Failing Auto Transmission
Automobile Maintenance

9 Warning Signs of a Failing Auto Transmission You Shouldn’t Ignore

Does the idea of car trouble stress you out? If so, you’re not alone.

After all, there are few thoughts worse than breaking down on the side of the road or not being able to start your car on a cold morning. That’s why it’s so important to be able to identify potential car problems before you find yourself stuck in an inconvenient situation.

One of the worst car issues you can face is experiencing a transmission problem. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place of help.

This article takes a look at how to identify signs of transmission problems so that you can get the needed repairs before it escalates to something worse. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

1. Strange Noises

Let’s start with one of the most common and obvious signs of transmission problems. It’s important to understand that your transmission should operate smoothly and quietly. That’s why any strange noises should be immediately investigated.

Keep in mind that noises from your transmission while idling or driving could quickly escalate to serious problems that can cause big-time damage requiring expensive repairs.

2. Strange Smells

Have you started noticing strange smells coming from the engine of your car lately? If so, this could be a symptom of automatic transmission problems. Pay very close attention to any strange smells, especially if you happen to notice burning smells.

This could be a tell-tale sign that something’s not right, such as your transmission overheating due to low fluid or fluid leaking on the engine. Keep in mind that when transmission fluid runs low, it can quickly result in corrosion along with premature wear and tear.

3. Your Check Engine Light Is On

It’s important to pay attention to the warning lights on your instrument panel. After all, those lights are there for a reason. 

Many people make the mistake of ignoring their check engine lights. Keep in mind that this light is alerting you to a possible serious issue. There might not necessarily be a mechanical problem with your transmission, but there could be, and the check engine light is letting you know that a professional needs to assess the situation as soon as possible.

4. Your Car Won’t Accelerate

Another of the most obvious signs that there’s trouble in paradise is when your car won’t accelerate. Anyone who has experienced this knows how stressful and scary it can be. You could be started from a stopped position or moving at speed down the road, then you press the accelerator but nothing happens. The engine revs like you should be accelerating but your car begins slowing down rather than speeding up.

The instant this happens, you’d be wise to start looking for a mechanic. Otherwise, you might find yourself stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck to arrive.

5. Your Car Is Increasingly Sluggish

It’s also important to keep in mind that your transmission likely won’t go out all at once. Instead, the symptoms might start small and grow progressively worse over time.

For example, when you attempt to accelerate in heavy traffic, but the car reacts sluggishly, accelerating slowly rather than with the full power that you’re used to.

This is often caused by clutch drag, especially with manual vehicles. When you have too much slack in the clutch, you’ll notice very quickly because it will feel as though you are suddenly driving an unfamiliar vehicle.

Once your transmission becomes sluggish, you’d best have it looked at and fixed as soon as possible. Why? Well, because you are driving on borrowed time and the problem will definitely get worse rather than better.

Be sure to check out this great auto repair service.

6. Fluid Leaks Beneath Your Car

Another of the most common signs of transmission trouble is when it begins leaking transmission fluid. Get in the habit of checking your fluid regularly. In fact, you should check all of your engine fluids on a regular basis. That’s because your engine could be burning fluid or leaking fluid, and both situations could lead to very serious mechanical malfunctions.

Take a look underneath your vehicle. If you notice drips or small puddles beginning to form, this is a good time to check your fluid level. Even if your fluid appears to be fine at the moment, the level could begin to drop within a matter of days.

This is a symptom that should never be ignored. The sooner that you can take your car to a mechanic, the greater the chance that a skilled automatic professional can solve the problem before expensive repairs become necessary.

7. Your Car Shakes While Moving

You might also notice that your vehicle begins shaking while you’re driving down the road. This could start as a small vibration, then become much more pronounced and violent over time.

This vibration should serve as a major red alert that you need to get your car to an auto repair shop as soon as possible. 

Keep in mind that normal transmissions shift very smoothly. In fact, your transmission should operate in such a way that you never even notice that it’s doing its job. It’s also important that volatile shaking can lead to damage in other parts of your engine as well.

8. Slipping Gears

The process of changing gears while you drive should be a very smooth transition. After all, your engine is a precisely engineered piece of machinery. If you notice the gears slipping while accelerating, you should locate a mechanic and have the problem diagnosed immediately. 

9. Transmission Won’t Engage

By the time you experience this symptom, it’s very likely a sign that your transmission is toast. You’ll probably first become aware that you have a serious problem when you get in your car, press the accelerator, and your car simply refuses to go anywhere.

A Carowner’s Guide to Knowing You Probably Have a Transmission Problem

Keeping your car running properly can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, this guide to identifying a possible transmission problem will help reduce the odds of getting stranded.

Keep exploring this blog to discover more great automotive-related tips and advice.