our customer’s wellbeing on the road that encourages us to provide this service in our transmission packages. However it can be followed up using these simple methods.

Firstly, it is important that when and how to check tire pressure you are in a controlled environment. This means we don’t advise checking it in areas or conditions that can cause harm to you or to others. If it is an emergency situation contact the proper services and make sure you are in direct eyesight of other drivers. Secondly, it is recommended that checking your car before it has been driven last can lead to a more accurate reading. When your car has been driven more than 2 kilometers the heat in your tires expands thus throwing off a proper reading.

Next in order to know how to check tire pressure you need to reference either your car’s owner manual or the driver’s side door for the standard cold tire inflation pressure. These numbers are the lowest PSI (pounds per square inch) that you would want to inflate the tires to. This information is suggested by the car manufacture.  The PSI’s can vary depending on your vehicle and your specific wheels.  Once you have access to this guide you will need an air pressure gauge. You can purchase either a traditional or digital model gauge relatively cheap to keep on hand.

To begin the process you need to unscrew the cap from the valve stem on the tire. You can locate this near the hubcap about 1” (2-3cm) long. It will look like a black pencil size extension. Once it is located press the air gauge evenly onto the valve stem and record the reading given. If you hear a hissing sound the gauge is not tight enough or properly fitted. When you readjust your tool you should get a better reading. This reading should correlate to your guide. If it doesn’t you need to add air accordingly or take it to get serviced. Routinely checking your wheels is essential. During changes in seasons and/or weather tire pressure can alter on its own. This can seem like a mundane process, but knowing how to apply these simple methods can keep you and your loved ones safe. After all where would WCT be without its loyal customers? Keep Driving safe!

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Automatic Gear

Everything You Need To Know About an Automatic Gear

What a lot of us don’t know is that our car has an automatic gear, which is generally just called automatic. This type of car is the most common automobile now for many reasons. When a car is automatic, it is a type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves. This option of transmission has become so popular that the majority of people don’t have a clue on how to drive a manual transmission if our life depended on it. But luckily, it probably won’t ever depend on it because the majority of cars sold today are automatic for that specific reason.

Let’s first go in to some detail about what an automatic gear actually does and what all those little letters written on the lever mean. Automatic means basically that you don’t really have to do anything besides hit the gas and break. Well, there is a little more to it but nothing any of us can’t grasp. In an automatic car in order to select a certain transmission operating mode, the driver must move the selection lever to the desired mode. These modes include, park, reverse, neutral and drive.

Park is the safest state of a car. This selection mechanically locks the output shaft of the transmission, restricting the vehicle from moving in any direction. This is where you want to be if you really don’t have anywhere to be! Reverse will either be your best friend or your enemy. When put in this gear, it permits the vehicle to be driven backward and operates a switch to turn on the white backup lights for improved visibility. Be cautious when using this gear and make sure to use all mirrors for your assistance! Neutral disengages all gear trains within the transmission effectively disconnecting the transmission from the driven wheels, which allows the car to coast freely. And lastly drive, which is the most productive and useful position a car can be in. This gear will, without a doubt, be your favorite gear ever. This position lets the transmission engage the full range of forward gear ratios, allowing the car to accelerate through its range of gears.

The convenience and option of an automatic gear is one of the greatest creations in the automobile world today. So if you’re worried about any automatic transmission problems then don’t hesitate to come by West Coast Transmission for a free diagnostic check!

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Vehicle Inspections

The Importance of Vehicle Inspections

Sometimes we truly forget how much we rely on our vehicles every day. We get in our car to go to work, to grab something to eat, and when we need to go shopping. We use our cars to pick up our children from school, bring them to soccer practice, and sometimes to go grab an ice cream cone. At times we become ill and need to go to the doctor and at times we need our car for emergencies. What would we really do without our cars? Imagine a world where you did not have the convenience of this type of transportation, unfortunately this happens to us when something goes wrong and our car doesn’t run properly. But there are methods to avoid these problems before they happen by having regular vehicle inspections done.

The majority of the time there can be problems with the transmission of your car. The transmission is an extremely important part of the car and that is why it must be kept in good condition. This is why it is also important to give your transmission attention and keep it up to date by have vehicle inspections. At West Coast Transmission we believe in having a healthy transmission. So don’t forget to have yours inspected periodically by West Coast Transmission.

If you are experiencing car trouble, WCT is here to help. Once the car reaches us we offer a free West Coast Check in order to really find out what the issues are. If any issues are detected we then address you with the problems and ask for authorization for repair.  We are then able to come up with alternative routes in order to get your car back on the road. The procedure is then performed- then- voila! After finished West Coast Transmission always ask for you to return after two weeks has passed to ensure your transmission is working correctly.

We love to make your transmission a priority so that way you never have to miss your daughter’s recital, get to work late or miss that dentist appointment. Just to be on the safe side, swing by West Coast Transmission or call us for regular vehicle inspections, to guarantee a healthy transmission for your car.

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Car Maintenance

The Do’s and Don’ts of Car Maintenance

Any responsible vehicle owner should know to keep track of their car maintenance routines. Vehicle owner manuals detail when services–including oil change, transmission flush, timing belt replacement, etc–should be performed. The mileage points for these services varies depending on the make of the car, but recommended intervals generally fall into a neat range in which owners should take their cars in for maintenance. The majority of people in the United States are dependent on cars as their mode of transportation. As such, it is important to keep these tips for car maintenance in mind:

DO check your fluids regularly: Even if you don’t learn to change the power steering fluid or even wiper fluid, at least learn how to check fluid levels. Most fluid can be checked using a dipstick, which has markings that indicate optimal levels. If the level is too low, either add more, or try to figure out the cause. Never ignore a leak.

DO take your car into the auto shop if you suspect something is not right: Most car owners are not mechanics, and so don’t have the specialized knowledge to know what’s wrong with their car. If you notice any problems while driving–strange sounds, strange smells, or difficulty in smooth operation–take your car to the repair shop! Don’t let the problem become worse.

DO keep a record of what services were done at what mileage: Maintaining a record of services will keep you on track for scheduling future maintenances, and if you ever plan on selling car, show potential buyers that the car was well taken care of.

DON’T wait until it’s too late to take care of your car!: Many people ignore proper maintenance procedures and end up regretting it later. Small problems could lead to expensive failures if not taken care of early. Be smart and don’t let any problems drag on. Don’t be the fool who has to foot an expensive repair bill because of laziness or negligence!

Preventative car maintenance is the best way to keep car troubles away. One of the most overlooked services is changing the transmission fluid. Manufacturers recommend changing transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, but many owners go for years without being aware of this fact. At West Coast Transmissions, we promise to provide the best transmission maintenance service for your car. If you have not changed your transmission fluid before, or are experiencing any transmission problems, don’t hesitate to call us to set up an appointment!

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