Ask Certified

Consider the Certified Transmissions, Inc. website your online Prescott auto repair diagnostic, service, maintenance, and repair question and answer resource. Each ASE Master Automotive Technician at Certified Transmissions Inc. understands that a vehicle problem can raise confusing issues for our customers. Our office and shop Staff also know that many questions can be answered as a FREE online service! You can now ask us any transmission or general service question online, and an ASE Master Technician will either answer it or refer you to where you can find an answer. So, if you have vehicle driveability issues of any kind, or just need to know something about your “ride,” please check out our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), or submit the “OIR” (Online Information Request) form below. Your personal information will always be treated as private, confidential, and protected.


Is there anything I can do to prevent a transmission breakdown due to overheating?

Every vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission has, from the factory, either a transmission cooler unit built into the vehicle's radiator, or a small external unit near the radiator. Under Normal driving conditions, these solutions can be expected to keep your transmission sufficiently cool; however, Arizona's heat and mountainous driving conditions are your automatic transmission's worst enemy. All Arizona driving, even in-town, is considered SEVERE! Keeping this in mind, there are some things you can do to help prevent a premature transmission failure due to overheating.

We highly recommend installing a larger cooling capacity external transmission cooler, plus using synthetic fluids (unless it is an older vehicle which has always used conventional fluid), and using Certified's recommended Lubegard special transmission supplement for conventional and synthetic fluids which helps reduce heat in your transmission by an equivalent of 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit. This combination, along with a full transmission service at two-year, 24,000 mile intervals (sooner if your vehicle tows or hauls even small loads) is a great way to help prevent overheating and many other major transmission issues.

My transmission shifts “funny.” Does it mean I need to replace it?

It may indeed mean rebuilding your transmission. It can also mean any number of issues other than with your transmission. Starting in the 1980s, new vehicles increasingly became controlled by internal vehicle computers. Today, many auto repair issues scattered throughout the entire drivetrain (engine, transmission assembly, transfer case, differential, driveline, catalytic converter, etc.) can, and do affect information flowing to the computers. No matter where this occurs, the information can and will affect how the transmission works or doesn't work. There are several problems, including with transmissions, which are caused by faults in the fuel delivery, oxygen delivery, exhaust, and suspension systems as well. The only way you can be sure what is causing common, or uncommon noises, shudders, lack of performance, hard, missing, or “funny” shifts, or no movement at all is to fully diagnose the entire drivetrain. We recommend Certified Transmissions' $89 Level 2 electrical, mechanical, and fluid drivetrain diagnostics for your vehicle. Afterward, we discuss with you any auto repair issues found or suspected, plus our recommendations before taking any customer approved service or repair action. This service is very helpful BEFORE purchasing a used vehicle, even from a dealer.

How often should I have maintenance services performed on my transmission systems?

Vehicle operation anywhere in Arizona falls under the SEVERE driving category due to either hilly and mountainous driving or high ambient temperature conditions, which are often combined. This means a transmission fluid and filter service only* for passenger cars, pickups, and vans should be performed at a two-year or 20,000 mile interval, whichever comes first. Commercial vehicles and any vehicle which tows or hauls even small loads regularly should decrease the interval to one-year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Transfer case and differential services should occur at a three-year or 30,000 mile interval, whichever comes first. Again, Commercial vehicles and any other vehicle which tows or hauls even small loads regularly should decrease the interval to two-year or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first.

*A transmission “flush” is not recommended due to frequent transmission failures from a clogged trans filter following this short-cut to a full service, which shocks the transmission. Many flush procedures even leave the old trans filter in the system. If your vehicle's transmission has a non-renewable filter screen, it is still a much better practice to service and not flush and shock it. Please ask us for more details before you flush or service your vehicle's transmission, or have any auto repair started.

General Services:

My car is making a weird noise. What does it mean?

At one time or another, even brand new vehicles can and do make unusual noises, often very weird ones indeed. Arizona's SEVERE rated driving conditions doesn't help matters. Worse, seemingly identical noises can have very different causes, and the same cause can have very different noises. Our Certified Transmissions, Inc. highly trained ASE Master Technicians look forward to diagnosing and eliminating a challenging “weird” noise or any other auto repair issue of known or unknown cause. Often, our $89 drivetrain electrical, mechanical, and fluid diagnostics isolates the cause of these issues right away.

As always, only work which is actually needed and authorized by our informed customers is performed. Also, don't assume that a weird noise means the worse or most expensive repair. We've relieved many noisy issues by very quick and simple means. Even if it sounds like an auto repair requiring more in-depth diagnostics, we only do what is absolutely necessary, and only after owner approval. Doesn't that sound better already?

Where's this leak coming from?

All leaks of a vehicle's fluids indicate a problem. Some raise serious safety and driveability concerns, and some are mostly annoying. Knowing the difference is crucial.

To operate, all vehicles depend upon their fluids properly flowing through, and remaining in its various complicated systems. Such liquids include engine oil, engine coolant, power steering and brake fluid, transmission fluid, transfer case and differential fluids. Also, heavy grease in joints, struts, axle boots, etc. liquefy over time and will leak as parts wear out. Seals, which keep fluids from leaking, must be flexible in order to keep fluids contained. They wear out quicker than the metal parts surrounding them. When they do, they allow the fluids to escape, or leak. Leaks are also caused when metal parts themselves, even entire housings wear, crack, break, or otherwise fail.

Finding the source of a resulting leak is not always easy. Even an obvious drip visible at a certain spot under your vehicle may have migrated a considerable distance from its source. Worse are the internal leaks within systems, which do not leave visible traces. Prescott's auto repair specialists at Certified Transmissions, Inc. are trained to identify and locate your vehicle's leaks, from whatever their source(s). Our Engine Oil Crankcase Service includes a full vehicle inspection, including noting possible leaks. As with any auto repair issue, even just annoying leaks left untreated too long can become a much bigger problem down-the-road, so-to-speak.

I can get this fixed a lot cheaper somewhere else. Why should I trust Certified Transmissions, Inc.?

Certified Transmissions, Inc. is not the cheapest Prescott auto repair and service location, and we're proud of it. Since the Pfeiffers broke ground for our family owned and operated automotive repair shop in 1987, we've built a solid reputation of doing the most proper, longest lasting, and dependable diagnostics, service, maintenance, and repair possible. This not only keeps us in business, it brings in business from all over Arizona and the Nation. We've even seen vehicles from customers in Canada, Mexico, and South America.

A big reason for Certified's auto repair reliability and trustworthiness is that, unless specifically requested by a customer, Certified Transmissions, Inc. uses only parts, tools, fluids, and repair procedures meeting or exceeding Original Manufacturer Equipment Specification (OE) fit and function to care for our customer's vehicles, private or commercial. This explains why such items as our in-house transmission assembly rebuilds are able to carry up to a 4 Year, 48,000 Mile, Local Limited Transmission Warranty Agreement (LLTWA).

Our Certified Transmissions, Inc. staff also represent a combined 250 years of automotive and customer service experience and excellence. The staff and the shop carry audited certifications from the likes of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), Better Business Bureau (BBB) A+ Accreditation, Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), Automatic Transmission Service Group (ATSG), Automotive Service Association (ASA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and Certified Auto Care. Our Owner and President, Mike Pfeiffer, represents us as a member of the elite Sonnax Tasc Force, whose responsibilities include research, development, and implementation of updates and fixes for common, and uncommon transmission assembly diagnostic and repair issues worldwide. We further invest tens of thousands of dollars to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive Staff training, plus OE Spec vehicle diagnostic, service, maintenance, and repair tools and equipment possible.

We may not be the cheapest shop, but not every item is costly. At only $89, our complete Level-2 electrical, mechanical, and fluids drive train diagnostics (engine, transmission assembly, transfer case, differential, and suspension) is a small investment for your peace of mind, especially BEFORE you purchase a used vehicle, or your current transportation begins exhibiting auto repair problems.

Have a Question? Call us or fill out the form below with your inquiry!

Certified Transmissions Complete Auto Care is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Certified Transmissions Complete Auto Care (928) 778-2231 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.