A transmission replacement can be one of the most expensive repairs your vehicle may require. An early diagnosis can identify and prevent costly repairs. Bring your vehicle to us for a transmission service & inspection if you notice any of the preliminary warning signs.
6 Signs of Transmission Problems
Leaking fluid is probably one of the easiest ways to determine your car needs attention. A little fluid drip on your garage floor can quickly turn into a huge and expensive car problem. Transmission fluid is crucial to your car’s shifting capabilities; it is a bright red and sweet or tart smelling liquid. Unlike motor oil, your transmission does not consume or burn up fluid during use, so if you notice your fluid is running low, it is almost always caused by a leak. Keeping a close eye on your transmission fluid level is a good way to stay on top of this.
COMMON REASONS FOR A FLUID LEAK ARE:
- Worn seals or gaskets.
- Damaged bell housings.
- A loose transmission pan/pan leak.
- Worn axles seals.
A transmission leak can not only cause serious damage to your vehicle but also the environment. Be sure to clean up any leaked fluids using sawdust or cat litter and keep pets away from the area. Schedule a transmission service appointment or inspection to prevent costly problems.
Most modern cars have sensors that will pick up irregularities and trigger your vehicle’s computer system to report there is a problem in a particular area. When it comes to your transmission, these sensors will recognize vibrations and early problems that you may not be able to feel or see. One of the most common dashboard warning signs is the temperature. This means that your transmission fluid is hotter than normal causing it to operate at a higher temperature. Should this light engage, check your fluid level and engine coolant level immediately. As with all automotive malfunctions it is best to have the vehicle evaluated by a professional, and to familiarize yourself with your car’s dashboard indicator lights.
Generally, transmission fluid has a slightly sweet or tart odor. If you notice a light, burning odor, it’s time to start thinking about your next fluid change. This is a problem that can go from bad to worse quickly. Transmission fluid is vital in keeping all the transmission parts lubricated while preventing the unit from burning itself up. If your transmission fluid is severely burnt it could mean your transmission is burning as well, which can mean a complete transmission rebuild. To avoid unnecessary costs come to Global Automotive and have one of our expert technicians complete a transmission service inspection.
Checking your car’s transmission fluid with the dipstick is one of the easiest ways you can help prolong the life of your transmission. If you have rear-wheel drive, it is located toward the rear of an in-line engine. If your vehicle has front wheel drive, the transmission fluid dipstick will be sticking out of the transaxle. Please refer to your owner’s manual guide for further help.
How to perform a Dipstick Inspection:
- With your car in neutral or park, let your engine run until it is warm before pulling the dipstick out (Do not turn your engine off).
- To check the fluid color, rub in between your index finger and thumb. The fluid should be pinkish and almost clear. If the fluid is a brownish color and has a burnt toast smell it can no longer dissipate the heat the transmission generates and needs to be changed.
- To check fluid level insert dipstick, wipe it clean, and examine level marks and then insert it again. The fluid should be between two marks labeled either “full” and “add” or “hot” and “cold”. If the level is not full, you will need to top off your transmission fluid. Be careful not to add too much. If the level is too high it will cause the fluid to churn and aerate, creating air bubbles, that can trap heat and make the fluid run hotter. Not sure what type of fluid to choose? Check with your manufacturer’s owner manual, or bring it in to our expert technicians to have a look if you are unsure about this process.
Manual and automatic transmissions respond differently when they are malfunctioning. It is important to recognize any odd sounds your transmission might be making to avoid further complications.
Manual transmissions: A common warning sign is a very abrupt grinding noise or feeling when you shift into a new gear. Experiencing a grinding noise after fully engaging a clutch and shift may mean you have worn clutch or might need to have it adjusted. Also, your transmissions gear synchronizers may be worn out or damaged.
Automatic transmissions: You’ll most likely feel the car shimmy into each gear, instead of having unnoticeable shifts. You may also hear a whining, buzzing, or humming sound. If you are experiencing any of these problems we suggest you have your vehicle checked out by our professionals.
A delay or lack of response from your vehicle may mean you have transmission issues. Transmissions were designed to go into the correct gear every time. Any hesitation is a sure sign something is wrong.
Manual transmissions will act up as though you’re shifting gears. If you notice after shifting that the car’s engine will rev up but the car won’t move as quickly as the engine is running, this could mean a worn-out clutch or more serious transmission issues.
Automatic transmissions show the same lack of response; however, it will show when the car is in “park” or “drive.” Normally your car should shift easily into each gear, but if your transmission hesitates to go into either one, then there is most likely an issue. This is not only a vehicle concern, but a safety one as well.
Schedule Transmission Service
If you have any concerns with your vehicle’s transmission, our experts will do a complete inspection and diagnose your vehicle’s issue and let you know the best course of action to ensure your vehicle will run smoothly. Global Automotive works with you to ensure your out of pocket expense is as minimal as possible. Schedule your transmission service or inspection today by calling (540) 439-9090.