7 Car Transmission Problems That You Can’t Ignore

There are several car transmission “problems” that you shouldn’t ignore. If you notice one of these happening when you drive, have it checked by a professional Collinsville, IL, mechanic before it’s damaged your car beyond fixing.

Burning Smell

It’s never a good sign when your car has a burning smell. For car transmission problems, burning smells indicate that the transmission fluid is overheating. While this isn’t as large of a problem as other transmission issues, you do need to have this checked out immediately. Transmission fluid provides lubrication for the machinery, and if it’s overheating, it’s not doing its job in protecting the gears. Without lubrication, friction increases and wears down the parts in the car transmission.

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Lack of Response

Transmissions are designed to allow smooth, instant shifting between gears. If you’re getting a lag between shifts, then that’s a transmission issue you need to have a professional mechanic check. These issues can happen either when you put the car in drive or reverse. If changing the transmission fluid or having the car’s computer system reset doesn’t fix the lagging or unresponsiveness problems, then you need a mechanic’s service.

Grinding or Buzzing Noises

The gears in your transmission shouldn’t be grinding. In fact, a proper amount of car transmission fluid is what keeps friction from creating wear and tear on the transmission. There is an important thing to note about the difference between manual car transmissions and automatics. With a manual, gears grinding may just mean that you need to replace the individual gear.

You may hear a strange brushing noise as your car shifts gears. Even with a car in good condition, this can happen and it signals a problem with the torque converter. Grinding noises may also indicate damaged or worn needle bearings. While this is a minor problem, it’s connected with the torque converter, and should be fixed immediately. This can lead to more severe problems down the line.

Shaking Sensation in the Gears

Hesitation when shifting is not normal. It means that the car’s transmission isn’t doing its job, and you could find yourself without power and unable to drive. As you drive, you should be able to shift smoothly. If your car shakes when accelerating quickly then you need help with the transmission. Also, if you notice that the car jerks and doesn’t feel like it’s going into gear, this can also indicate a transmission problem. You can feel it as an automatic shift gears, or if you drive a manual transmission, you may notice that it’s harder for you to upshift or downshift into the right gear.

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Check Engine Light is On

The “check engine” light is one of the more obvious signs that your car is in trouble. However, that light can turn on for many reasons. Your car has sensors throughout it and will alert you about anything from a loose gas cap to problems with the transmission. Anytime the check engine light comes on, you should have your car inspected by a mechanic.

Leaking Fluid

The most common reason for car transmission issues is due to leaking fluid. Low levels of fluid happen when there are small leaks in the transmission system, and, left unchecked, can lead to increased friction in the parts. Sometimes, the driveshaft or the transmission itself can be defective, leading to leaks. Sometimes the problem can be fixed by replacing the gasket seals. Other times, the coolant fluid can contaminate the transmission fluid, called “cross-contamination.” Coolant fluids don’t have the lubricating properties that transmission fluid does, and this type of engine problem can damage the transmission, too.

When fluid is low, you may experience slow shifting or gear slippage when driving. To fix this, a mechanic will thoroughly flush the fluids, fix the leaks, and put in new transmission fluid.

Noisy When in Neutral

Typically when your car is in neutral, it’s silent. If you all of a sudden start to hear a whining sound or something that sounds like a clunking noise that you haven’t heard before, you may have transmission issues. When the car is in neutral, it can make noises if the transmission fluid is breaking down. Or, it can indicate that one or more parts of the transmission are breaking down and need to be replaced.

If you’re driving the car and start hearing strange noises, pull over and place the car in neutral. If you still hear noises, even if they’re different than the ones you hear when driving, it probably indicates a transmission problem.

Don’t Ignore Common Indications Of Transmission Problems

If you notice anything unusual about how your car shifts, drives, or responds, or if it’s making unusual noises, it’s important to have t checked right away by an auto repair mechanic. Transmission problems don’t just go away and can render your car undrivable if they aren’t fixed.

If you have any questions or need to book an appointment, call Marshall Transmission’s today!

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