Car Culture-Tip of the Month-That does not compute!

That does not compute!

For those of you who remove and install your own transmissions, there are things to remember to include in your estimate!

Many newer vehicles may require additional work that can result in your shop subletting portions of your repair to another shop, or even the dealership. It is important that the technicians inform their service managers of procedures that will need to be included in preparing an estimate to ensure the repair is done correctly.

These procedures will usually involve some form of a “re-learn” procedure for the Transmission Control Module (TCM) or “re-flash”. This procedure may also be needed even in a minor transmission repair, such as a valve body replacement.

Performing relearns, transmissions adapt resets, and re-flashing can be difficult on Asian and European vehicles. Software for these vehicles is usually very expensive and many shops just cannot make this investment.

Leon’s often receives calls from our wholesale accounts telling us they have not had to perform TCM or PCM reprogramming. However, whenever a transmission with an internal computer in the valve body is replaced, it will require a complete re-flash.

Understanding the malfunction of a transmission can explain when it will or won’t need adaptation resets. For instance, a newer vehicle comes into your shop and the customer states, “I was driving down the road with no problems and the transmission just quit.” Upon the internal inspection of the transmission it was discovered the pump assembly broke. The computer did not have time to adjust to any malfunction therefore, a reset of the transmission adaptations was not necessary.

Take this same car, but the customer states that the transmission has been slipping from 2nd to 3rd for weeks. After the transmission was replaced, when road testing the car, it has harsh up and down shifts. Before you pull the transmission out thinking something is wrong, be sure you have performed the correct procedure to reset the transmission adaptive shifts. The computer does not know you have replaced the transmission and it has ramped up the internal pressure to compensate for the slipping clutches. This is why the new transmission seems to operate with a problem. In some cases, a transmission replacement will require the TCM replacement also. And remember, the TCM is not always internal in the transmission.

For questions on procedures to reset adapts or TCM re-flashes, contact your nearest LEON’S TRANSMISSION SERVICE CENTER.





Ford 5R55W transmissions hold 10 quarts of oil. A service dropping the pan and replacing the filter will require about 4 quarts. Always check levels a second time!




A man pulled over to the side of the road when he saw the police lights in his rear view mirror.
“How long have you been riding around without a tail light” asked the officer?
“Oh, no!” screamed the man, jumping out of the car.
“Calm down, it isn’t that serious.” said the officer.
“Wait until my family finds out.”
“Where’s your family?”
“They’re in the trailer that was hitched to the car!”