Sooner or later, usually later, you’re going to have a transmission that will need repair. Don’t misunderstand me, modern transmissions are solid, reliable items and only seldom give you any problems if maintained and not abused but they’re just a mechanical contrivance and they’ll eventually wear out. When a transmission is on its’ way to the Big Adios you’ll get some warning. This is what you should be looking for.
1. Problems with shifting gears
Since your car’s gears are an integral part of the transmission, irregularities with shifting gears are an almost certain sign your transmission is in trouble. Symptoms may include any of the following:
Hesitation when putting the car into gear
Falling out of gear while driving (more of a manual transmission issue)
Shifting gears for no apparent reason
Jerking when shifting gears or a “hard shift”
If your vehicle is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to have it looked at by a transmission repair specialist.
2. Grinding or shimmying between gears
If changing gears produces a grinding sound (in manual transmissions) or a shaking/shimmying (in automatic transmissions), it can be a sign of a worn clutch or other issues. In any case, if you experience this, don’t let it persist. Bring the car in for a check-up.
3. Unusual noises and “whines”
Often, transmission trouble is indicated when the vehicle begins producing unusual noises, like whining, buzzing or even clunks. Also, if your car sounds excessively noisy while in neutral, you should have it looked at. Other things than the transmission can cause these noises, but they should never be ignored.
4. Burnt, cloudy transmission fluid
Transmission fluid normally has a bright red color and a distinctive sweet smell. When the fluid appears dark and opaque, and if it looks/smells burnt, it’s a sign of trouble. Time to have the transmission checked out.
5. Burning odor
You can often smell transmission fluid burning when you exit the vehicle, even if you haven’t seen the fluid. Likewise, when the gears overheat due to excessive friction, it can also produce a burning smell. If the transmission is going bad, you can often smell the burnt transmission fluid when you get out of the car. Either way, a hot, burning smell is not normal.
6. Leaking transmission fluid
If you see the red fluid on your driveway, whether it appears clear or cloudy, take the car to the auto repair shop. A leak doesn’t necessarily mean your transmission is going bad, but if you let it continue to leak, it will definitely cause damage.
From your Local Mechanic, All Tune and Lube Total Car Care Tempe Arizona. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance.