Speciality Repair Services
Kennedy Transmission Brake & Auto Service is a nationally recognized leader in modern vehicle power and transmission technologies. Whether it is a Toyota hybrid drive system, Ford Superduty TorqShift transmission, Nissan CVT or Audi Dual Clutch transmission we are well equipped to diagnose and repair the system.
We take a great deal of pride in the quality of our rebuilt transmissions. However, on modern vehicles, most transmission problems are not the result of internal wear or component failure requiring an overhaul. More often than not, we are diagnosing and repairing problems such as module failures, wiring, solenoids, pressure transducers, stepper motors etc… My business partner Blaise Bayer and co-workers Ross Pikkarainen, Jeff Stepp and the rest of the team routinely diagnose difficult issues for other repair facilities and dealerships. Proper diagnostics can take time and we do charge for our time, but if we are able to quickly determine the source of the issue, we stop at that point and advise our customer accordingly. Failures such as control modules, wiring, stepper motors, valve body issues and even solenoids can on occasion take considerable time to diagnose and confirm, but generally these repairs are significantly less expensive than overhauling the transmission. Our first objective with every transmission issue is to determine whether the unit can be repaired without removal from the vehicle or if it will need to be removed for the repair.
CVT or Constant Variable Transmissions are quickly replacing traditional multi gear automatic transmissions in newer light vehicles. CVT’s optimize better for fuel economy and as such are being used widely by many OEM’s as a means to meet CAFE standards. These transmissions have been in automotive use to some degree since the early 20th century. Because of better and less expensive manufacturing and metallurgy processes, modern CVT's are able to handle the high torque and high speed demands of modern vehicles. While the majority of domestic transmission rebuilders do not diagnose or repair CVT transmissions, we truly enjoy working on them. While their issues may be very different than those of conventional planetary transmissions, they are still an electric over hydraulic over mechanical system; with failure points than can often be rectified if some degree of an overhaul is necessary.
Despite the ever increasing market share, many repair facilities are very reluctant to work on European vehicles; their communication protocols, management and monitoring systems, and even mechanical structures can vary widely from what technicians are used to seeing from Domestic and Asian manufacturers. We appreciate the different methodologies that our friends across the pond employ in many of their transmissions and have extensive experience with these units. In addition, we are seeing more and more European crossover systems in new vehicles. One example is the ZF-Friedrichschafen ZF6HP26 transmission, variants of which have been widely used by BMW, Audi and Jaguar, is the basis for many of GM and Ford’s 6 speed transmissions. In a truly expanding global market, with our strong European understanding, we are particularly well suited for these crossover transmissions.
Hybrid Drive Systems
Hybrid vehicles have been a part of the mass vehicle market for almost 20 years now. With many of the concerns about performance, battery life and drivetrain reliability allayed, they continue to grow in popularity. I find in talking to repair facility owners and managers across the country that next to CVT transmissions, this is their biggest area of trepidation. I have heard repeatedly, “300 Volts of Direct Current!? We won’t go near it!” Although there are additional safety precautions that must be taken when working on Hybrid systems, it can absolutely be done safely. The smooth power transfer from the combination of a battery/ motor assembly and a combustion engine to the final drive makes for a very interesting system. Whether it is a hybrid battery, inverter pump, stator or electrical issue, we appreciate the engineering that goes into hybrid vehicles and enjoy working on them.
Transmission Rebuilding/ Commercial Building
Transmissions are at the heart of our business. We take a lot of pride in the units we rebuild; especially when we see them back for service many years later and find that our transmission significantly outlasted the original unit. While there are common failure points for each unit, transmissions fail in a myriad of ways. We hand spec. and build every transmission as an individual unit. Over the past two decades the industry has shifted towards replacement transmissions as a commodity. Many transmissions are now pre-built in a warehouse setting on an assembly line. Each worker has her or his job on the transmission and a specific set of parts are installed into every transmission. The emphasis is on a balance between low cost and maintaining an acceptable failure rate. We have been inside many of these units and seen a full spectrum, from only high quality and oem parts with many updates in the unit, to minimal parts replaced with economy components, normal wearing components not replaced and improper installation of components in the transmission. The quality of a rebuilt transmission can vary immensely. We fully spec every transmission we build, only use top of the line components and do not leave “passable” or “good enough” components in a build. For example, a modest amount of wear on a planetary set that may not cause a short to mid-term issue means it gets replaced. We are always looking to improve the quality of the transmission from stock where we can; whether that means over-boring a flow control valve, sleeving a transmission case for reinforcement or re-valving for better pressure management, we do not want our customers to ever return (for another transmission repair). Although we often save our customers a lot of money, we never claim to be the “cheapest” rebuilders. Quality over price or speed is the only way we rebuild. We have commercial customers from around the Midwest who absolutely understand the value to this approach. Our commercial units are built to keep vehicles with multiple driver’s and heavy loads on the roads without issue.
Kennedy Transmission Brake & Auto Service appreciates your interest in what we do and welcome any questions you may have.