Lookout for These Signs That Your Car's Transmission Needs Service or Repairby Ali's Bellevue Auto Repair on 11/05/18
Your car or truck’s transmission is quite a thing of beauty when it comes to mechanical systems. It’s not simply one auto part, but actually a collection of over 100 pieces that helps your vehicle to accelerate and operate with optimal power at various speeds. Automatic transmissions are even more amazing in a way, since they shift on their own, and a well operating transmission creates smooth driving and solid performance for however you use that vehicle.
When things start to go wrong, however, you won’t have any time to procrastinate. It’s a vital system that is also expensive to repair, but if you act quickly, this is one area of the car where a “stitch in time saves nine” so to speak. Ali’s Bellevue Auto Repair would love to encourage you to call on your trusted auto mechanic shop as soon as you see any bad or peculiar signs with your transmission.
Here are our 6 signs that your transmission may need a closer look, and possibly a transmission repair or servicing by a professional:
- You haven’t brought your car to a professional in a while. This is a little bit of a trick---not an actual “sign” but a way of doing things that can help save you from trouble. If you are doing oil changes yourself, or not going to a complete auto repair facility for your oil changes (the most common and frequent service for your car), then you’re not getting eyes on your transmission system regularly. If you bring your car to a “quicky lube”-type place, you’re missing out on the most important reason an auto mechanic wants to do your oil changes: to do regular checks on your vehicle. It’s not a scam, it’s the way to help and keep a close eye on ALL your car’s systems, especially the transmission. If you don’t have a mechanic you can trust, then FIND ONE---catching problems before they start is the best way to save money.
- Your transmission is leaking fluid. Any time your car or truck leaves a fluid spot on your driveway, it’s a BIG DEAL. Make sure you do your best to identify what kind of fluid has leaked, and possibly try to locate approximately where it’s dropping down out of your car. To help identify the fluid, try placing a piece of cardboard under the car, at the place where the fluid is dripping. If the fluid seems dark red, bright red, or brown, it’s likely transmission fluid, and usually indicates some sort of malfunction with it. Get this into the shop IMMEDIATELY to catch the issue before it becomes very costly.
- The transmission is shifting poorly and has problems of any kind shifting gears. Poor shifting can happen so many ways. Any hesitation when putting the car into gear, falling out of gear while driving or shifting gears for no apparent reason, and also any kind of jerking when shifting gears. Regular servicing can keep these from occurring or could solve a small problem with this. Don’t wait! Report what you’re seeing and feeling from the car to your professional mechanic as soon as you can. If you’re afraid it’s too small an issue to bring it up, at least mention it at your next oil change or regular service. They’ll be able to take a look at the issue.
- Grinding sounds or shimmying between gears. If your transmission changing gears makes a grinding sound or a shake/shimmy type movement, you’ve got to have it looked at or repaired immediately. Sometimes you may even have rough noises when idling. Strange sounds always need to be inspected.
- A burning or unusual odor coming from the transmission. Transmission fluid should be replaced on a schedule---usually every 30 to 60 thousand miles---check your car’s manual. But, if you smell a burning fluid while getting in or out of the car (usually a sweet-type smell as opposed to burning oil) then suspect something. Burning smells of any kind are not normal for cars, and heat is a killer for most parts under the hood. Get this checked out to make sure it’s not your transmission causing the issue and to get whatever it is corrected.
- Your Check Engine Light or Transmission Warning Light is On. Well, this is kind of obvious….or is it? Many people will ignore or procrastinate if things SEEM to be working fine. Don’t fall into this trap. You could be slowly wearing your car’s sensitive mechanics down to the point of needing replacement, as opposed to just fluid changing, adjustment, and smaller repairs.