Everyone who has a vehicle understands that feeling you get when you know something just isn’t working right. For people who know almost nothing about vehicles this can be a little scary because on the one hand you don’t want to drive something that will break down at any moment, but you aren’t sure if you should take it in. Sometimes the problem is as simple as the car needing an oil change during its routine maintenance. Other times the transmission needs a complete and total repair. Here are some signs that your transmission is failing and needs to be changed.
When you are driving steadily in a certain gear and suddenly the car feels like it has changed gears for no reason at all this means your transmission is slipping. A vehicle usually needs to change gears when the surface conditions require more or less power to keep moving. If there is no change in the road or your speed then the sudden gear change is not natural. Listen for the engine to give a whining sound or have a change in pitch. A few other signs of transmission slipping are the car not accelerating as quickly as it should, struggling to remain steady on the road, and feeling like it is underpowered.
Another problem to look out for is rough shifts. Your gear shifts may feel like they refuse to switch or the change is not very smooth. There is a distinguishable “thud” or “clunk” sound when the gears change and again accelerating is difficult.
If when switching the car from park (P) to drive (D) there is a long pause before the car starts moving, this is another sign to check the transmission. This is called delayed engagement. The car will rev the engine as you give it gas but it will not move forward.
Typically transmissions are sealed to prevent leaks. If you start noticing leak spots in the driveway or garage floor, place a piece of cardboard beneath the area and check to see if the car is actively dripping. If the fluid on the cardboard is either a bright red, dark red, or brown, take the vehicle to an auto repair shop because the seal has broken. Make sure not to overfill the transmission fluid by following the factory guidelines. This is to prevent even bigger transmission issues for your vehicle. Also it is important to note that if you begin to smell something burning it could be the transmission fluid is too low or it is leaking so turn in the vehicle right away.
Check Engine Light
Seeing the “check engine” light flashing may not mean you have a transmission problem unless any one of the other symptoms have occurred simultaneously. If the above problems have happened in tangent with the check engine light it is a pretty safe assumption to make to change the transmission.
Check for any of these symptoms when driving a car and should they occur make sure to find a reputable repair shop to have the transmission fixed right away. Driving can be fun as long as we stay safe and informed.