You have started to notice that your transmission sometimes shifts a little late, or that it occasionally misses a gear completely. But it’s not constant, it’s fine for a week, but only when you’re in a hurry or need to go somewhere urgent are problems.
Straight away you get under the bonnet, check the gear oil level, everything’s OK. What happens next? Do you think about going to the service station? But you haven’t got time…
Before you close the bonnet, you notice the battery terminals, which have already turned green and corroded. You think, OK, I’ll just deal with the battery terminals as soon as I’ve sorted things out, but now you’ve got the transmission to deal with, because battery terminal corrosion. has nothing to do with the gearbox. Right?
To your utter disappointment, I’ll tell you that you’re wrong.
In modern cars, gear changes are controlled by a computer. The robot gets a signal from the master unit about the torque, then processes all this and decides whether or not to change gear by sending a request to the control unit. The battery then feeds power to the drivetrain to change gear, but battery terminal corrosion reduces the power to the drivetrain, and as a result, the robot doesn’t have enough power to shift gear.
Corrosion to the battery terminals can cause many transmission problems. Even if the engine starts and runs correctly, problems may occur in the gearbox due to low voltage. This is simply because it requires far more voltage to start the engine than is available for each gearbox stage. It is anticipated and designed that when the engine is started, it will supply enough current to overcome the resistance caused by corrosion of the battery terminals. It’s the same effect as water pressure in a watering hose, it can straighten a bend or break a hose. But if the pressure is low, similar to the amperage delivered to the automatic transmission system, it won’t be enough to straighten the hose. And so your gearbox, it’s going to malfunction, it’s not going to work as it should.
The nice thing about this situation is that this type of repair is very cheap. And you can do it yourself. All you need to do is to service and check your battery in time, and you also need to clean the terminals. But if, after cleaning the terminals, mains voltage is not restored, then it is better to replace the terminals with new ones, which is also very cheap. They are available at any petrol station or in the car section of supermarkets. And it will be hundreds of times cheaper than fixing an automatic transmission. Get in the habit of checking not only the levels of technical fluids but also the condition of the terminals.
Be careful before disconnecting the battery, especially on newer models. Those equipped with robots. Certain problems can occur.
Firstly, these computerised robots have memory and artificial intelligence. If you disconnect the battery, this memory can be wiped and the system will be reset, and the car will drive like new, you’ll feel that there are additional problems, especially with the handling. Don’t worry, it will just need to be used to the way you drive, adapt to the way you drive and conserve fuel. Usually, it takes about 300 to 500 miles. So don’t be alarmed. And drive as you normally do, without changing your driving habits.
And the second most annoying problem is the car radio you have installed.
The fact is that on some cars the radio may have a theft protection system. Disconnecting the battery may disable the car radio and the anti-theft protection will be activated, and you will be required to enter the start code, thus confirming that you are the real owner of this gadget. Normally, no one remembers your car radio’s start code. Therefore, find the anti-theft code from your radio before unplugging it. If it is missing, you should contact the manufacturer of the radio and have it reset, or go to strangers who have the capability and equipment to reset it, which is not a legal way to do it.
If you are confident that these problems will not affect you, you can disconnect the battery. And clean or replace the terminals.
But if you’re not sure you know the radio’s code, and you don’t want to re-train the robot for normal driving. Then you’ll have to turn to our technicians, at our workshop.
At ATRA we have special equipment that connects to your car, feeds minimal voltage to the electrical circuit of your car and keeps the memory of the various devices, preventing them from being reset. As long as your battery is disconnected.