Recognizing Transmission Problems

The first step in fixing transmission problems is admitting there is a problem!

Now that spring is here and warm weather and summer vacation is thankfully on the horizon, it’s time to think about your car’s transmission, brakes and overall dependability on a long road trip.  One of your vehicle’s most important elements and essential to your car’s trustworthiness, is the transmission. Fixing transmission problems early is a key to saving money. Whether a car or truck has a manual or an automatic transmission, it is inevitable that sooner or later it will require transmission service.

Preventing transmission problems is obviously the best way to go but most people are not pro-active enough to get a transmission flush every 30,000 miles. So determining exactly the reason behind transmission problems ought to be done only by a well-qualified car care facility.  Acknowledging that strange noises are originating from under the hood is the first step in fixing your transmission.  Denial will end up costing you thousands!

Check engine light

The check engine light could end up being a great early warning sign that something is starting to go wrong with your transmission.  Newer designs of cars have sensors all through the engine that sense irregularities and notify the onboard computer that there’s a problematic situation in a particular area and that area could be your transmission. These sensors sense vibrations and early problems that you may not even be able to feel or hear, YET.  The check engine light can save you a lot of money, don’t pretend you don’t see it.

Sluggish response

Transmissions are designed with amazing technology and are intended to go into the correct gear every single time, with no hesitation.  In manuals transmissions you might notice that when shifting into a gear, the engine will increase RPM’s, but the car will not be moving as fast as the engine is running. This is hesitation. In this instance, a worn-out clutch or possibly a more serious issue may be developing.  Automatic transmissions have the same lack-of-response problem, but will typically occur while putting the car in neutral or park.

Dripping fluid

Without the proper level of transmission fluid, the pump along with other parts can quickly start to wear out.  Making sure that the fluid pump and filter are functioning properly is part of the transmission service that is included in a transmission flush.  This proactive process will keep 95% of transmission problems from occurring. Just like oil, transmission fluid and filters need to be replaced regularly to keep a car’s transmission running smoothly and at optimal performance.

Strange sounds

Grinding, shaking, whining, clunking, buzzing, banging etc. mean trouble.  Manual transmissions have a common sign of trouble. Any noise like a grinding sound or clunking or vibration feel when you shift into a new gear. Sounds will most likely be quick and mechanical sounding like metal grinding on metal.  In automatic transmissions, you may hear a high pitched whining sound.  Almost certainly, you’ll notice the car shake and vibrate into each gear rather than the smooth unnoticeable feeling when the transmission is working flawlessly.

Burning smell

Any burning smell coming from your car is a case for taking action!. An overheating transmission is one of the causes of a nasty burning smell. Transmission fluid keeps the parts lubricated and cooled so that they don’t get too hot and start binding together.. If the fluid breaks down to the point where it is not effective at cooling anymore, the system runs too hot which results in friction (heat and wear) as well as the build up of sludge. If this is not addressed, the transmission will eventually break down completely and become totally irrepairable.The end result is a Jasper transmission replacement. A transmission flush every 35,000 miles will keep this from happenning in most cases.

Not going into gear

If your car will not shift into gear look at the transmission fluid to make sure that it is at the right level. Obviously, not going into gear is a problem but not necesarily a big one. The causes include using the wrong thickness of fluid and the linkage cables needing adjustment. If you have already checked the fluid detach the battery and let it stand for thirty minutes. This will reset the computer, which is the last thing to check on your own before bringing the car to a mechanic. Re-attach the cables and allow the system to reset itself. If this doesn’t work either, then it’s time to take it to a mechanic.

These are just the tip of the iceberg.  We will keep adding to the list and try to be more specific for particular brands and models.  Bookmark this pace or contact us.