Transmission Trouble Ahead? Learn the Warning Signs

September 12, 2017

Your automatic transmission, with the exception of your engine, is one of the most important components of your vehicle. It allows you to shift up to higher speeds and shift down to lower speeds without having to mess with a clutch pedal and a gear shift.

automatic transmission shift
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An automatic transmission consists of hundreds of moving parts and is all lubricated by transmission fluid. And as well all know, anything with moving parts is guaranteed to wear down over time. 

Transmissions can and do break down. Fortunately, a number of sure signs exist that will alert you to transmission problems the minute they come up.

Is Your Car Having Trouble Shifting Between Gears?

The most obvious sign is that your car refuses to go into gear, either from a full stop into first gear or from any gear upwards or downwards.

If your car is having issues shifting from gear to gear, your transmission could be the problem. Possible causes include a transmission fluid leak, having the wrong viscosity of fluid, or needed adjustment of cables or linkages.

What Are Some Other Signs Of Transmission Troubles?

  • A burning smell suggests that your transmission is overheating, this could be because of low or dirty fluid.
  • A bumping sound when you’re in neutral could be caused by worn parts in your transmission that need replacing.
  • Gears shifting spontaneously indicates a serious problem that needs examination immediately.
  • One way to check for transmission malfunction is to check your fluid level. If your fluid is low, displays a dark color, or has a burning smell, you have a problem.
  • A shimmy or hesitation sensation or a whining, humming, or buzzing sound also suggests a transmission problem.

How much will transmission issues run me?

Unfortunately, transmission work is not cheap. Repair and replacement can run well over a thousand dollars. However, transmission problems cannot be ignored and are not, as a rule, easily fixable by a do-it-yourself operation.

Are you experiencing issues with your transmission? Find a shop nearby you can trust to do the work at a fair price here. If you'd like to double check a price estimate, personalized to your vehicle, click here.

RepairPal is working to mend the lack of trust consumers have in the car repair industry by providing them with in-depth knowledge and resources that connect them with dependable and reliable car repair shops near them.

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About the Author

Kimberlea Buczeke is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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