Your car’s transmission is the component that goes through the most wear and tear compared to any other component due to the amount of heat and friction created during operation. If you see any sign or symptom of malfunction within your transmission, it’s very important that you consider a maintenance checkup. Something that could be a small repair today could end up a costly replacement tomorrow.
The following is a list of warnings you want to look out for if you’re experiencing problems or issues with your transmission. If notice any of these signs with your vehicle, you should visit a mechanic as soon as possible to have the problem diagnosed.
If your transmission is having problem, you may experience a slippage feel while on the motorway. When this occurs it will feel as though the gears are slipping. Gear slipping is usually due to a lack of pressure buildup in the transmission which is necessary for effortless operation. As the gears slip, you will hear the noise change in the engine due to the slippage of gears. You could also feel that the vehicle is stressing, as if it is not accelerating as it should.
Delayed engagement while shifting is another sign of transmission troubles. When shifting your vehicle from park to drive, the gear change should respond quickly and fluidly. When shifting into drive, if you notice that there is a delay before the vehicle moves or that the engine revs as you apply pressure to the gas pedal, but the vehicle does not move, there is likely an issue with your transmission.
Your vehicle should also shift into gear with a smooth, effortless type fashion. A transmission problem may lead to rough and difficult shifting. For some, their vehicle will refuse to shift into gear altogether. When experiencing difficulty shifting, you may feel and hear either a ‘thud’ or ‘clunk’ noise when going from gear to gear. Your vehicle will also have difficulty getting up to speed.
Another sign that your transmission may be in trouble is a grinding or shaking sensation. For manual transmissions, a bad transmission may be a grinding noise or feeling when shifting. An automatic transmission problem may create a wiggling as gears shift.
If you smell a burning in your vehicle, be sure to visit a mechanic immediately. Transmission fluid can burn. This is a sign of low fluid levels or broken down fluids which is evidence of too much heat and friction within the moving parts. A simple ‘topping off of fluid’ could be an inexpensive fix for something that could cost you thousands further down the road.
Because transmission fluid cycles through the system, a leak is the number one reason for transmission failure in vehicles. The fluid does not get worked off or vaporize, so a low level is an indication of a leak. To test this, place a box under your transmission on level ground and check for liquids. Transmission fluid is red in color, or after time will take on a dark red/brown color, and will have a sweet smell. If your vehicle is leaking transmission fluid, get it to the shop right away to prevent further damage.
Check Engine Light
The final telltale sign that something is wrong with your transmission is indicated by the ‘check engine’ light. The light alone does not indicate that the transmission has failed, but if you are experiencing any of the above problems and the light is on, you should get your vehicle into the hands of your mechanic immediately.
You know how your vehicle drives. If you notice any changes in the operation, have your vehicle checked out. A small cost for a maintenance checkup could save you thousands in the end.