KC Martin Transmissions OFFICIAL Blog
1. Be on the look-out for your vehicle slipping out of gear. This is a common problem sign of a worn out clutch or oil leaks.
2. Watch out for the clutch sticking. When the pedals either become harder to disengage or press upon you should get your clutch inspected. It may not mean that your clutch is broken but there may be some problem with linkage or a leak in your system that needs to be fixed.
3. You will also want to take note of any burning smell or smoke coming from underneath the vehicle. This can indicate that there is a plate problem, overheating or other clutch damage.
Summer is really heating up in the Puget Sound area but as we continue on this streak of hot temperatures, you've got to watch out for your car. Did you know that an overwhelming amount of transmission problems and failures are caused by the car getting too hot? Overheating your car could cost you thousands of dollars in a transmission rebuild. As your car expels heat the hot air travels up from your engine to your transmission and transmission cooler. This also heats up the fluid in your transmission lines. Heated fluid can lead to malfunction of the clutch, burning of the seals, and formation of varnish.
Your transmission uses fluid that functions to keep the transmission parts cool. Over time, this fluid needs to be changed out. Why? Because, contaminants eventually build up and decrease the effectiveness of your transmission fluid. If this fluid is ineffective, that means that overheating of the transmission becomes a major concern. One source, at transmissionrepairguy.com, talks about overheating of automatic transmissions being the cause of nearly 90% of transmission failures. It's kind of simple---protect your transmission, by making sure the fluid is still effective in keeping it cool.
We know that the transmission is a very specific area of your car. Hopefully it's rare that you have major transmission problems, and you may only need to know the basics in order to stay clear of issues. When problems DO strike, however, you might be surprised to find out just how vital the transmission system is to your car, and just how important it is to have a professional you can trust to diagnose and work on your faulty automatic or manual transmission.
Your car or truck's clutch makes the connection between your car's engine and the transmission. A manual transmission, unlike an automatic is under your direct control. As you accelerate, you need to make adjustments with the clutch to transfer power to the transmission and wheels. The clutch connects the engine to the gearbox.
With that understanding of its basic operation, it's important to pay attention to warning signs that your clutch may need replacement. Keep in mind that a faulty clutch can lead to damage of other vehicle parts making the problem even more costly.
Warning signs of a failing clutch:
- Gear Slippage: If your vehicle starts to slip out of gear or is very jerky when you are driving, you may have a worn clutch that needs to be replaced.
- Clutch Sticks: If your pedals become hard to press, your problem is a loss of pressure between the hydraulic links. While this does not necessarily mean that your clutch is failing, it does mean that you need to have the leaks repaired. Failing to have the repair done can lead to clutch failure.
- A Burning Smell This can result from damage caused by overheating. It could also be a result of normal wear and tear. It can also be a result of "riding the clutch" uphill or in slow moving traffic. Don't ignore it.
While it's important to pay attention to these warning signs, you don't have to become obsessed with concern about your clutch or vehicle in general. However, when one or more of these conditions happen repeatedly, it's time to get into our Lynnwood Transmission shop for a look.
In addition to inspecting the clutch our licensed mechanics will also inspect for other potential problems that can shorten clutch life, including:
- Engine oil leaking onto the clutch
- Transmission fluid leaking onto the clutch
- Clutch linkage problems
- Clutch hydraulic problems (on hydraulically actuated clutches only)
- Flywheel problems
- Mis-alignment problems between the motor, transmission, or bellhousing
Once your vehicle has been inspected and necessary repairs made, it's important to pay attention to its operation once you leave the shop. We recommend that you bring your car back in within about 15 days to make sure everything is working properly and that you're happy with the installation. We warranty the clutch against defective parts or workmanship only; not against failure due to reasons beyond our control. We carefully check each component during replacement.
Obviously, the way in which you drive your vehicle makes a difference in the length of your clutch's life. Driver error or abuse of the clutch can void your warranty. Driver error/abuse includes:
- Revving the engine excessively when starting out.
- Resting your foot on the clutch pedal.
- "Riding" the clutch (same as resting, but with more pressure)
- Pulling heavy loads necessitating number 1 above.
- Rocking the vehicle from 1st & reverse when stuck in mud or snow.
- Drivers inexperienced in driving stick shift transmissions.
- Slipping the clutch excessively for any reason.
- Lugging the engine/clutch by being in too high of a gear for the vehicle speed.
If you take care in the operation of your clutch the likelihood of problems will be greatly reduced. Allow us to be a help in any way we can, even if you have only minor concerns. Remember: We've been providing Transmission repair Lynnwood WA has been using for over 65 years! We've got you covered. Hope this info has helped!
We understand that this day and age, folks like to be able to get as much as they can get done by phone or over the internet. It's no different with auto repair. Even if you have an auto repair mechanic that you trust, I'm sure you've researched online what may be wrong with your car. Maybe you've heard a noise and wanted to see what was wrong and what other people are saying that it SHOULD cost to have it fixed. Then, there's all of the people of the area that call and want to know what we charge for certain services (which can vary greatly, depending upon the car you drive). With auto repair, the main principle has not changed: The only way to truly know what needs to be fixed, and what it will cost, is to have a good mechanic examine your vehicle.
We often bring up our successful 65-year history of handling General Auto Repair Transmission Repair Lynnwood, Edmonds, and surrounding areas with integrity. It seems that our best bet to take care of you and your vehicle for the long-term is to be as "hands-on" with your car as possible. This allows us to then be accurate with diagnosis, and with pricing. Auto Repair concerns are usually procrastinated upon, which can be very costly, and mainly it is because of a general distrust of their auto mechanic. It's understandable, but this is simply avoiding the issue. The real problem is that you need to find an auto repair facility that you can trust to do the right thing.
We would ask that if you have any issue with your car (because we don't just do transmissions, we handle ALL of your auto repair needs), that you go ahead and bring it by and allow us to take a look at it. Many times we know very quickly what is wrong, and what it will take to fix it. In Transmission Repair situations and some other areas of your car, diagnosis can be tricky. In any case, we think you'll see that it is much easier and less confusing to have us find out precisely what is wrong, so that you can stop guessing. It's really the ONLY way to get an accurate cost.
Lastly, you have to trust that a business that's been doing this for 65 years is not simply "trapping" you into doing work with us. We also know that you have a life and we do our best to handle your diagnosis and repair in the most timely manner possible. Also, our goal is to have you do the necessary repairs and nothing more. If you give us the opportunity to look at your car the next time something is running incorrectly, then we will show you how painless this process can be. Then you will become another loyal customer for sure.
Car Trouble? Bring. It. By.
Most auto repair shops may list "transmission repair" or "transmission rebuilds" as some of their services, but actually, very few of them have the expertise to do this work. These auto repair facilities handle most of the services they list, but when it comes to transmission work they actually have a lot of that work done by a separate company.
It's part of the reason KC Martin established a second shop-the KC Martin Transmission shop. The idea was that, along with continuing to handle general automotive work, we would have technicians that knew the art that is transmission diagnosis, and could handle transmission work start to finish.
We've trained our own specialists in transmission work and we are renowned for Transmission Repair Lynnwood has been relying on for years. It's a huge asset for us. Even our other location sends the transmission work that comes up at thier shop, over to our shop. Don't worry, you can continue to bring you cars there no matter the issue, we handle the movement between our shops for you.
For a Transmission Rebuild Lynnwood folks need to look no further, and even surrounding areas may want to call us up for our expertise, as we have technicians that have had their hands inside of transmissions for over 30 years, and can diagnose issues as fast as anyone.
When all is said and done we are so confident in our work, that we provide a 2-year, 24,000-mile warranty on all Transmission rebuilds. In fact, we have so much experience doing this, that we can take care of ANY make and model, transmission rebuild, so just bring it by!
Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati are the most famous autos made in Italy. Actually, "auto" doesn't do these companies justice. A more appropriate title would be world class masterful works of art would be closer to reality. If you appreciate the fine art of Italian sports cars, you need to join us for the event of the year at the 6th Annual Concours d'Elegance at The Wood - Featuring "All Things Italian on Saturday, July 13, 2013, 1-5pm on the 18th fairway of the Lynnwood Golf Course.
Here's your chance to help support worthy charities and see some works of auto art up close and personal. Make sure you don't miss out. But wait, there's more. In addition to the car show, there will be wine and beer tasting to enjoy. You just don't want to miss out on this grand event, it will be Benissimo!
Hold on, let's shift into reverse. The night before the grand auto show, is our annual Auction at Edmonds Community College, Woodway Hall from 6 to 10pm.
Both events will provide needed funding for worthy organizations and projects such as the effort to build a playground for children in Peru. (Read more about it here: http://www.clubrunner.ca/Portal/story/StoryDetail.aspx?accountid=2695&sid=302333&stid=Club ) KC Martin Transmissions is glad to be associated with projects like this that better our community and our world. We don't just support and sponsor events like this car show/wine-tasting, but I, Erich, actually got the opportunity to go and work on these playgrounds in Peru.
This project in Peru has been very rewarding for all involved, but so have our Christmas Toy Drives, and many other projects that benefit others. We ask that you please consider joining with the KC Martin Automotive family, and come on out to a very fun event for a very good cause.
For more information and tickets go to our website: http://www.clubrunner.ca/Portal/Home.aspx?accountid=2695
And, go ahead and like us on our official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Concours-dElegance-at-The-Wood-Featuring-All-Things-Italian/224507250908658
Normally, we use our blog to share some tips or info about your transmission or auto care in general. But, we're over half way through the month of April and we felt the need to direct your attention to a limited time offer for you and your car.
The ASA (Automotive Service Association) is running a special program for the month of April called "Don't Drip and Drive" offering free leak checks at all participating auto repair shops! Car leaks are bad for the environment, and also can cause many of your car's systems to fail prematurely.
Too often folks will procrastinate on getting their vehicle seen by a professional, so KC Martin is proud to call upon its customers to go ahead and come in for a free leak check. AND, as part of the program, the ASA is sponsoring a 10% off coupon that can be applied to any leak repair work that is done. You'll need to print off a coupon from our coupon page, plus you'll need to call and set an appointment for your leak check. This program is only for the month of April though, so hurry up and take advantage of this limited-time offer.
Also, on that very same coupon page, we are proud to share a very new idea for our current and new customers. We are now offering a PUNCH CARD for oil changes! That's right! We're letting you print off a card, and when you buy three oil changes in a 12-month period, you can get the 4th oil change FREE! Both of our KC Martin shops are participating, and YES, you are allowed to share the card between multiple vehicles.
Hopefully, this offer will help to remind you that KC Martin wants ALL of your auto service work, whether it be oil changes, transmission repairs, brakes, engine issues, or alignments.....and anything inbetween! Getting your car's oil changed gives us the opportunity to let you know exactly the level of health of your car or truck is showing. You'll come to find that there's a reason that we've been trusted by Lynnwood, Edmonds, Shoreline and other surrounding area drivers. We stay concerned with what you NEED, and don't prescribe work for no reason.
For our longtime customers, these two "deals" are just two more ways that you can benefit from knowing KC Martin and these ways we like to say "thank you" for your continued service. We look forward to seeing you all very soon. But make sure to call ASAP, because our appointment books are filling up fast!
Happy Anniversary to US!
This year KC Martin turns 65! From 1948 to today, our company has continued to provide quality service and repairs to customers in the Lynnwood, Edmonds WA, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Shoreline, Bothell and surrounding areas.
Turning 65 usually means retirement for most of us. In fact, more and more Americans are retiring earlier than that. For KC Martin, it is a milestone representing a lifetime of superior performance and dedication to our customers.
We may be turning 65 this year, but in some ways we're just getting started! As you may know, the Transmission shop has been here for about two decades, but adding a second shop goes to show just how much we have grown with our Edmonds WA and Lynnwood-area customers. There are few businesses these days with a long history in serving the public, particularly in the automotive field. At KC Martin Automotive and Transmissions our reputation is every bit as important as the bottom line, because reputation can make or break a business.
We thought it would be fun to take a look at what was happening in 1948, the year KC Transmissions was founded:
1948 Events & Facts MAJOR EVENTS:
- President Harry S Truman re-elected in upset over Thomas E. Dewey
- President Truman integrates the U.S. Armed Forces
- House Un-American Activities Committee accuses Alger Hiss of spying for the Soviet Union
- U.S. Congress ratifies Marshall Plan, approving $17 billion in European aid
- State of Israel created; admits over 200,000 European war refugees
- Soviet Union seals off land routes to Berlin; West responds with massive airlift of provisions
- World Series: Cleveland over Boston, 4-2
- Olympics held in London
- "Citation" wins Preakness, Belmont and Kentucky Derby
- Boxer Joe Louis retires
- Babe Ruth dies
- Popcorn sold on a mass scale for the first time
- "Scrabble" introduced
We will continue to post on this blog and on the blog at KCMartin.com in celebration of our 65 years in business. All year we'll come up with fun ideas on this theme.
From everyone at KC Transmissions, thanks for to all our customers for your patronage over the pasts 65 years! We look forward to another 65.
We have no problem telling you that what we do here at KC Martin Transmissions is important for the folks of Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mill Creek, etc. But, then again, who doesn't feel that their work is important? We DO handle general automotive at this shop, but of course the real expertise in Transmission repair work is why we have a location dedicated to handling this important component of your vehicle.
I found a nice, educational article that explains some of the basics of automatic transmissions, as an example (Read about Automatic Transmissions here--thank you to Carparts.com). This way, you don't have to take our word for it. The article begins with a statement that, "The modern automatic transmission is by far, the most complicated mechanical component in today's automobile. Automatic transmissions contain mechanical systems, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, and computer controls, all working together in perfect harmony, which goes virtually unnoticed until there is a problem." Exactly!
[In need of Transmission Repair Bothell WA? Yes, we have customers who come from all over to use our transmission and auto services!]
We've written about this in articles before, but it just bears repeating. The reason we can have a shop dedicated to ONE section of a car is due to the fact that it requires a specialist touch. It's so valuable for us to have technicians with over 30 years of experience taking transmissions apart, putting them back together, and feeling or hearing and then seeing every different kind of malfunction these parts can have. As we said before, this is an art AND a science.
If you were to continue to read that article, you could see all of the different "systems within systems" that make this one section, the automatic transmission, work smoothely. It's no wonder why we ask that you bring the vehicle by for an accurate diagnosis and estimate. SO many things can possibly be the culprit of a malfunctioning transmission. Many times, you can't be 100% sure what is going wrong until you can take the transmission apart (as many as 200 pieces) to pinpoint the issue.
There are a few general tips that COULD help you make sure to get the transmission looked at when something may be going wrong. Like many medical issues, with transmissions "early detection" is important. A section of this article gives some valuable tips for spotting problems before they get worse. Make sure to heed their advice, and thank you for taking the time to understand a bit more about how to care for this COMPLICATED part of your vehicle.
Watch for leaks or stains under the car
If there is a persistent red oil leak that you are sure is coming from your car, you should have your shop check to see if it is coming from your transmission or possibly from your power steering system (most power steering systems also use transmission fluid and leaks can appear on the ground in roughly the same areas as transmission leaks.) If all you see is a few drops on the ground, you may be able to postpone repairs as long as you check your fluid level often (but check with your technician to be sure.) If transmission fluid levels go down below minimum levels serious transmission damage can occur (the same advice goes for power steering leaks as well.)
Check fluid for color and odor
Most manufacturers require that you check transmission fluid levels when the vehicle is running and on level ground. Pull the transmission dipstick out and check the fluid for color and odor. Transmission fluid is a transparent red oil that looks something like cherry cough syrup. If the fluid is cloudy or muddy, or it has a burned odor, you should have it checked by your technician who will most likely advise you to have a transmission drain and refill or transmission tune-up.
Be sensitive to new noises, vibrations and shift behavior
A modern transmission should shift smoothly and quietly under light acceleration. Heavier acceleration should produce firmer shifts at higher speeds. If shift points are erratic or you hear noises when shifting, you should have it checked out immediately. Whining noises coming from the floorboard are also a cause for concern. If caught early, many problems can be resolved without costly transmission overhauls. Even if you feel that you can't afford repairs at this time, you should at least have it checked. The technician may be able to give you some hints on what to do and not do to prolong the transmission life until you can afford the repair.
At KC Martin Transmissions, of course we specialize in transmission repair, but we can take care of ANY automotive service, including your brakes. We can handle any brake repair or replacement. So, go ahead---Come in and get your brakes checked for FREE today!
Most people put off that "squealing" sound, heck, even our LOYAL customers wait and wait, and forget that we would be glad to take care of their brakes for them. In fact, BOTH of our shops would love to be your permanent brake repair shop, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mill Creek.....everyone should know that we want to check and repair your car or truck's brake systems.
Whether it's simple pad replacement, which must be done every so often, and it can REALLY range. Some say that brake pads can last as long as 50,000 miles, but depending on usage and type of vehicle, they can last as little as 10,000 miles (pretty rare, but possible). Replacing the pads BEFORE they wear down is the key to making your system last without costly repairs. Over time, though, other brake repairs become necessary, we're always glad to walk you through the needs of your specific brake system.
No matter what your brake system needs, we are ready to handle it precisely and completely. If drums, discs, or rotors are worn or even damaged, we can take care of it for you. We can inspect and check on your brake fluid and your hydraulic system. K.C. Martin can handle any service offered by the national chains, and why not bring your vehicle to us, if you can have the rest of your vehicle serviced here as well.
If you hear squealing or screeching of any kind, or if it has been a year, or 20,000 miles since your last brake check, these are all VERY GOOD reasons to bring your car in and have us do a free check---no need to hesitate. Lynnwood Brake Repair at it's finest...KC Martin wants your brakes fixed at either of our two locations!
We were mentioning in our last post, about how thankful we are to be in business, and how thankful we are to be of service to people as a part of what we do at KC Martin every day. Of course, we do our best to convey that on a daily basis, and well, it's a business like any other, so some days are better than others. Generally, we have done well and have kept generations coming back again and again to our shops for auto repair and good, solid, and friendly service.
Another aspect of how we have shown our thankfulness and care for those around us is through involvement with the local Alderwood-Terrace Rotary. Honestly, I've put in a lot of time and effort with this group and I'm pretty darn proud of what we do and many of the things we've accomplished over the years. It's a relatively small group of business owners, but it's a group of individuals that are focused on making a difference. I had yet to share on this blog, any of the wonderful things we have taken on over the years, but I thought it might be about time to let folks know that some really good things have been happening in our community.
One such thing is this year's 'The Sharing Tree" project. It was the 25th year of collecting and distributing toys and clothing to those in need. We started doing it in 1988 in the toy department of Sears. What happens is that our club and our friends staff "The Sharing Tree" and collect new toys and clothing from the day after Thanksgiving, until the day before Christmas. We then distribute these gifts to those in the area who are eligible for food stamps or whose kids are eligible for subsidized school lunches.
It's a nice idea, right? But how successful and impactful have we been? Well, here are the numbers from the first 24 years: On average, our collection is at around 2000 items, and at an estimated $10.00 per item, we've calculated that over $460,000 in toys and clothing have been collected and shared with people in our community, making the past 24 Holiday Seasons a whole lot brighter for many, many families. We're talking about having a HUGE impact.
I'm writing about this now, not because I am making a ploy for YOUR involvement, because clearly, we are done with the effort for this year----and I'm sure it was a smashing success. Of course, we'd love to have you and yours come and support "The Sharing Tree" next year, but I really just wanted to express how serious I am, and KC Martin Automotive is, about being a contributor to the people and families around us.
I plan to share more about what we are up to, and trust me, there's much more to come. For now, I wanted to sing the praises of the Alderwood-Terrace Rotary Club, though the members don't have any problem remaining unsung heros, it's great news for this Holiday Season that there are Local business owners who really do care and are thankful for all that their community has given them. We hope you all had (and continue to have) a wonderful Holiday Season.
So, it's Thanksgiving Weekend and it's a time to reflect on everything you have. Your family, your friends, your health, and the work you do every day. As a small business these days, you tend to feel thankful just to be able to remain in business. In our case, we are thankful for our 65-plus years as a Lynnwood Auto Repair business! As mechanics and transmission specialists (yes, even the owners are!), we're so glad to be doing the work we've devoted our lives to, for a company that has such a great reputation and that is trusted by THOUSANDS of customers every year.
Sure, it's a bit THANK-LESS sometimes, because folks aren't always happy spending money to repair car problems, but we are glad that we are in the position to help our customers every day. We've had many customers over the years offer heartfelt thanks, they remember our names when they come in, and many of our great customers, bring their car to us for EVERYTHING--from oil changes, to wheel alignment, to major malfunctions, to advice on kind of new car to get. For our customers we are VERY thankful. They keep us moving and without our auto repair and transmission repair customers, we'd have no business to call home.
At both our shops, we remain very thankful that we are part of a business that has grown with the Lynnwood and Edmonds WA communities, and we're are so happy to see customers come from many miles around to experience our service and to stay loyal to the kind of auto service we've demonstrated. We're thankful to have state-of-the-art equipment, and good, experienced technicians that keep us up-to-date and on top of all new developments in the industry.
Our hope is that we can continue to maintain our reputation as a car mechanic that you can confidently hand the keys over to. That all of our current customers continue to bring their cars to us for anything they might need, and to allow us to keep their car running efficiently for years. And, with that, we hope that folks who have never come to us before, will hear about the great work we do, and give us a shot! That's really all we ever ask.....give us the opportunity to show you what kind of service has kept our customers thankful to have found us too!
We're thankful to be here doing what we do, both at our transmission shop and at the original location. Thank you to our longtime customers, and maybe the new customers out there will give us a chance to serve them soon---you might be Thankful that you tried us!