Transmission problems can present itself in many ways for a multitude of reasons, some needing minor adjustments while others require permanent repairs. Here are some signs that your vehicle is due for a checkup.
- Your vehicle won’t move or shifts late during the first few minutes of starting. This is called a Delayed Engagement or Morning Sickness and usually happens when the vehicle is cold.
- The shift lever doesn’t go in any of the positions even with the engine running.
- Any noticeable early or late shifting at improper speed levels. The car shifts gears erratically.
- Your car makes a clunking sound when you shift from one gear to the other.
- Unusual noises of any kind are an indicator that the problem could be the transmission.
- When you press the pedal to the floor there is no surge of power.
- The vehicle tries to move forward or backward while in Park (P), or in Neutral (N).
- The vehicle moves slowly or takes a while to surge forward upon take off.
- In order to start the car the shift indicator must be slightly off of Park (P) or Neutral (N).
- The gear shift doesn’t point to the proper range.
- When the car is on a long downhill slope or snow or icy conditions Engine Braking does not work in one or more of the shifter positions. Engine Braking is what helps the car slow down during these precarious road conditions.
- A burnt or rancid smell comes from under the hood or vehicle could be an indication that the transmission needs replacing.
- Also fresh fluids or stains are found on your garage floor or driveway.
- The “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light will shine on your dashboard. Usually this indication that your transmission is in need of repair is paired with one or more of the above symptoms.
- When turning your car in for a checkup or inspection, a large amount of debris is found in the transmission pan.
Transmission Damage can be delayed by practicing a few simple rules of driving.
- Don’t leave the car in park without the parking brake on because if another vehicle were to tap on the front or back, a part in the transmission, the parking pawl, will break.
- A forced downshift at traffic lights will cause a lot of transmission friction parts.
- Don’t use your shift lever instead of your brake as it will lead to premature transmission failure. Before reversing make sure your vehicle is at a full stop.
- In sand or snow dig the car out or have it towed rather than rocking the vehicle. The excessive amount of heat generated by repeatedly shifting between Reverse and Drive can burn out the transmission sooner.
- Wait for the engine of your car to warm up before driving. In order or the transmissions to work properly the fluid must be at optimal operating temperatures.
- Don’t let your vehicle be towed improperly. Make sure to consult your vehicle’s manual for proper towing instructions.
- Stopping suddenly can damage engine and transmission mounts so after an emergency stop it would be wise to check these components.
There are no quick fixes when it comes to your vehicle’s transmission so be sure to find a reputable repair shop with the proper tools, experience, and equipment to ensure your car runs smoothly.