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Signs Of Transmission Problems – Here’s What You Need To Know

Signs Of Transmission Problems

Your car’s transmission can be also called your car’s gearbox. This vital component component turns the engine’s power into something the car can utilize. Without your transmission, you would sit in your car with the engine running as you would be going nowhere. In this post, we will examine signs of transmission problems as well as offer practical solutions! 

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Manual Transmission

Even though automatic transmissions are far more popular, manual transmissions may be easier to understand. While your car’s transmission is made up of gears, input as well as output shafts- the gears of one shaft will engage the gears from the other shafts. When using a manual transmission, the gear is chosen by moving the shift lever. With this action, there is a link created with an element that controls the gears’ movement in the input shaft. The links are changed by shifting the shift lever from either right to left, or left to right. Then the gear is engaged once the clutch pedal is pushed. This then disconnects the engine and the input shaft. The gears on the shaft are now able to move and disconnect power between the transmission and engine. The gear is then selected and the clutch is released to re-engage engine power into the input shaft.


Automatic Transmission

While automatic transmissions work similar to manual transmissions, the driver does not have to work the gears him/herself. Automatics generally don’t have clutches. Instead, they come equipped with a torque converter that de-couples the gear set as well as the engine. While there is no need for a driver to physically shift with an automatic transmission, all of the work is done for the driver.  


What are the signs of a bad transmission?

Taking care of your car is much like taking care of anything else. You also what to watch for signs that there is an issue. For a transmission, there are some tell-tale signs you want to keep an eye out for as we provide some of those more popular signs below: 


Clunking and Whining 

While this sign may be an obvious one, it may be one that is ignored lots of times. When your car begins making noises, you want to investigate the cause of them.  Chances are, you will hear clunking, whining, humming or buzzing that is originating from your transmission. When this happens, get it fixed as soon as possible. You don’t want further damage to other car parts, that can send your repair bills to the sky. 

Bad and Burning Smells 

We have all driven a car that has a burning smell. Unfortunately, that smell also serves as an indicator that something is wrong with your car’s transmission. Sure, the cause could be a number of things, but it is most commonly related to an issue with your transmission. 

That smell of burning may signal that your transmission’s fluid is overheating. Time to get this checked out quickly. 


No Response 

Since your car’s transmission was designed for you to switch gears with ease, you can tell there is a problem if there is a delayed response and you can’t switch immediately. 

Fluid That’s Leaking 

Fluid dripping or leaking from your car is never a good sign. And when there is fluid leaking, you may want to check your transmission. The best way to check to see where the fluid is coming from is to hold a piece of cardboard from a box or somewhere else, and then lay it under your car. Allow the cardboard to capture the fluid and then slide it out to see where the fluid is coming from, under the car. If you see that fluid right under your transmission, then there is a problem that needs immediate attention. 

Noisy and Grinding Gears 

For cars that have either manual or automatic transmissions this symptom may vary. With cars that have manual transmissions, you will feel a sense of grinding when go to change gears. The grinding may mean that you have worn out the clutch and it needs to be replaced. The grinding may also mean that the transmission’s synchronizers are damaged or worn. For cars with automatic transmissions, the driver may experience a rough shift rather than an unnoticeable shift. 

Noise While in Neutral 

Another sign that there is something wrong with your transmission, is that you hear bumping sounds while your car is in neutral. This may not mean the end of your car.  The solution may be to change and add transmission fluid. But if you continue to hear noises coming from your transmission while it’s in neutral, it’s time to let a professional look at the car. 

Lights on the Dashboard 

When you see “SERVICE ENGINE SOON” lit up on your dashboard, or something similar, then it’s time to get that car serviced! Depending on the age of your car, there are sensors that are located throughout your car’s engine that detect even the slightest of problems. When you see lights on your dashboard, get that car to an auto mechanic and don’t procrastinate! 


What Happens When Your Transmission Goes Out?

When your transmission goes out, the handling of your car will be affected. You may notice slippage, vibrations and even various shift patterns in your vehicle. These causes may be able to be traced to a bad fluid pump in the transmission; this consequently leads to total gear breakdown.

Can a transmission go out without warning?

If your vehicle shifts gears without any kind of warning, with various speeds- or your car just won’t go into any gear, then the transmission is either on the way to failing you or has just failed. If the gear shift in your car is hard to get into gears, and you even hear grinding noises, or you just can’t move at all, the transmission is dying or has already died. 


Will check engine light come on for bad transmission?

Generally, when that ever-popular “check engine” light comes on there is an issue with your engine. Depending on the make and age of your car, the light may appear, if there is an issue with your transmission. 


Can A Transmission be Saved?

Chances are as a car owner, saving your transmission and avoiding costly repairs may appear top of the “car goals” list. Lots of transmission shops and dealerships are quite expensive and may even lack experience to fix modern-day transmissions that can be quite complex to repair. Given such, it begs the question” How can I save my transmission and avoid high-priced repairs?” 

Although a simple concept, it will be to your benefit to have regular transmission maintenance checks. This will help to avoid dealing with problems down the road. You want to take your cart to a trusted mechanic who will check your car’s parts including the transmission- and alert you to any chances, or issues before there is a larger problem that will swallow your savings. 

“OK- what does regular transmission maintenance involve?” 

Regular transmission maintenance involves looking at as well as replacing the fluid. It may also involve replacing filter. When you replace your fluid, this helps keep the transmission cool as well as lubricated. These two aspects are critical keys to a long transmission life, as well as avoiding the need to rebuild or fix your transmission later.  


How difficult is rebuilding an automatic transmission?

Rebuilding an automatic transmission is typically regarded as a difficult task. This is due to the repair shop having to be familiar with your specific type of transmission. Automatic transmissions will vary from one vehicle to the next- as each requires very different parts and tools for them to be rebuilt. For this reason, you will find that lots of repair shops will not take on the job of rebuilding a car’s automatic transmission.

Is it cheaper to rebuild a transmission?

When deciding to rebuild your car’s transmission or just replace it, it all comes down to time, money and experience. When you have a transmission rebuilt, your transmission may take a bit longer and cost a bit more. But the plus side to this decision is you can have a result is a longer-lasting and better-performing transmission. 


How long does a used transmission last?

Your new transmission can last for up to 100,000 miles, or longer- depending on driving habits.  A used transmission may last only half of that or even fewer miles. 


Junk Your Car and Save the Hassle of Getting That Transmission Fixed! 

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