Almost any gearbox can be break down. Thus automatic transmissions are vulnerable to breakdowns even more strongly, than a manual transmission. If the driver doesn’t observe the terms of service, doesn’t change technical fluids in proper time or has an aggressive style of driving, including not warmed up car, the problems with a gearbox are unavoidable. But there are also factory defects, which affect the service life of the unit.
How to prevent quick automatic transmission failure
If you follow the basic rules of automatic transmission maintenance with regular oil changes (ATF), as well as careful operation of the car can prevent premature failure of the complex and extend its service life. What is on the list of mandatory requirements to achieve these results?
Firstly, it is important to avoid prolonged idling in traffic, especially in warm weather, as it may provoke overheating of automatic transmission.
Secondly, one should not make jerks (especially in winter), as important units and mechanisms of automatic transmission will be exposed to oil starvation against the background of such phenomena.
Thirdly, when driving off-road it is important not to put excessive loads on automatic transmission.
Consider the list of the most problematic crossovers in terms of transmission reliability. This will include models with both automatic and manual transmissions, which are presented in the lines of Japanese, American and European automakers. Often you have to spend a fortune to repair them, and the costs will be higher than the price of the car itself.
Land Rover Range Rover
The legendary British Land Rover Range Rover SUV is still extremely popular around the world, being considered the standard of luxury and power. Models produced since the 1990s and 2000s are much cheaper than when they went on sale. Accordingly, they are very interesting to potential buyers. But is it all so good, or are there nuances that should not be omitted?
Unfortunately, the SUVs of this brand cannot boast impressive reliability. And to a greater extent it concerns power units and transmissions. Also with improper maintenance or aggressive operating conditions, electronic components and suspension parts fail. It is not so easy to find spare parts, as one would want, and the repair of the car is very expensive.
The weak point of the JF506E series boxes is the appearance of micro cracks in the clutch pistons. When such malfunctions developed, slippage started when shifting from 4th to 5th gear.
Also a big threat is the wear of the clutch housing support sleeve on the piston rings. If this happens while driving, oil pressure drops drastically and the transmission goes into disrepair.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The full-size family crossover, which is known for its rich on-board equipment and good-looking exterior, takes the next spot in the ranking. However, buyers still have serious questions about the car’s reliability.
For example, the Jeep Grand Cherokee from the 2000s and 2010s often has transmission problems. To fix them, you will have to shell out a hefty sum of money. The first generation SUV used the Japanese Aisin A340 4-band transmission, which was considered unkillable.
As for the cars aimed at the North American market, it was equipped with a 4-speed transmission from Chrysler A500 series with hydraulic control. The second generation was equipped with the computer-controlled A518 4-speed transmission.
The main difficulties with the Jeep Grand Cherokee transmission affected the electronic part. Especially when it comes to the 722.6 model. With increased loads on the transmission, serious problems with the electronic control unit were observed. In case of untimely oil changes the solenoids fail.
On trucks with significant mileage it was necessary to change the hardware, using the repair kits. Also in the risk zone was the cooling system, which was subjected to rapid wear.
The Nissan X-Trail
The Japanese Nissan X-Trail with Jatco JF613E automatic transmission was rated third. This transmission has never been famous for its stability to extreme conditions of exploitation or aggressive style of driving.
Nevertheless, with careful care it could run up to 250,000 km, and after that some parts have to be replaced. Oil change is required every 50-80 km, without waiting for the wear of rings and bushings. If the box is exposed to high loads and frequent overheating, maintenance should be performed earlier.
Another problem of the 6-range “automatic” is the short-lived hydro-block with solenoids. The settings of the electronic components limit the load capacity of the solenoids. And, as in the case of the 4-speed Isin, here the forced locking of the torque converter unit is triggered sparingly, starting from the 4th speed.
The German crossover Volkswagen Tiguan has a large audience of fans. This is a credit to its cute design and relatively low cost. However, its 09M 6-band transmission, which is mainly used on all-wheel drive versions, is very demanding to maintain.
As experts note, with timely replacement of transmission oil the service life of the complex can make over 400 thousand km. The heat exchanger is mentioned among vulnerable places, which is better to be replaced by the outside radiator.
The Hyundai Creta crossover with a 2-liter engine and A6MF1/A6LF1 six-band transmissions is on the fifth line of the rating. The units themselves are quite repairable, but they can fail quickly if improperly serviced or if oil change dates are ignored.
What are the most problematic transmissions found on crossovers
There is a whole list of gearboxes that are inherently short-lived and vulnerable to various breakdowns. Many troubles manifest themselves already after 60-80 thousand km of mileage or earlier, if the basic rules of operation and maintenance are not followed.
6T30 (Chevrolet, Opel)
The 6T30 automatic transmission has been actively used since 2008 on Opel Mokka crossovers, Chevrolet Orlando compact vans, and other cars of these two automakers. Buying cars with such a transmission on the aftermarket is very risky, especially in conjunction with the 1.8-liter powertrain. And the 1.6-liter engines are hardly given to her.
The 6T30 transmission is oriented to low torque ratings of up to 200 Nm. Units put on sale until 2010 were subjected to rapid overheating, after which the friction coils burned out and torque converters and baskets deformed.
Along with this, owners complained about fast bushing wear, significant vibration and oil leaks. Even with careful treatment it is possible to face such symptoms after 40-60 thousand km run. Closer to 2014, some of the problems have been eliminated, and the service life of the boxes has increased to 250 thousand km.
Similar problems have the boxes 6T40, which were installed on Opel and Chevrolet cars of more recent versions. Among the additional troubles was the breakage of the corrugated spring. Its fragments could damage the oil passages and cause more dire consequences.
The Jatco JR507E
This transmission is found on full-size crossovers and SUVs from various automakers, but the vast majority are installed on Nissan vehicles, including the Pathfinder and Patrol until 2016. Before 2010 they could be found on Infiniti cars.
The Jatco JR507E is ideal for V8 powertrains and often lasts up to 350,000 km. But its electronic components are very capricious, and if you practice an aggressive driving style with frequent jerking, slipping and overloading, it leads to dire consequences.
In the transmissions of the first versions there were problems with “brains” and also leakage of coolant into the oil. But engineers soon eliminated these defects.
But the vulnerability to overheating remained. And if you prefer an aggressive driving style and often drive in deep mud, it can provoke wear of the torque converter or solenoids. Timely oil changes and oil level checks are essential for this transmission. Even minor repairs can lead to significant financial costs.
The upgraded “automatic” of this series was installed on crossovers Renault Sandero and Duster. Therefore, if you are interested in buying a car of the French brand, it is better to refuse from copies with mileage over 100 thousand km, where such boxes are installed. Instead, you should take a variant with “mechanical”.
The main problem with transmission is the fast destruction of main solenoid at overheating. Also the shaft bushings and “brains” are subject to wear.