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Car encyclopedia

Transaxle

The transaxle is the transmission and differential combined into one unit. It receives power (torque) created by the engine and sends it directly to the drive axles. The transaxle can be automatic or manually operated.

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • Abnormal noise
  • Abnormal shifting
  • Illuminated Check Engine Light
  • Fluid leak

Related Repair Advice

  • Vehicles with computer controlled automatic transaxles may have upgradeable software in the transmission control module. Before repairs are made, the repair shop should check and verify that the latest software is installed. Transmission software upgrade information is often found in Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) from the vehicle manufacturer.
  • What may appear to be a transmission issue may actually be an engine performance problem. A shop should test drive the vehicle and perform a few checks to rule out an engine problem before focusing on the transmission.
  • If your vehicle has over 60,000 miles, a shop may recommend replacing the automatic transaxle with a re-manufactured part rather than trying to repair an internal failure. The benefits to this approach are reduced future transaxle problems and multi-year warranties on the re-manufactured units. Re-manufacturers may also include updates that address the common failures inherent in that specific transaxle.
  • Not servicing the transaxle fluid at the recommended interval can result in extremely degraded fluid. Servicing a transaxle with high mileage and degraded fluid can result in shifting issues after the service. The clean fluid can actually remove varnish in the valve body. As a result, one or more valves many not seal as well as before the service.
  • It is critical to use the correct fluid type when adding or servicing the transaxle fluid
  • Depending on vehicle design, the transaxle can be located in the front or rear of the vehicle

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