If you’ve ever experienced a car transmission issue, you’ve likely felt quite a bit of anxiety over it. Transmission issues can be a pretty big problem unless you only need specific parts and accessories to take care of what’s going on.
The following are some things to know if you’re experiencing transmission issues or worry you could.
How Your Transmission Works
A transmission gives your wheels the power they need to move your car at a certain speed. Your transmission shifts gears, and if you don’t maintain it the way you’re supposed to, you might lose fuel economy. In your worst-case scenario, this could mean that your car doesn’t drive at all.
There are manual and automatic transmissions.
A manual transmission is somewhat like a bicycle gear shifter in how it works.
An automatic transmission means that everything is done for you, so you’re not shifting gears with a clutch.
Common Transmission Problems
If you have a problem with your transmission, it can be costly.
Some of the most common transmission issues include:
- Transmission slipping—with transmission slipping, it’s like you’re driving in a certain gear, and then it can feel like that changes and you don’t know why. Your car might seem like it’s not accelerating the way you expect it would like it doesn’t have enough power, or like it’s struggling. The noise from the engine may also sound like whining.
- Rough shifting—if you feel like your transmission is struggling to change gears or it’s not smooth, it can represent a problem. Your car may also struggle to reach your desired speed.
- Fluid leaks—your transmission should not leak fluid under normal circumstances. If your fluid is leaking, you need to see someone about fixing the issue. Transmission fluid is usually bright red, dark red or brown. If you check your transmission fluid, you should be able to see through it. If it’s too dark, it could represent an issue with your transmission. If you don’t have enough transmission fluid then your car’s gears aren’t going to be lubricated enough and they’re going to grind. Automatic transmission cars need to fluid to provide the hydraulic pressure to make the movement in the transmission.
Signs of a Transmission Problem
Some of the signs you might notice if your transmission needs some help can include:
- If you try to put your vehicle into gear and it doesn’t move, you may have a transmission fluid leak, but it could also be something else such as an issue with the valve body if you have an automatic transmission.
- If your transmission seems like it delays going into gear, it could again be a problem with transmission fluid.
- Most newer cars and even not-so-new cars will have a warning light, such as a check engine light. The check engine light doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an issue with your transmission, but that could be the case.
- If you notice a burning smell, it might be the result of a fluid leak, and if you catch it soon enough you can prevent transmission damage.
- Buzzing, roaring, clicking, and humming are all signs of a transmission problem.
Why Do Transmission Problems Happen?
There are three main reasons you might have a transmission problem.
The first is related to design and manufacturing.
If your car isn’t designed well, then that can mean transmission problems, and cheap parts may have been used during manufacturing.
A bigger reason is the lack of maintenance. If you use the wrong type of fluid or have too much or too little fluid, then you may experience transmission failure.
If you don’t regularly maintain your car and you’re not getting transmission fluid levels checked, then this is a concern. People who do follow a regular maintenance schedule don’t have to worry about this typically.
Your driving habits can also play a role in the degradation of your transmission. If you drive typically in stop-and-go traffic for example then it can take a toll on your car faster.
If you’re an aggressive driving, then that’s going to put wear and tear on your transmission.
Overall, the best things you can do for your transmission are first and foremost, get your car regularly maintained. Next, be aware of the red flags to watch for such as strange sounds or fluid leaks. The sooner you can identify them, the sooner you can get the problem fixed which will make it less likely you need an altogether new transmission or vehicle.
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