The transmission is one of the most critical and complex parts of your car. It’s responsible for shifting gears and delivering power from the engine to the wheels. So if your transmission starts to malfunction, it can cause some severe problems for your vehicle.
Here are 10 signs that your transmission is in trouble:
- You notice grinding noises and odd sounds.
- The transmission is noisy when you’re in neutral gear.
- There’s a burning smell from the transmission.
- The transmission won’t go into gear.
- There’s a fluid leak.
- There’s a delay in shifting gears.
- Your vehicle shakes when you’re shifting gears.
- Your Check Engine Light is activated.
- You notice a dragging clutch.
- The transmission is slipping gears.
When your car’s transmission system isn’t working right, it can be difficult and expensive to get it fixed. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to mitigate the damage until you can take it in for repair. In this article, we’ll look at common symptoms of a bad transmission and provide fixes to resolve these issues.
1. You Notice Grinding Noises and Odd Sounds
If you hear grinding or clicking noises from your transmission, that’s usually a clear indicator of a bad transmission. Typically, when you hear these grinding sounds, there’s a problem with one of the gears inside your transmission.
Grinding sounds from your transmission can be due to several problems, such as a faulty bearing or a worn case. Either way, it’s important to take care of these problems early before they worsen and potentially lead to more costly repairs down the road.
If there are any odd noises coming from your car’s engine while driving it, bring it into a repair shop as soon as possible.
2. The Transmission Is Noisy When You’re in Neutral Gear
If you’re experiencing a noisy transmission while the car is in neutral, it’s likely that the problem is with your transmission fluid. Low fluid levels can lead to metal-on-metal contact within the transmission, resulting in a grinding noise. You may also notice a burning smell if there’s a serious issue.
To fix the problem and quiet the transmission, have your mechanic check the fluid level and add more as necessary. They may also need to clean out sediment or other debris built up over the years.
If you’re experiencing noise while shifting into neutral, inspect your transmission for worn cases and bearings that need repair or replacement. There are other potential causes as well, so it’s best to take your car to a mechanic to have it inspected if you’re experiencing this problem.
3. There’s a Burning Smell From the Transmission
A burning smell coming from the vehicle’s engine is one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with your transmission. This symptom has a few potential causes but is often related to burnt transmission fluid.
When you stall and immediately restart a vehicle, you can actually burn up some of your transmission fluid. This can lead to serious mechanical problems with your vehicle if not addressed soon enough.
If you’ve noticed a burning smell from under your car recently and have only driven short distances, take it in for repairs as soon as possible. Leaving burnt fluids untreated for too long can damage other engine components.
4. The Transmission Won’t Go Into Gear
This could happen for a number of reasons. The first thing you’d do is look at the transmission fluid. If it’s low, top it off and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, you might have to have the transmission serviced.
You should check the level and the color. If the fluid is low, or if it’s black, you need to have it serviced. You can also check the transmission fluid dipstick for dirt and metal shavings, which could indicate a problem with the transmission.
Another thing you can check is the clutch. If the clutch is worn out, it might not be able to engage properly. You can also try shifting into different gears to see if that makes any difference.
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, take it to a mechanic and have them take a look. It could be something as simple as changing the transmission fluid, or something more complicated, like installing a new transmission.
5. There’s a Fluid Leak
There are a few different reasons why your car may be leaking transmission fluid. The most common cause of transmission fluid leakage is a bad seal or gasket. This is a relatively easy fix, but it’s important to note that if this is the reason for your leak, you should have it repaired as soon as possible because it could lead to other problems with your vehicle.
If one of your O-rings is damaged, you’ll notice that your car has been leaking fluids from one or more of its seals. To fix your leaky transmission, replace all damaged seals and check for additional damage such as worn-out gears, shafts, or bearings. The good news is that transmission repair kits are available for purchase on Amazon or through most auto parts stores.
Another cause of transmission fluid leak could be a broken or worn out seal or gasket in the torque converter. A broken seal can also lead to other problems with your car, so you should also fix this right away.
6. There’s a Delay in Shifting Gears
A car’s transmission has to be in good condition for it to shift gears smoothly. The first signs of trouble are usually delays in shifting gears or when there’s a clunking sound when the car shifts from one gear to another. If you notice these signs, it’s time to get your transmission checked out by a professional.
This symptom can be caused by transmission fluid not being able to fully circulate in your transmission. The transmission pump creates pressure and moves fluid from the chamber to the chamber inside your transmission case. If there is too much fluid in one of these chambers, it will affect how quickly or easily fluid circulates throughout your transmission.
7. Your Vehicle Shakes When You’re Shifting Gears
If your vehicle is shaking while shifting gears, you likely have a problem with your transmission. Your transmission is responsible for transferring power from your engine to your wheels, so any issues with it can result in poor acceleration and difficulty reaching high speeds.
The symptoms of transmission problems include excessive noise and vibration and loss of power when accelerating. Other common symptoms include failure to engage first gear upon startup and rough or delayed shifting during acceleration or deceleration. If you suspect that your transmission has failed, contact a mechanic immediately.
8. Your Check Engine Light Is Activated
A check engine light is a warning light on your dashboard that alerts you to a problem with your vehicle. If the light is on, it’s time to fix the problem. The check engine light coming on is typically caused by one of three things:
- A loose gas cap
- An exhaust leak
- An emissions system problem
If you ignore the check engine light and continue driving, you could end up with expensive repairs and even damage to other components.
9. You Notice a Dragging Clutch
Clutch drag is a sign that the transmission of the vehicle is slipping. It can be caused by several factors, including worn-out clutch plates or a faulty release bearing. The clutch pedal should be inspected before it’s released to ensure there are no drag signs.
The clutch pedal releases the pressure on the engine and allows it to idle without turning over. When you press on it, the engine starts turning again, and you can drive your car. A clutch drag is when you have to push down on the pedal for longer than usual before your car starts moving. When your vehicle has a faulty release bearing or worn-out clutch plates, this might happen.
10. The Transmission Is Slipping Gears
A slipping gear can be a sign of a bad transmission. A slipping gear can happen when the teeth on the gears that mesh together are worn down. This can happen for a number of reasons, including overuse and neglecting routine maintenance. It’s essential to have your car checked by a mechanic if you notice any signs of slippage in your gears. It could be a significant problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.