Transmission Strategies That Save Fuel! Start/Stop and Neutral-Idle Powertrain Management
Automobile manufacturers are exploring every way possible to make vehicles more fuel-efficient. Powertrain management strategies are tailored with this in mind, while simultaneously maintaining a seamless and responsive driving experience. The result is a combustion engine coupled to a transmission with systems added to control and maximize the efficiency of every drop of fuel that […]

Putting the Rubber to the Road! Ford's Light-Duty All-Wheel Drive System
Small sports utility vehicles and cars with all-wheel drive capability are becoming more commonplace. Every major auto manufacturer has its version. High-speed CAN bus networks, powerful computers, and lightweight drive components make adding all-wheel drive to existing front-wheel-drive models in their lineup more practical. Besides providing added traction and control on adverse road conditions,...

Challenging Times - A Dodge Challenger with an 845RE in Failsafe
A customer came into the shop with a 2016 Dodge Challenger with a 3.6L motor and an 845RE transmission with a no-shifting complaint. He owned the vehicle from new and experienced a no-start condition one morning. Being a do-it-yourself kind of person, he jump-started his car a few times and eventually replaced the battery. After […]

Engaging Moments! Ford's Vacuum-Actuated Locking Hub System, Diagnosis and Issues
Convenience and ease of operation are things we have come to expect out of our daily driving experiences. Pushing a button should give us exactly what we want immediately. This is what we have grown to expect from our 4-wheel drive systems. Since the introduction of shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive, automakers have taken a multi-step process […]

The Devil's in the Details! A Machinist's Look at the 6L80/6L90 Units
The 6L80 and 6L90 transmissions have become the most popular rear-wheel drive GM transmissions in most of our shops. We have seen several patterned failures, written numerous articles, and found countless fixes to keep these units on the road (and the list doesn’t end). With so many of them in need of repair, they have […]

The ZF 8HP: It's Shift Strategy, No Problems Here! Adaptive Strategies and How They Affect Your Diagnostic Process
The ZF 8-Speed transmission is a well-balanced unit that seamlessly fits into powertrain management systems. With a blend of shift quality, gear ratios, unit footprint, efficiency, and durability in one package, it produces stellar performance under every conceivable situation. However, the mechanical and hydraulic engineering only works so well due to the electronic powertrain management [&hellip...

Get in Line! A Machinist's Look at the 6L80/6L90 Pump Alignment
The 6L80 and 6L90 transmissions have been in the aftermarket for over a decade. By now, most transmission shops see these transmissions regularly. One common issue that brings these units to your shop is torque converter failure, which also destroys the pump. With this in mind, many shops are prepared to replace or repair the […]

Introducing the Toyota AC60E
Toyota’s 6-Speed Saga Continues… With Fewer Parts! Since front-wheel-drive vehicles are a better choice for fuel efficiency, rear-wheel-drive vehicles are becoming less popular. With the added weight of a differential assembly, driveshaft, and support components, there is really no way for a rear-wheel-drive vehicle to win the pole position in fuel economy. However, in truck […]

The ZF 8HP: The New Kid on the Aftermarket Block!
When I was a kid growing up in a small, east coast city, there were other kids who moved in and out of our neighborhood regularly. Then there was that one kid that arrived and we knew he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He was the kid that seemed to fit in without any problems, […]

TIPM Problems! Intermittent Fail Safe, Codes, Related Concerns and Solutions
Since Chrysler introduced the A604 transmission in 1989, controlling the power feed to the transmission was a major concern. Low resistance, fast acting pulse width modulated solenoid circuits needed to be monitored and tested constantly to ensure the computer would not be damaged. When shorts to power, shorts to ground and open circuit faults are […]

Old Shifty Toyotas! Diagnosing Shift Quality Issues in Toyota's Six-Speed Units
Toyota has always maintained a unique approach for managing shift quality. Ports lined up in a case like missile silos loaded with accumulator pistons and specifically calibrated springs were their trademark weapon for ensuring good shifts. Since the introduction of pulse width modulated solenoids, shift quality management duties have slowly drifted away from accumulators and […]

Why Doesn't It Adapt? Things to Look for When Your Transmission is Not Adapting
Adaptive shift quality technology has been with us since the late 1980’s. Chrysler’s A604 is the most noteworthy trailblazer of this technology. Since then, every manufacturer has followed with their own version of shift quality adaptation. With increased computer processing capacities came more advanced methods for managing shift quality. Of course, with increased complexity comes […]

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Are Here! What You Need To Know To Keep Your Transmission Safe
Commercial airliners don’t leave the ground without a pilot and a co-pilot at the controls. They work together as a check-and-balance to ensure that everything from preflight to post-flight goes successfully. This is an added safety measure to minimize the probability of human error related accidents. Driver assistance devises have been introduced into the automotive […]

Toyota's Aging Front Wheel Drive Six Speeds: Common Issues with the U660E and U760E Transmissions
The U660E first appeared in the Lexus ES350 and the Toyota Camry in 2007. Then it showed up in the 2008 Avalon, followed by the Venza in 2009. It is used behind the V-6 engines. The U760E was first used in model year 2010 for 4-cylinder application motors. These units have logged thousands of miles […]

Dropping Out of 5th Gear... Yes, There's an App for That
Recently, I was in Australia for a seminar presentation. During my time there, one of the shops told me about an intermittent problem they had with a 2012 Toyota Prado 150 series with a 3.0L diesel engine and an A750F 5-speed transmission. For us here in the US, this vehicle would be akin to the […]

VW 0AM: A Look at Volkswagen's DSG with a Noteworthy Twist!
We are bombarded by new transmissions everywhere we turn. Manufacturers are doing everything they can to gain an advantage in fuel economy and driving experience satisfaction. The transmission plays a vital role in both of these areas. That’s why there is such a variety of transmission types on the market today. Direct Shift Gearboxes (DSG’s) […]

The Nissan RE5R05A is Getting Old!
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A look at an uncommon problem with a common unit The RE5R05A made its debut in 2002 in the Infiniti Q45. Since then, it’s become standard equipment, an automatic rear wheel drive transmission found in most models for Nissan and Infiniti. Variants of this unit are found in some Kia and Subaru applications as well. […]

8L90: Diagnosing Strategies: A Look at Diagnosing New Technology
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Technology continues to change the nature of automatic transmissions. With Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) and Direct Shift Gearboxes (DSGs), planetary-based automatic transmission technology had to make advances in order to maintain relevance. Tipping the scale in technological genius is the 8L90 transmission. Utilizing a stand-alone TCM, a clutch-to-clutch gear train control set up an...

Vision: An Event Worth the Experience
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The most successful managers and technicians in the automotive industry are fully aware of the need for continued training, to prevent being blindsided by advances that others have experienced and are willing to share. This is what Vision EXPO is all about. It’s a gathering of the brightest minds in the industry with a common […]

Not the Typical DSG! Acura's Twist on a Direct Shift Gearbox
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Leave it to Honda to create a transmission that the world has never seen before. Ever since the H2 Hondamatic transmission was introduced in 1973, Honda transmissions have been dubbed as strange, different, or unique, depending on one’s point of view. Transmission builders worldwide either love them or hate them. Holding true to this history, […]