This booklet is produced by the
Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Professionals.
Taking a few minutes to read it will better acquaint you with the services we provide and allow you to learn more about the proper care of your vehicle. For more information please visit our web site at www.leemyles.com
A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE
Lee Myles is the most experienced name brand in the transmission repair industry. Our first Service Center opened in 1947, not long after General Motors’ Oldsmobile Plant rolled the first automatic transmission off the production line. Popular Science Magazine referred to Lee Myles as “The Most Trusted Name In Transmissions” and the description has stuck with us ever since. For nearly 60 years our customers have shown their trust by asking us to perform services and repairs in addition to transmissions. Since almost all systems in the modern automobile depend upon each other to operate properly, we gradually became involved with servicing and repairing the entire vehicle. Our participating centers are equipped to provide a wide array of repairs and services and our technicians are trained on all the latest procedures, which is your assurance that your vehicle will be serviced or repaired properly and economically the first time. It will also ensure that service at a Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Center will get you back on the road quickly and confidently. If you have any questions or concerns, just call Lee Myles National Customer Relations at 1-800-LEEMYLES. We are here to help you.
GET TO KNOW YOUR VEHICLE
The modern automobile is a computer on wheels. Unlike your home computer that receives its input from a mouse and a keyboard, your car gets it from you doing things like turning on the ignition, stepping on the accelerator or the brake, or placing the transmission lever in one range or another. It also collects data from outside sources such as vehicle speed, engine and outside temperatures and even how high you are above sea level. All of these factors and many others dictate how the engine will run under varying conditions, how the transmission will shift, and even how the brakes, steering and other safety devices will react under difficult conditions. Many cars today can even monitor tire pressure, help to keep you from going into a skid, and tell you when they are due for service.
Why Maintain Your Vehicle?
Anything as complex as the modern automobile will need to be inspected and serviced on a regular schedule. Even if each component was designed and manufactured flawlessly, outside influences and conditions will cause them to wear or become damaged, requiring repair or replacement. Motor vehicles today are many times more reliable than they were as few as twenty years ago, but they need service and maintenance to keep them that way. So investing periodically in the replacement of fluids and filters, along with a thorough inspection to catch wear and damage before a breakdown occurs, can only save you money and give you the peace of mind you want from your vehicle.
TEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR VEHICLE’S ENGINE
1. It runs by producing a series of small, timed explosions. Pistons, either 4, 6, or 8 of them, depending on the size of the engine, move up and down in a sequence when these explosions occur, turning a crankshaft which brings the power to the transmission and eventually to the drive axles and the wheels. These explosions take place because a mixture of fuel and air is compressed and ignited at precisely the right moment.
2. It runs on gasoline. Various engines require different octane levels in order to run properly. Regular is about 87 octane and is recommended for most engines. It is usually adequate to keep them from knocking or pinging (the tinny-banging sounds you hear from using a lower grade gasoline that ignites too early or too late in the engine’s cylinders and robs their power). Plus, about 89 octane, is for higher compression engines. Super or Premium is usually 92 or higher octane and is used in high performance engines. Its use might help a high mileage engine to run smoother and have a bit more power.
* Using a low octane gasoline that causes knocking or pinging can result in engine damage over time. A higher octane than is necessary will cause you to spend an extra 10 to 30 cents per gallon unnecessarily.
3. The on-board computer is the boss. Based on all of its sources of input, the computer tells the engine how much air and fuel to spray into the cylinders and when to fire the spark plugs that cause the explosions to move the pistons and turn the crankshaft.
4. A fuel pump, normally mounted in the gasoline tank, pushes the fuel, under pressure, through a filter to the spray nozzles in each cylinder, called fuel injectors. It is very important that this fuel filter be replaced regularly and that the injectors be cleaned periodically. One of the major causes of breakdowns is a clogged fuel filter, due strictly to lack of maintenance.
5. It’s an electrically charged environment. Although the standard voltage in a vehicle starts out at 12 volts, by the time it reaches the spark plugs it’s been kicked up to several thousand volts by a device know as the coil. When the high voltage spark jumps across the electrodes of the spark plug it ignites the pressurized fuel/air mixture causing the explosion. These perfectly timed explosions push the pistons down in a sequence that keeps the crankshaft turning at a smooth pace. The electrical charge from the coil goes through the distributor and its high tension wires to each spark plug by use of electronic on/off switches controlled by the computer.
6.Timing is everything. Intake valves open to let the fuel/air mixture into the cylinders. Then they close to allow pressure to build on the next upward stroke of the piston. After the explosion that pushes down the piston exhaust valves open to allow the burnt gasses to leave the combustion chamber. The opening and closing of the valves, the movement of the pistons, and the exact moment the spark takes place must be perfectly timed. Most engines make use of a timing belt or chain to keep everything synchronized. It must be inspected and replaced at regular intervals to keep the engine running properly and avoid major damage that can be caused if the belt or chain breaks.
7. It gets awfully hot in there. The explosions in the combustion chambers can bring the cylinder head temperature to over 1,000 degrees. To keep the engine at a normal operating temperature of 195 degrees, cooled liquid must pass through the cylinder heads. A radiator is mounted in front of the engine where cool air can be pulled through it by a fan. The coolant is circulated by the water pump through the radiator, the engine, and the heater core inside the vehicle to provide passenger compartment heat from the temperature of the engine. The entire system must be checked periodically for leaks, pressure and the chemical effectiveness of the coolant (antifreeze).
8. Moving engine parts cause friction and must be lubricated. Motor oil constantly bathes each moving internal engine part. An oil pump keeps the pressure up to lubricate bearings, bushings, and other parts subject to wear. It is cleaned through a filter and must be checked regularly for level and changed often.
9. The emission system cleans the air. Clean air in – clean air out. The engine sucks clean air in through a filter that must be replaced regularly. At the same time the system must clean the exhaust gasses before discharging them back into the environment. Modern vehicles make use of a catalytic converter which, through a chemical reaction reduces the harmful gasses to water and carbon dioxide. A poor running engine can, at times, exhaust bad gasses into the environment that either bypass the catalytic converter or render it ineffective. That’s why a tune up and an emission test is necessary from time to time.
10. Abuse kills. Ignoring dashboard warning lights and gauges or running an engine low on oil or coolant can do serious damage. Running out of gasoline, causing debris and water in the tank to be sucked into the system, refusing to let the engine warm up when operating in cold climates, over-revving or otherwise pushing the engine beyond its stated limits can all cause damage or at least cause service to be required at shorter intervals.
WANT YOUR VEHICLE TO OPERATE MORE ECONOMICALLY AND LIVE LONGER? HERE ARE TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO.
1. Don’t ignore the “Check Engine Light”. Referred to in some cars as the “Service Engine Soon Light”, it only illuminates if the vehicle’s on-board computer has detected an abnormal condition which requires attention. Even though you may not feel an immediate difference in the vehicle’s performance, something is wrong that could be causing long term damaging effects to major components such as the engine or transmission. Have the problem diagnosed by a professional immediately, while it may not be too costly to repair.
2.Don’t ignore other dashboard lights and gauges. An overheated engine or one that runs low on motor oil can be seriously damaged. If the hot light or low oil pressure indicator comes on, pull over immediately and turn off the engine. Do not start it again until the condition has been remedied.
3. When it’s below 40 degrees out – Don’t start your car and immediately place it in gear and take off. You have to give the engine, the transmission, and the power steering oil pumps at least a couple of minutes to circulate oil to pressurize their systems and provide adequate lubrication to moving parts.
4. Don’t make “Jack Rabbit” starts and stops. They will cause excessive wear to engines, transmissions, drive shafts and axles, along with brakes and tires. Take off gradually and leave enough room in front of you to avoid panic stops.
5. Don’t rock your car in sand, mud, or snow. Dig it out or have it towed. Both are less expensive than the damage you may cause by quick shifting between Reverse (R) and Drive (D) over and over again. The excessive heat that is caused by such action can burn out a transmission in a very short period of time.
6. Don’t let anyone tow your vehicle with the drive wheels on the ground. Rear wheel drive vehicles must be towed with the rear wheels off the ground. Front wheel drive with the front wheels in the air. All wheel or full time four-wheel drive vehicles should be flat towed (all four wheels off the ground) Not sure? Check your owner’s manual. Improper towing can cause serious damage!
7. Don’t drive any car without taking a quick peek underneath. A major fluid leak of any kind can cause a serious problem. Look for a big puddle. It could be brake, power steering or transmission fluid. It could be engine or differential oil, or engine coolant. If a couple of drops of any of these is found you may be able to drive to get service, but if it’s a big puddle you’d be safer to call for a tow.
8. Don’t forget to check tire pressure and fluid levels regularly. Service stations used to do this for you when you bought gasoline. Now most stations are self service and there is no one to check anything. The main cause of premature tire wear is under inflation from not checking regularly and the major cause of transmission failure is undetected small leaks that, over time, cause the fluid level to become too low to properly pressurize or lubricate the transmission.
9. Don’t self install electrical devices such as radios or alarm systems. Let a professional do the installation. More damage is done to the car’s computer and electrical systems by “Do it yourself installers” than by any other means.
10. Don’t buy and add over the counter additives without the advice of a qualified technician. Known in the auto service industry as the $3.00 cure, many have no useful effects and others can actually do harm to operating rubber parts like transmission and brake system seals, sometimes causing severe damage.
TEN INDICATORS OF POSSIBLE BRAKE, STEERING, OR SUSPENSION TROUBLE
1. Squealing or squeaking noise when braking – Can be worn out brake shoes or pads, dirt or debris trapped between the pad and the rotor.
2. Light scraping noise when vehicle is moving with foot off the brake pedal – Can be the wear indicators on disk brake pads scraping on the rotors to indicate that pads are worn beyond their serviceable limit.
3. Heavy scraping noise when brake pedal is depressed – Can indicate severe brake pad or shoe wear to the point where the steel backing behind the brake lining is cutting into the rotor or drum.
4. Vehicle pulling to one side or the other when brake is applied – Can indicate brakes applying on one wheel but not another. Could be a frozen disk brake caliper or drum brake wheel cylinder (the devices that provide the hydraulic pressure to apply the friction devices such as the brake pads or shoes).
5. Fresh fluid stains under the vehicle near the wheels – Can be brake fluid leaking from hoses, calipers or wheel cylinders, or hydraulic oil leaking from shock absorbers or struts.
6. Vehicle pulling to one side or the other when brake is not being applied – Can be very low tire pressure on one side. Can be a worn or damaged steering component such as ball joints, tie rods, steering rack and pinion unit, idler arm, or steering box.
7. Steering wheel hard to turn to one side or the other or won’t return to center on its own after executing a turn – Possible steering box or rack and pinion damage. Wheels out of line from an accident or hitting a curb, or worn steering components.
8. Vehicle leans to one side or the other – Can be a weak or broken spring or low tire pressure.
9. Front of vehicle dips excessively when braking. Can be weak or broken springs or struts.
10. Vehicle keeps bouncing after going over a bump – Possible wear or damage to shock absorbers or struts.
TEN VEHICLE PROBLEMS SOMETIMES MISINTERPRETED BY CUSTOMERS AS TRANSMISSION TROUBLE
Many things can happen to your car that might make you think you have a transmission problem when you really don’t. Here are ten conditions that can affect transmission performance, but are not part of the transmission itself and can be relatively inexpensive to repair.
1. Poor fuel system adjustment.
2. Dirty fuel injectors or fuel filter.
3. Engine timing out of adjustment.
4. Poorly adjusted shifter cable or throttle linkage.
5. Damaged engine vacuum line.
6. Broken engine or transmission mounts.
7. Poor performing engine.
8. Collapsed exhaust pipe, muffler, or clogged catalytic converter.
9. Computer or sensor malfunction.
10. Electrical or wiring problem of any kind.
TEN CHECKS YOU CAN PERFORM UNDER THE HOOD
Since most gas stations are self service these days you will need to look at certain fluid levels and obvious wear conditions on a regular basis. Your safety is of utmost importance as you perform these checks.
1. Check engine oil level and condition – With the engine shut off remove the dip stick. Wipe it off and reinsert it. Remove it again and look at the level. If it is more than one quart low you must add oil. If the oil is dark in color it may be time to have it changed along with the oil filter.
2. Check transmission fluid level and condition – With the parking brake engaged and the engine running with the transmission in neutral or park, remove the dip stick. Wipe it off and reinsert it. Remove it again and look at the level. If it is at all low, it needs to be brought to the full mark even if that means adding less than a quart of fluid. *If the fluid is low or is dark brown or black or has a burnt smell have the transmission checked immediately for leaks or possible internal damage.
**Note: Some vehicles may not have a transmission dip stick. If not, the fluid level must be checked electronically. Your nearest Lee Myles Center will be happy to do that for you.
3. Check brake fluid – Many vehicles have a clear plastic reservoir with a full line on the outside. You may have to wipe it off in order to see the fluid level. If it is low have the brake system checked immediately for leaks. This can be a dangerous condition.
4. Check power steering fluid – With the engine off remove the cap on the power steering pump reservoir. It has a small dipstick attached to it. Wipe it off and reinsert it. Remove it again and check the level. If it is low add fluid to bring it back to the full mark even if it only takes a little bit. The reservoir only holds a small amount so there isn’t much margin for error. A burnt smell or specs of metal in the fluid can indicate damage to the power steering pump, the steering box or rack and pinion unit.
5. Check coolant level – Most vehicles have an “overflow bottle” which is separate from the radiator. It is clear plastic and may need to be wiped off in order to see the level. The cap on top of it may or may not be under pressure. Never remove the cap when the engine is hot. Always let it cool first and cover the cap with a towel as you open it a little at a time to release any pressure in the cooling system without being squirted by coolant. Note: Coolant is highly toxic. Wear eye and hand protection.
6. Check the electrolyte level in the battery. With the ignition key off and wearing eye and hand protection – If it is a sealed battery there is usually an indicator that glows green on top if the level is okay. If the battery has removable caps remove them and look at the fluid level. If it is low add water to the full mark. Try not to overfill.
7. Check air pressure when the tires are cold. As a vehicle is driven, friction heats the air in the tires expanding them as much as ten pounds above their cold pressure reading. Under inflating can take one half to two thirds off the life of a tire.
8. Check windshield washer fluid – In cold climates be sure to use washer fluid that is rated to at least -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Check fan belts for looseness, fraying, or missing teeth. With the engine off feel the belts to make sure they are tight and not damaged.
10. Check radiator and heater hoses – With the engine off squeeze the top and bottom radiator hoses to make sure they aren’t soft or cracked. Look around the radiator and on top of the engine for signs of coolant leaking.
TEN SERVICES THAT SHOULD BE PERFORMED ON A REGULAR BASIS!
1. Engine Oil and Filter Change – Every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on severity of use – more often when mostly in heavy traffic or high heat conditions.
2. Automatic Transmission Service – Every 10,000 to 15,000 miles depending on severity of use – To include transmission pan removal (if applicable) to inspect for damage and debris, replacement of pan gasket and filter. Service might include power flushing the transmission and its cooling system to replace 100% of the fluid.
3. Brake, Front End and Driveline Inspection – Every 5,000 miles to determine brake wear and damage or wear to steering, suspension, and driveline components such as shock absorbers and struts, tie rods, steering boxes or rack and pinion steering units, drive shafts or axles along with their universal or constant velocity joints and their protective rubber boots.
4. Brake System Flush – Every 20,000 miles to replace worn out hydraulic brake fluid that is subject to a lot of heat and pressure which can cause it to break down over time and minimize braking effectiveness.
5. Timing Belt Replacement – Which may include water pump and belt tensioner replacement depending on engine type – Every 60,000 miles on average (check your owner’s manual) to keep breakage from occurring which can cause serious and expensive engine damage.
6. Differential Drain, Clean, and Fill – Every 20,000 miles to include (if applicable) removal of cover and inspection for damage or debris along with replacement of gasket and gear oil.
7. Cooling System Inspection and Flush – Every 30,000 miles to include pressure test complete system for leaks, visually inspect engine freeze plugs, water pump and hoses for potential problems, flush cooling system and replace with full strength coolant (antifreeze).
8. Fuel Injector Cleaning Service – Every 20,000 miles to include pressure test fuel pump, inspect fuel lines for rust and wear, clean fuel injectors and test output.
9. Serpentine and Fan Belt Replacement – Every 30,000 miles to include belt tensioner if necessary. These belts drive the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, emission pump and water pump. Breakage can cause engine overheating and severe damage.
10. Air Conditioner – Once a year, in the Springtime, to include inside vehicle temperature check, freon pressure and leak test, and damage to hoses, compressor, evaporator, condenser, expansion valve, and receiver/dryer.
KEEPING YOUR ENGINE IN TUNE CAN SAVE YOU MONEY!
An engine tune up at regular intervals is a preventive maintenance service that can help to keep a smooth running, economical, fuel efficient engine. Although a tune up can be the answer to a rough running engine or one that is lacking in power, it will not necessarily solve such conditions, as they may be signs of other mechanical or electrical problems.
When your engine isn’t running properly it is NOT a good idea to insist that your service provider perform a tune up. It would be better to have the technician hook up all of the appropriate diagnostic equipment to determine the cause and proper cure for the problem. After all, it might be something minor for which an inexpensive repair would be indicated.
A tune up can include the replacement of spark plugs, ignition wires, PCV (positive crankcase ventilation valve), fuel and air filters, along with a test of the ignition system, a reset of the engine timing, and a service of the fuel system and injectors.
WHY CHOOSE LEE MYLES?
Experience. Lee Myles is the oldest transmission chain in the United States. It was started in 1947 to provide expert transmission diagnosis and repair to the motoring public. Since then it has grown to be a premier provider of both transmission and auto care repairs and services.
Capability. Lee Myles technicians are up to date on all of the systems in the hundreds of vehicle types on the road today. They have the equipment and the know-how to diagnose and repair automotive and transmission problems in the most economical way possible.
A Procedure You Can Understand. The Lee Myles Center Manager will take you through every step in the diagnostic and, if necessary, the repair and maintenance procedure. He or she will make sure that you understand and are comfortable with the entire process.
Empathy And Concern. Lee Myles Center Managers are people just like you. They understand how traumatic it can be when you first discover or suspect a transmission or other major vehicle malfunction. So they treat their customers the way they would want to be treated.
Full Disclosure. Although the modern motor vehicle is perceived by many to be a “Black Box” that they will never understand because of its sophisticated computer, hydraulic and mechanical systems, at Lee Myles we don’t think having it repaired should be a mystery. That’s why you will always receive a written estimate upon request and a repair order that will detail the diagnosis and the parts and labor required. You will be invited to inspect any and all parts to be replaced.
Accountability. Lee Myles is a franchise, a group of independently owned and operated centers that must conform to the high standards set by the franchisor. Unlike dealing with a small local transmission or auto repair shop where the owner has the last word, Lee Myles maintains a full time Customer Relations Department designed to keep its customers happy. It can be reached at any time by simply dialing 1-800-426-5114.
Peace Of Mind. When your vehicle has been serviced or repaired at a Lee Myles Center you don’t have to give it another thought. You’ll know you’ve been treated to the highest quality service or repair and customer care standards in the transmission and auto care industry.
TEN STEPS TO THE LEE MYLES DIAGNOSTIC AND REPAIR PROCEDURE
You Always Feel Safer And More Comfortable When You Know What To Expect.
When You Suspect A Transmission Or Any Other Problem….
1. Dial 1-800-LEEMYLES. Your call will be automatically routed to the Lee Myles TRANSMISSIONS & AutoCare Center nearest you.
2. The Lee Myles Center Manager will ask a few questions to determine whether the vehicle can be driven to the center or, if it is safer, to dispatch a tow truck to have it brought in.
3. When the vehicle arrives at the center, a FREE (V.I.P.) VEHICLE INSPECTION AND PERFORMANCE SERVICE will be provided to determine what kind of a problem you are having and whether it can be handled by performing a minor service or repair, if more extensive action must be taken, or, for that matter, if there is any problem at all.
*Note: On occasion, because of electrical or electronic problems indicated, further diagnosis will be necessary to determine the cause and possible cure for the malfunction. In such situations the Center Manager will ask for approval to go ahead with a more in depth study of the problem. This may include the use of an electronic scanning device or other equipment designed for the purpose. There may be a charge for this diagnostic service, in which case the Center Manager will explain it in detail and ask for your authorization to continue.
4. If it is determined that the problem is minor the Center Manager will recommend an appropriate course of action to resolve the problem. It may involve a repair and/or a service to that or another part of the vehicle that either controls or has some influence on the function of the component exhibiting the problem.
5. If the engine, transmission, differential or other major component exhibits signs of internal wear or damage, the Center Manager may ask for authorization to remove it from the vehicle and disassemble it to determine the cause and the extent of the damage. There may be a charge for this service. If so, this charge will become part of the cost of the repairs when you decide which corrective service best suits your needs. It will not be in addition to it.
6. When the component has been fully disassembled the Technician will present the Center Manager with a “Worn and Damaged Parts Report” along with a “Breakdown of Labor Operations” which will be used to help calculate the actual cost of the repair.
7. You will be informed as to exactly what caused the component failure and the steps that will be taken to once again make it road-worthy. Several repair options with various warranties may be offered.
8. Once you have chosen the option that best suits your requirements, the repair, reconditioning, replacement, or rebuilding of the component will be completed. After it has been reinstalled the vehicle will be road tested to confirm that the process has indeed solved the problem. You will then be informed that the vehicle is ready.
9. When you come to pick up your vehicle the Center Manager will once again go over, in detail, the procedure that was performed, the itemized invoice, and a complete explanation of the warranty and how you would go about getting service under it. Only when you understand all of the details and have no further questions will the process be considered complete.
10. You will be invited to bring the vehicle in for a re-check within the next two weeks to confirm that the component is functioning normally and that all questions and concerns have been addressed.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does Lee Myles have financing available?
Financing is available in most cases to qualified buyers through several lending institutions. Your Center Manager will be happy to help with the details.
Aren’t professionals like Lee Myles more expensive?
No. Lee Myles can save you money by diagnosing your problem correctly and fixing your vehicle right the first time. Our maintenance programs can help to keep expensive breakdowns from occurring. All of our dealers offer the FREE (V.I.P.) VEHICLE INSPECTION AND PERFORMANCE SERVICE to determine the extent of necessary repairs and many offer free local towing (if required) to the center with a repair. They will only sell you the repair you need to put your vehicle back in tip-top shape, nothing more and nothing less.
How long will it take to service or repair my vehicle?
Minor repairs, services, and adjustments can many times be done immediately, while you wait. More major services involving the removal and repair of the engine, transmission, differential, or other major component can take one or more days depending on parts availability and complexity.
What types of warranties are available on major repairs?
The standard limited warranty is 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. But there are extended warranties available depending on the level of service chosen. Your Center Manager will explain all the details.