How to Recognize If Your Transmission is Going Bad
When it comes to the way it functions, your vehicle is like the human body. There are various organs within, such as the heart or the lungs, that individually play their own vital role in your well-being. However, they must also work cohesively in harmony to keep your body working the way it is supposed to. Just like the body, your car contains multiple parts that have to operate as a whole to keep it running smoothly. This means if one part is failing to do its job, your car may no longer be capable of transporting you as intended. One of those extremely significant parts is your car’s transmission.
The transmission is basically a compartment filled with gears that is responsible for essentially making sure your wheels are receiving power from the engine. Unfortunately, if your transmission fails, your car will not be able to move even if your engine is running properly. Regrettably, having a transmission go bad is one of the most expensive items to fix and can cost you thousands of dollars. The actual value of your car may even be less than the cost of fixing the faulty transmission. In order to prevent a transmission from going into failure, it is very important to be able to recognize the signs that your transmission is deteriorating early on before it is too late. This could save you a great deal of money and extend the life of your vehicle. So, what should you look for to see if your transmission is starting to work improperly? Here are some of the indicators:
1.) You Are Experiencing Difficulty Shifting
One of the most common signs that your transmission is on the decline pertains to shifting gears. When your transmission is functioning properly, moving your gear shift should feel smooth and effortless. However, if you are attempting to move your gear shift from “park” to “drive,” and it seems to be resisting you, this could be a sign that your transmission is deteriorating. Your car might even feel like it is shaking while you are trying to do this.
The existence of a delay or pause when you try to shift could indicate that transmission problems are beginning to pop up as well. If you are witnessing any of these issues, it may be time to visit your local transmission repair shop.
2.) Your Car Has Started to Slip or Change Gears
Experiencing slipping or unexpected gear shifts is another prevalent signal that something is going awry with your transmission. This can be related to many different causes in an automatic transmission, but usually is related to issues with the clutch in a manual one. It may start to feel like your car has taken on a mind of its own.
You may start to hear strange noises when this occurs or experience acceleration that is lower than anticipated. This can be extremely dangerous if it begins to switch to “neutral”and impedes your ability to control the speed of your car. A transmission that is in good shape will not allow for gear shifts to happen without your permission. So, if this starts to occur, take back control over your vehicle by visiting your local transmission repair specialist.
3.) You Are Starting to See Droplets on the Ground
Transmission fluid is vital in maintaining the lubrication of the gears and ensuring that your car is able to shift appropriately. Due to transmission fluid’s significant role, a leak could become extremely problematic. If you notice that there are new spots forming on your garage floor or driveway, your transmission could be the culprit.
There are many possible sources that could also cause your car to have a leak, including a problem in the car’s engine or air conditioning system. In order to rule out other types of leaks, it is important to take note of the fluid’s color to determine whether it is coming from your transmission or something else. You can distinguish transmission fluid from other liquids, like oil, because it usually has a red appearance. Even the smallest of transmission leaks can cause major complications if not taken care of, so it is imperative to have your car checked out if a leak begins to manifest.
4.) Your Transmission Fluid Color Has Changed
One of the quickest and easiest ways to inspect your transmission is to look at the color of your transmission fluid using a dipstick. As previously mentioned, transmission fluid usually has a unique red color. If you observe a change in your transmission fluid’s color, especially a transition from red to dark brown, it is probably time to have your fluid changed out.
5.) Your Transmission Fluid Levels Are Too Low
Not only can utilize the dipstick help you view changes in the color of your transmission fluid, but it can also help you see whether your fluid levels are where they should be. If your fluid levels are below the recommended amount, it could mean your transmission is leaking and does not have enough fluid to maintain its operation. Having this issue corrected can help keep your car running strong for the long haul.
6.) You Are Starting to Hear Unusual Sounds
No matter what type of situation you are in, hearing strange noises is usually never a good sign, especially if those sounds start to come from your car unexpectedly. When your vehicle’s transmission starts to go downhill, you may begin to hear a wide array of noises that you have never heard before. These sounds may consist of grinding, humming, or other strange noises. These sounds could point to issues related to the flow of your transmission fluid, the amount of fluid, or problems with the gear system. If you start hearing these noises, especially when you are changing gears, it is crucial to have your transmission assessed to prevent any current issues from becoming worse.
7.) You Are Beginning to Detect Bizarre Smells
One way you can discover whether or not your transmission has some sort of complication is to literally “sniff it out.” Transmission fluid has its own singular odor and generally smells fairly sweet. If it starts to smell like it has been burning, your transmission may be getting too hot.
8.) Your Car’s Warning Lights Are On
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is one that often gets ignored for a variety of reasons. However, it is often the most straightforward method of communicating that there is an issue affecting your car’s performance. If your warning lights turn on, especially your “check engine” light, your transmission could be the root of the cause. Consequently, it is critical to listen your car’s warning and get it examined as quickly as possible.
If you begin to observe any of the signs previously discussed, it is essential to be proactive. Acknowledging these red flags and having a transmission repair specialist evaluate and diagnose your concerns can save you time, money, and a substantial headache. If you live in Greenville, SC, take a look at the transmission work we do, we are happy to help at All Trans Inc!