One of the most dreaded vehicular problems is a malfunctioning transmission. Usually, these repairs or replacements are quite costly. However, auto repair costs can be significantly reduced if you address any problems quickly rather than waiting for them to worsen. To help you with this, check out these four warning signs that could point to a growing transmission problem.
Transmission Fluid Leaks
The easiest warning sign to notice is leaking fluid. However, because numerous types of fluids could be leaking from your vehicle, such as oil or condensation from the air conditioner, you must be able to differentiate transmission fluid leaks from less concerning messes. Transmission fluid is unmistakably red and has a sweet odor if you get close enough to it.
Unexpected Sounds When Driving or in Neutral
Any grinding, clunking, or humming noises in your vehicle should immediately clue you into a problem as a healthy, well-maintained vehicle will run quietly. Clunking and grinding that go unaddressed can certainly lead to more expensive problems over time. An auto services mechanic may find that your clutch needs to be replaced if you have a manual transmission or that an automatic transmission’s synchronizers need to be recalibrated.
Problems Changing Gears
The transmission is responsible for changing your vehicle’s gears, such as when you speed up or slow down or when you shift from park to drive or neutral. Difficulty changing gears or problems with your vehicle changing gears on its own while you are driving is both a sign of transmission trouble and a recipe for dangerous driving. Not only will you hear your engine making louder noises than usual, but also you may experience a sensation similar to driving on ice if the gears slip.
Much like new sounds coming from your engine, new odors can also spell transmission troubles. Your vehicle may simply need more transmission fluid or a transmission fluid flush, or the transmission could be overheated and be burning through transmission fluid. While burning odors may not always point to transmission issues, they are always a sign to bring your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible.
If you suspect that your vehicle has a transmission problem, be sure to schedule an appointment with your local auto mechanic as quickly as possible. Not only can this save you money in the long run, but also it can set your mind at ease that you are not further harming your ride. While these five warning signs can clue you into potential trouble, it will take a trained auto mechanic to diagnose the cause and extent of the problem.