Think your transmission may be on its last leg? Even if you’ve had your car serviced regularly, there could still be problems under your hood. Diagnosing those problems seems virtually impossible, but can turn disastrous if left unfixed for a long time. Since transmissions are used so heavily throughout the years, they are bound to start having problems. If you suspect something is out of the ordinary with your transmission, it’s critical to get it checked as soon as possible as transmissions can be expensive to repair and replace. If you’re not sure if it could be your transmission, check out these 4 signs to help you diagnose your car trouble.
Slipping or Sticking Gears
If you have either a manual or automatic transmission, your gears may stick or refuse to go into gear at all. In a manual transmission, sticking happens when you push the clutch all the way down and move your stick shifter and can happen any time you want to shift gears, either from a stop or even just accelerating. In an automatic, you may not be able to get your car out of park mode or your car could jerk around when it’s trying to shift gears automatically.
In a manual transmission, a slipping gear could mean you’re driving in third, and your car spontaneously slips out of gear and into neutral. In an automatic, it can mean decelerating when pushing down on your gas pedal, like when you’re going up a hill.
Typically, this is caused by low transmission fluid or if the fluid is too thick or thin, but also your shift cables or clutch linkage could need to be adjusted.
Whining, Clunking, or Humming
While it can be difficult to detect a weird sound from your transmission, you’ll definitely get a “that’s-not-right” feeling about the noise. Every car is different, so the sounds it can potentially make when there is a problem with the transmission are also different. However, in an automatic transmission, you’ll probably hear a whining, humming, or buzzing sound when there’s an issue. In a manual transmission, you’ll hear more clunking or abrupt, mechanical sounds. Keep in mind, clunking may not necessarily be your transmission; it could also be your constant velocity (CV) joints.
Seeing fluid underneath your car is one of the easiest ways to identify that your car needs attention. If you think it’s transmission fluid, it could quickly turn disastrous, especially in an automatic transmission as it’s vital to your car’s shifting capabilities. When you’re checking the transmission fluid, make sure it’s not a dark color or have a burnt smell. If it has either of those things, you must take it to a mechanic and have it replaced. Unlike motor oil, your car doesn’t consume or “burn-up” fluid during use, so if it’s low, it’s leaking.
If you think you smell burning transmission fluid, your transmission is probably overheating. Typically, this means your transmission fluid is low or inadequate, which is indicative of dirty fluid or a leak. Your transmission fluid should be red, clear, and sweet smelling when everything is working correctly. If it smells burnt and is a dark color, then you must have it replaced.
Car Maintenance and Service from Your Baltimore Auto Repair Experts at Auto Stop Limited
Auto Stop Limited Inc. is happy to service your vehicle and make sure all your maintenance needs are properly addressed and resolved. Contact Auto Stop Limited Inc. online or give us a call at (410) 467-7600 to get your questions answered today. To get more vehicle maintenance tips, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.