Warning Signs Your Car Has a Transmission Problem (And What to Do About It)
Every man and his dog drive a vehicle in the United States.
Indeed, there are over 280 million registered vehicles being driven all around the country as we speak. Cars, in particular, are ubiquitous forms of transport.
The widespread reliance on them is wholly understandable. After all, as well as being a passion for many, a life without cars would be exponentially harder.
However, mechanical problems can quickly take the fun out of owning one. They’re stressful, incapacitating, and expensive to rectify.
Transmission problems, in particular, can be inconvenient and costly.
After all, the transmission system is fundamental to a car’s function. It connects the engine to the driveshaft, controlling the transmission of power to the axle. Without it, your car wouldn’t run.
Potential transmission issues must be sorted immediately. To do that, though, you need to know what to watch out for. Let us help!
Read on to learn 7 warning signs of car transmission problems and how to handle them.
1. Transmission Fluid is Leaking
Fluid leaks are usually the easiest way to know if there’s a transmission problem.
Look beneath your car when it’s been parked up for a while. Notice any fluid beneath it? Transmission fluid has a sweet smell. It’s also red in color with a translucent hue. Finding it beneath the vehicle is a sure-fire sign you’ve got a problem.
Don’t ignore a fluid leak if you notice one. It’ll only get worse. Moreover, though, this fluid plays a fundamental role in the entire transmission system.
It’s basically hydraulic fluid, which cleans, lubricates, and generally facilitates a functioning transmission. Low levels spell trouble: the engine may fail completely.
Thankfully, this is a relatively straightforward issue to fix. It’s simply a matter of finding the hole and plugging it!
2. The Check Engine Light Turns On
Here’s another obvious indication of a problem:
The check engine light on your dashboard has turned on. It’s a car owner’s worst nightmare, and rarely a good sign.
Of course, there’s no way of knowing if the issue is with your transmission.
You may well have cause for concern elsewhere; the problem might be minor or serious. Either way, it pays to get it checked out by a mechanic as soon as you can.
For one reason or another, a sensor has been triggered. If it’s the transmission, then there’s no time to waste. Head to the garage at your earliest convenience.
3. The Car Won’t Shift Gears
A car that refuses to go into gear may also have a transmission problem.
Normally, you just turn the car on, depress the clutch, and move the stick into gear. It’s what you expect to happen every single time.
However, there are occasions where you won’t be able to do it. The stick will refuse to go into gear, no matter how hard to try! If you’ve noticed this happening, then check the transmission fluid.
The level may have dropped or someone may have mistakenly used the wrong type of fluid.
Be aware that problems shifting gear aren’t necessarily caused by the transmission. The clutch, cables, and car computer can all play a role as well.
Checked the transmission fluid for fault and reset it, if you’re confident doing so. If not, then head over to the nearest mechanic.
4. The Car Slips Gears
Here’s another gear-related transmission warning sign.
You have a serious problem if your car has started to slip randomly in and out of gear. As you’ve almost certainly realized already, this isn’t supposed to happen.
The only reason a car should change gear is if the driver or computer instructs it to do so. Spontaneous slippages constitute a significant safety hazard. You can’t rely on having control of the vehicle.
Don’t hesitate. Go to a mechanic now.
5. The Clutch Drags
Drive a manual?
Then you may be familiar with a dragging clutch. You press the clutch to shift gear, but the disk doesn’t disengage properly. It remains attached to the flywheel and continues to spin.
Shifting gear becomes almost impossible. You can also experience a loud grinding noise as you attempt to do so.
Thankfully, it’s not the end of the world. Often, a simple correction to the clutch pedal can make the difference. Excessive slack reduces the disk’s responsiveness in gear changes.
You simply can’t push it far enough to disengage the disk. A minor adjustment can solve it, meaning the transmission repair cost is relatively low.
6. You Can Smell Burning
There are few things more troublesome than a burning smell in your vehicle.
You probably don’t need any further encouragement to get it checked out by a professional!
Thankfully, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a fire. Instead, those burning smells are an indication of a potential transmission problem.
Remember, your transmission has many moving parts, which create friction when they rub together. Heat is a natural by-product of that process. The fluid, which cleans, lubricates, and cools the system down, is designed to keep that heat in check.
A burning smell could be another outcome of transmission fluid issues. If it’s low, the wrong type, or old, then the system is running with nothing to cool it down. Take it to a mechanic.
7. Strange and Unexplained Noises
Nothing spells car trouble more than new and unexplained mechanical noises.
The sound of a transmission problem isn’t easily identifiable. Given the number of moving parts involved, any number of noises could be created.
Likewise, the unexplained sound might be from a totally different part of the vehicle.
Keep an ear out for anything loud and clunking as you shift gears. Similarly, grinding, whirring, whining and humming are all warning sounds as well.
Save yourself time and money by getting the noises checked out by a professional. Act sooner rather than later.
Time to Solve Your Transmission Problems
There you have it: 7 warning signs of car transmission problems and what to do about them.
Almost everybody reaps the rewards of owning a car these days. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Mechanical issues are always a serious (and often expensive) hassle to handle.
That’s never truer than when the transmission system is at fault. It’s vital that you realize and resolve transmission issues as early as possible.
Hopefully, this post will help you do exactly that.
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