+ Is it ok to run my petrol engine on e10 fuel for the life of our vehicle?

The higher octane fuels contain more additives which can help clean your engine. Also the higher octane fuel can also in prove your fuel economy which allows you to travel more kms per tank or fuel. It’s our recommendation to use E10 fuel around town for small short trips and use the better-quality petrol on long trips.

+ I have a light that is now showing on my dash while driving what should I do?

First pull over and check the owner’s manual which should explain what the light is and what you should do. If the vehicle seems to be driving and stopping normal you should be able to drive it to the workshop. If you notice something different in the way, the vehicle behaves we recommend having it towed to the workshop.

+How often should you service your vehicle?

Each vehicle has a vehicle logbook which sets out the service schedule for the vehicles life. Most log books run for approximately 200,000kms or 12 - 14

+ How often should you check the fluid levels in your engine bay?

Most vehicle recommend to service the vehicle every 6 months or 7,500/10,000kms. If this recommendation is followed your levels should not need to be checked. However, is a good idea to at least check the engine oil level and the coolant overflow tank level before any long distance trips. Also during the summer periods if sitting in traffic for long periods of time.

+ How often should I check my tyre pressure and what should they be set at?

Each vehicle has a tyre plate normally stuck to the driver’s door pillar, if you match the size of the rims and tyres on your vehicle to the plate you can set the pressures to the factory recommendations. If there is no plate 34-36psi is a good pressure for most day to day vehicles. If carrying a load or traveling at high speed 110kph + on a long trip 40psi would be the maximum pressure but will need to be lowered for normal driving. (Space saver spear wheels are set to 40-60psi please check what is written on tyre for correct pressure).

+ I have bought a vehicle from interstate how do I resister it in NSW?

Each state has different vehicle registration requirements and standards. To register a vehicle in NSW the vehicle will need to pass a Blue Slip inspection and have a 12 month CTP insurance policy.

+ I own a historic vehicle with historic registration how do I renew the registration?

Currently as of 2016 you only require to pass a Pink Slip inspection which is an original paper copy from an AIS book. The inspection can’t be processed via the internet which is known as an eSafety check.

+ When you purchase a vehicle how do you know if it’s been in an accident?

Before you hand over your payment there a few websites like Car History and Vehicle Check which you can enter the vehicles details and for a small $20-$30 payment with give this information. Also, make sure there is no money owing with any finance attached to the vehicle.

+ If I fill my car up with the incorrect fuel what should you do?

This can be a common issue for fleet vehicles even with signs posted. If you realise before starting the engine don’t turn the ignition to ON or start the engine. The vehicle needs to be towed to a workshop and have the fuel tank removed and flushed with methylated spirits. If the vehicle has been driving and broken down, there could be more issues like blocked fuel pump & fuel injectors.

+ My oil light came on how can I check my engine oil?

First stop the vehicle in a safe area and turn the engine off. Pop the bonnet and wait 5 minutes to the oil to settle. Find the dip stick which should have a yellow handle. Pull it out and wipe with a clean cloth, then dip it back in to the engine & check where the level is.

+ How do I know what engine oil my vehicle takes if I need to top up it up?

We use Valvoline oils in our workshop if you know your vehicle details please use this link to find the recommended fluids for your vehicle. Lube guide Link here


+ What is an automatic transmission?

And automatic transmission uses hydraulically applied wet clutch packs to engage each gear ratio via an internal planetary gear set. What is a CVT transmission? A continuously variable transmission (CVT) uses an internal belt drive system which continuously changes gear ratios in a seamless movement. These unit are also hydraulically applied and have an internal start up clutch and reverse clutch.

+ What is a DSG transmission?

A direct shift gearbox (DSG) uses a dual clutch system with twin shaft allow multiple gears to be engages at the same time. When you experience a gear change like an automatic it’s the primary or secondary clutch applying. Each gear change happens before the clutch applies allowing to quicker & smother gear changes.

+ How do I know how many gears my automatic transmission has?

Some vehicles have a digital counter on the dash which will show each gear when changing. The shifter may need to be moved into a sequential mode and shifted to show the gear. Some shifters show the numbers on the centre console with drive being top gear. In early model vehicles that have an overdrive button this would be top gear.

+ I was told my Automatic transmission was fill for life what does this mean?

A quick answer is during the manufactures warranty period they don’t recommend to touch the transmission unless there is an issue. We don’t recommend flowing this recommendation outside of the warranty period. Please see blog post here

Most manufactures will have a recommendation in the service log book. However, due to the expensive repair cost of the automatic transmission we recommend every 20,000kms or 12 months. Some vehicle can go as long as 3 years or 60,000kms as they have a better-quality oil which allow the longer time period.

+ What does a Automatic Transmission service involve?

A transmission service is similar to the engine/vehicle service where we change the automatic transmission fluid and filter. Some vehicle has an internal filter which can’t be changed. We also check the selector adjustment, any external cables and check for any diagnostic codes.

+ My car still drives but it seems to be stuck in a higher gear?

This could possibly be a Limp-Mode condition, where the transmission computer has a failsafe that locks the transmission into 3rd gear. Some time you can pull over and switch the car off and on again and it will clear itself until the problem occurs again. If you are close to our workshop you can limp it here if it won’t clear otherwise, please call us.

+ How do I check my automatic transmission fluid?

Most vehicles have a dip stick which requires the engine to be a idle, shifter in park and hand brake on. Pull the stick, wipe with a clean cloth and dip it in and check the level. There is a hot & cold mark on the stick it is always best to check when cold to get a better reading. Some vehicles don’t have a dip stick and require the vehicle to be raised on a hoist, please call us for more information.

+ How do I know what transmission fluid my vehicle takes if I need to top up it up?

We use Valvoline, Fuchs & Genuine transmission fluids in our workshop if you know your vehicle details please use these links to find the recommended fluids for your vehicle. Lube guide Links here My DSG transmission seems to be shuddering when shifting gears? This is a common complaint and could be a sign of a worn dual clutch, we can sometimes carry out a relearn on the control module which can eliminate the issue. Please call to make a booking.

+ My CVT transmission has a shudder on take-off con you fix this?

CVT transmissions have a start-up clutch which applies to make the vehicle move from a stand still. This clutch can become glazed like a mirror and start to slip which feels like a shudder/jerking feeling. Some European vehicles like the Audi A4 require a relearn on the transmission module. The most common to see this is the Honda Jazz which will need a fluid change and a shudder additive booster added. Please call to make a booking.

+ My vehicle has lost all drive and reverse what happens now?

If you are with the NRMA or have Roadside Assist please call and have it towed. If you don’t have any road assist with your insurance, please contact us for towing information.

If the vehicle loses all drive/reverse it could be a few things and not always related to the transmission.

  1. broken drive shaft
  2. damaged cooling line or major transmission fluid leak.
  3. internal transmission failure relating to pump or output gears
  4. internal clutch failure blocking transmission filter. (Vehicle may present drive for short periods when cold).

+ Should I fit an Automatic Transmission oil cooler?

Every automatic transmission has a cooling unit fitted to keep the transmission at operating temperature. Most of which run through the engine coolant via your vehicle radiator or and external heat exchanger unit. For hi-performance and towing its good to fit an external air to oil transmission cooler to help keep the fluid cool. But the coolant system in some vehicles are prone to cracking filling the transmission with coolant which results in a completer rebuild of the automatic transmission. Therefore we recommend to fit an external cooler in by-pass of the factory unit to eliminate this risk.


Do you feel like your question hasn't been answered? Write us a message down below and we will answer it as fast as possible.  


+ What Is A Transmission

A transmission is a connection between the engine and differential and its purpose is to transmit engine torque to the driving wheels. Transmission performance can only be as good as the power supplied from the engine and the driving members to which the power is transmitted.

All automobile transmissions use a combination of friction materials bounded to metal plates and bands, rubber or neoprene seals and bushings. These parts are considered soft parts and will eventually wear out from normal usage. When the seals lose their flexibility and the friction materials and bushings become worn, slippage and other malfunctions occur. If these problems are not corrected, more serious wear occurs to the hard parts ( metal drums, gears and pumps ) of the transmission, especially if the transmission is abused.

+ Preventive Medicine

  1. Check your transmission fluid regularly and change it frequently ( we recommend once a year ). Change or clean your transmission fluid filter or screen at the same time. The "inhibitors" to wear in your transmission fluid deteriorate with use. Excessive heat causes these "inhibitors" to deteriorate, only more rapidly.
  2. We at Col Voss automatic transmissions send a friendly reminder notice to all our customers the following year that we have worked on their transmission to inform them when it is time.
  3. Towing a caravan, boat or trailer causes an automatic transmission to labour and to build up heat. You should have a transmission oil cooler installed, the size of which will depend on the work load intended. It would also be a good idea to manually select the proper shift position and mode when pulling a heavy load so that frequent automatic shifting of high into intermediate and back is avoided. This will help prevent foaming and overheating of the fluid.

+ Warning Signals

Problems sometimes occur, even with the best kept transmission. The following are some of the warning signals to watch out for and repairing them when they first arise can keep repair bills down.

  1. Slippage between gear shifts-the motor races between shift changes. This is most generally caused by glazed or burned clutches resulting from normal usage with low fluid condition. Have the transmission fluid checked on a periodic basis.
  2. Puddles of transmission fluid on your driveway may mean that your transmission is leaking from faulty cooler line or fittings. This is not a major job if it needs seals, can be done for between $50 and $100 depending upon the make and model ; providing it is done as soon as the leak becomes apparent, or major repairs are bound to be necessary.
  3. In order for a transmission to operate properly, the car's engine must be in good running order. Often rough shifting and excessive wear are caused by improperly tuned engines. An engine tune can save both you and your engine and transmission extensive repairs.
  4. If your transmission cannot be shifted at all or the shift handle-T bar is hard to move, it is possible your selecters need repairing and there is nothing wrong with your transmission at all. If when going forward or reverse you notice the gear shift handle - T bar move down or up to a different point on the quadrant have the engine mountings checked.
  5. On some cars the upshift is controlled by vacuum supplied by the intake manifold on the motor. If the car won't upshift or shifts erratically, the vacuum modulator may not be functioning or the vacuum line to the transmission might be ruptured. Such repairs are inexpensive and quickly completed, provided the repair is done as soon as possible.