Usually, car transmission problems can be fixed easily and cheaply if you pay attention to them. On the flipside, if you neglect these problems and fail to recognize them early, you could unknowingly raise the cost of maintenance on your car.
Follow these six tips below on how to identify if your car is having transmission issues.
1. The check engine light is on.
Unfortunately, most car owners ignore the notification of their check engine light, especially if they’ve had the car for a few years. However, newer vehicles have more accurate sensors, meaning the alert could be indicating a problem with your transmission.
Transmission repairs can cost upwards of thousands of dollars if left unchecked, which is why it’s crucial that you don’t ignore your check engine light. It’s better to quickly get your transmission inspected than ignoring the indicator light and waiting for the inevitable.
2. It’s difficult to shift gears.
Switching gears should be easy, no matter if you have a manual or automatic car. However, if you’re automatic gear system causes your car to shake or clunks from gear to gear, you should probably get your transmission checked.
If you have a manual gear system and you hear revving or grinding noises shifting gear to gear, there’s most likely something wrong with your transmission. Although it could just be your car, it could also indicate that your clutch needs to be replaced or repaired.
3. There’s suspicious noises while in neutral.
Generally speaking, your transmission shouldn’t make noises; it doesn’t matter whether it’s shifting gears or idling in neutral. If you hear suspicious noises from your car, get it serviced immediately to prevent further damage to your vehicle.
If you have an automatic transmission, the repair should be quick and affordable; you may only need more transmission fluid. If you have a manual transmission, you will need your oil drained and refilled. However, if this doesn’t stop noises from your transmission, you should definitely get it checked out by a professional.
4. The car is stalling when idling or stopping.
A car with transmission issues may also stall when you are sitting idle or stopping at light. This could signify low transmission fluid levels or a leak. If you notice this problem, be sure to visit a professional to get your fluid lines looked at. The sooner you handle this problem, the better off you’ll be. It’s much cheaper to fix a fluid line than to replace the whole transmission.
5. There’s a transmission fluid leak.
After your car has been sitting, check underneath for a puddle of red liquid. If you see this, there may be a leak in the fluid lines. Low levels of fluid are another sign of a leak. A transmission fluid leak could mean one of two things: either your transmission is going bad or the lines need to be replaced. No matter what the issue is, you should not ignore these signals.
6. The transmission changes colors.
If the transmission fluid in your car is cloudy or smells burnt, you certainly have a problem. Ordinarily, the transmission fluid is red. If you notice a change, it could be a sign that the gears in the transmission are overheating due to an unusually high amount of friction. This is an indicator that your transmission functionality is decreasing.
When to See a Professional Transmission Repairman
Transmission problems are serious and can cause a lot of damage if they are ignored. Be sure to listen to your car and stay on top of preventative and regular maintenance. This is the best way to ensure that your car remains in working condition for years to come.
Unless you’re a skilled and confident mechanic, you should visit a professional at the first sign of an issue. If you try to fix the problem yourself and are not sure what you’re doing, you may end up making the issue worse.
Be sure to contact a professional mechanic to schedule a full inspection of your car’s transmission.