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Soft Parts get changed on every Automatic Transmission Rebuild..

After writing about the hard parts in a transmission, specifically an automatic transmission, I was asked by Brian of GotTransmissions.com what other parts are in an automatic transmission? Wow, are you kidding me Brian? Brian is a terrific businessman, a mechanic he is not, so I wanted to give him as well as my readers a basic tutorial on the other major parts in an automatic transmission.

Soft Parts: A  bit of automatic transmission jargon or terminology that describes many of the components in an automatic transmission. The soft parts are actually designed to wear out at a slow even rate over many miles and moons. In fact soft parts are critical in sealing the pathways the transmission fluid goes along to the different components in your automatic transmission in order to produce movement and shifting functions.

Soft parts are a big reason to stick with factory recommended and authorized ATF. The factory synthetic ATF has all the proper additives in it to meet the rigid requirements that are needed for your vehicle.

First you must understand an automatic transmission is hydraulic, meaning it has a pump which produces plenty of oil pressure, as much as 300 plus pounds per square inch of unregulated pressure.

What are the actual soft parts?

1. Metal clad front and rear seals

2. Hi-temperature rubber 0-rings and seals

3. Rubber drum seals or  bonded rubber clutch pistons

3. Bushings and bearings

4. Clutch plates

5. Bands

6. Modulators

7. Filter/s

8. Upgrade kit

9. Automatic transmission fluid-ATF

There are some people who debate whether bearings should always be replaced. I have heard arguments about reusing clutch plates and bands. Don’t even think about it. Is it worth saving $25 to $50 on a possible $2000 transmission rebuild only to have constant warranty problems or another transmission failure right after the warranty ends?

There are different grades of soft parts. Believe it or not, the factory uses the best brands of soft parts available. Better than racing parts. I want to point out that parts for racing cars don’t necessarily last longer in a street driven vehicle. Simply put, it never pays of to scrimp on how many soft parts are replaced and the quality of the parts used. It makes sense to me to question a transmission salesman when the price is out of range with other shops on the low side. Perhaps it is silently worth questioning the amount of training and experience that particular shops technicians have.

A very strong indicator of the confidence a transmission supplier has in the products they sell is what the warranty consists of? How long is the warranty? How many miles is it good for? Is it good on a nationwide basis, backed by a reputable warranty company?

You can’t tell what is in a book by it’s cover, the same stands true for most transmissions. Unless it is obviously dirty or there are other signs that point to a possible problem. Lots of places paint their transmissions to make them pretty or for identification purposes. I prefer to see a non painted, very clean aluminum case. You can’t hide anything if you don’t paint it. But don’t make that the final decision in purchasing a remanufactured transmission.

Decision making should be determined by how well educated you are on the subject. GotTransmissions.com blog is just for that purpose. The information and facts printed in our articles are designed to help you be an educated consumer, or if you are a home repair mechanic perhaps you will pick up some valuable tips in your automotive repair endeavors.

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