What Are the Steps of Transmission Tune Ups?

Every car has a transmission apparatus that contains a gearbox system and a drive train. Just like car servicing, special checks and adjustments are also available for the transmission system. Another name for this servicing is transmission tune ups.

The vehicle transmission is a car part that facilitates the transfer of torque and speed from the vehicle engine to the wheels in adapted volume. The internal combustion engine runs at high speed, which is not suitable for starting, stopping, or running a car. This apparatus controls the engine speed to start, halt, and run at optimal speed.

The Services Included in Transmission Tune Ups

The transmission tune-up service includes multiple checks and actions depending on the type of transmission, automatic or manual. These services are:

A. Transmission Fluid and Filter Check

The fluid inspection gives a clear idea about the overall health of the car transmission system. Red oil indicates a good state of the transmission. However, the presence of unusual odor from the fluid or discoloration indicates wear and tear within the transmission system.

The transmission filter stops any dirt and debris from getting into the gear. The mechanic will inspect the filter and replace it if necessary.


B. Lift Inspection

Checking the car lift is another crucial step of vehicle transmission servicing. It includes certain checks and adjustments of the followings parts:

  • Engine RPM
  • Neutral Switch
  • Modulators
  • Throttle Linkage
  • U-Joints
  • Transmission Mounts
  • Electronic Controls
  • Fluid Retention

C. Road Test

This segment of transmission tune ups includes a static and driving test by an expert car mechanic. A thorough and close look at the transmission is essential to understand if the following problems are there:

  • Gear slipping
  • Any unusual noise during shifting
  • Stiff or irregular gear shifting
  • Late or early shifting

D. Examining the Transmission Pan

The transmission pan houses the transmission fluid and pan gasket. It also allows inspection of the apparatus without opening the entire system. The presence of a small volume of friction materials or metal particles in any transmission pan is normal. However, an unusual amount of such elements suggests internal damage and wear of the device. Gasket replacement can resolve any leak of the internal fluid. If this does not stop the drip, transmission pan replacement will be necessary.

When comparing the transmission tuning up of a manual car to an automatic model, the main difference is the replaceable parts. For manual cars, the transmission fluid is completely removed and then refilled with new fluid. However, an automatic shift calls for oil exchange. Also, there may be the need to replace fluid filters and gaskets.

transmission tune ups
All cars need transmission servicing every two years. (Credit: Rutger van der Maar / Flickr)

Signs that Transmission Tune-up Is Necessary

Usually, every vehicle needs a transmission tune-up after 30,000 kilometers or two years, whichever comes up last. However, any of the following issues call for an immediate vehicle checkup:

  • Gear slippage
  • Stiff gear shift
  • Leaking fluid
  • Check engine light on
  • Burning odor
  • Grinding or shaking while driving


The transmission tune ups of a vehicle are unavoidable after a certain time or mileage. Therefore, you must have an idea about transmission servicing to understand whether it needs tuning or not.