Signs of Transmission Failure
Even with good auto maintenance and upkeep, if you drive your car long enough, chances are your car's transmission will wear out. Transmission failure is more common among certain vehicle makes and models, but can happen with any vehicle as it ages. Here are some telltale signs and symptoms to watch for.
'Burnt' transmission fluid
When your transmission is working correctly, its fluid will be a bright reddish/clear color with a sweet smell. If your transmission fluid is dark, opaque and smells burnt, it's time for transmission service even if your car exhibits no other symptoms. Leaving worn-out fluid in your transmission is asking for trouble.
Leaking transmission fluid
Think of your transmission fluid as the 'blood' of your transmission; if your transmission begins to leak its fluid, it's bleeding! Usually not a sign of transmission failure, a fluid leak left unchecked can cause your transmission to fail because the lowered hydraulic pressure causes damage. Have the leak repaired as soon as you detect it, and chances are you'll be able to extend the life of your transmission for a long time.
Falling in and out of gear
When you're driving, your car should stay in gear unless you shift to neutral or park. Falling out of gear while driving is never normal behavior, and is usually a sign of gear slippage and impending transmission failure. When a transmission falls out of gear, the safety of your vehicle and its occupants is threatened because the ability to accelerate when necessary is temporarily lost. There's a possibility that the problem is just low fluid, so get it checked by a certified transmission specialist right away and possibly save on repairs.
Hesitation when shifting
If your car hesitates when shifting from one gear to the next, or if there's an unusually long delay between putting the car in gear and feeling it engage, your transmission needs to be looked at right away. Again, it could just be low on fluid. Get it checked out BEFORE it needs an expensive transmission rebuild!
Jolting between gears
Are you experiencing a mild to severe jolt when the car shifts gears? It might happen occasionally or consistently in any gear, or could manifest consistently between a certain gear and another. Regardless, it's a sign of transmission trouble and should be looked at right away.
Grinding or shimmying during shifting
If you experience a grinding sound as you shift gears in your manual transmission (not to be confused with improper use of the clutch), or a shimmy or shaking when your automatic transmission shifts gears, it's a sign of trouble and you could soon find yourself stranded if you ignore it. A word to the wise: Don't ignore it.
Noisy in neutral
If your car starts making abnormal noises while in neutral, it's often a signal of mechanical wear in the transmission. It can be other things, too, but get it checked out before it gets worse - and more expensive.
Check Engine Light
The Check Engine Light can signal to a wide range of issues. Many newer cars are designed to trip the Check Engine sensor as an early warning for transmission failure, so always take your car to a certified auto professional for a diagnosis (usually free) if the Check Engine Light comes on.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms of transmission failure and need an ASE-certified transmission repair service in Lewis County, Transmissions Unlimited can be reached at 360-736-2548.
Transmissions Unlimited Blog
Written and Published By MORBiZ