M&R Automotive is a leading auto repair shop serving Menlo Park, Atherton, Daly City, Palo Alto, and Belmont. The transmission is one of the most important components in your vehicle, as it transfers power from the engine to the wheels through a series of gears. This can be done in two ways, although the process is fairly straightforward for a manual, with the shifting being done by the driver during acceleration. On the other hand, automatics use a series of hydraulic valves, springs, and clutches which are operated by computer-controlled sensors or solenoids in most newer vehicles. 

Unsurprisingly, they are complex and expensive items that require periodic maintenance to keep them running in peak condition. Should your vehicle be experiencing transmission issues or need routine service, schedule an appointment today, and we will have you back on the road in no time.


Brake Replacement

Your car’s braking system is the first line of defense in an impending accident. Driving a car with bad brakes puts the driver and other road users at risk of an accident. On the other hand, ensuring your vehicles have well-functioning brakes can save your life and other road users. Therefore, ensure your brakes are in good condition before driving.

A good braking system is important to a safe journey. At M & R Automotive Repair, we offer brake replacement services needed for the safe operation of the vehicle. We have expert technicians trained to fix your vehicle brakes. So you can be assured that your car is in safe hands.

SMOG Check

We are a STAR certified SMOG check station. If you need a smog check to register your vehicle in California, we can help. Give us a call if you have any questions about getting your vehicle smogged, or click the button below to schedule an appointment to bring your vehicle in.


Manual transmissions offer two main advantages, they are less complex and deliver better fuel economy. However, the latter is no longer true over the last 15 years, as vehicles now come with 10-speed or continuously variable transmissions (CVT). As such, manuals are rare these days and are usually only found in sports cars and some low-end sedans.

With that said, reliability and simplicity go hand-in-hand, and if the fluid is changed regularly, a manual should last for the life of the vehicle. The only major service that needs to be done at some point is replacing the clutch assembly around 100,000 miles, although this will vary depending on driving habits.

Here are some signs that your vehicle may need a new clutch:

  • It is difficult to change gears, or a grinding sound is heard when shifting.
  • The car feels sluggish, and the engine RPMs suddenly increase when accelerating or driving uphill.
  • There is a burning metallic smell.

While replacing the clutch may cost over $1,000, it is the only service needed aside from changing the transmission fluid.


Most likely, your vehicle has an automatic, and they have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. Many now have eight speeds or CVTs with computer-controlled sensors and solenoids. In addition, no clutches need to be replaced, and the only scheduled service is flushing the fluid every 50K or 100K.

In most cases, an automatic should last for the life of the vehicle, although there are more components that can fail. Some, like solenoids, are fairly cheap to replace, while other repairs may involve removing or rebuilding the transmission. Unfortunately, this can get expensive and may cost several thousand dollars. As such, we cannot stress the importance of regularly checking the fluid level and changing it according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service interval. 

Below are some common problems that occur with automatic transmissions:

  • Fluid leaks: These frequently occur at the pan gasket or the oil cooler lines, especially on higher-mileage vehicles. If the fluid level gets too low, serious transmission damage can occur.
  • Difficulty changing gears: This can be due to a low fluid or a bad solenoid, and the check engine light may be illuminated.
  • Slipping: If the engine RPMs suddenly increase during acceleration or power is reduced, the clutches and other internal components may be worn.
  • Won’t engage or stay in gear: Common causes are a low fluid level, bad valve body, or shifter cable.