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Signs of Transmission Problems in Cars

Updated on August 17, 2010
transmission car problems, alvimann, morguefile.com
transmission car problems, alvimann, morguefile.com

Perhaps there are not many car problems to induce much fear  in auto owners as much as transmission problems. There is something somewhat obscure when it comes to dealing with anything transmission related and auto dealers are aware of this and may ultimately take advantage of many of those folks who were born illiterate about mechanics. Before being over charged, or to say it more blatantly, ripped off, it sure helps to better understand the signs of transmission problems in cars.

There are not many car problems that end up being as costly as replacing a car's transmission. Your mechanic may be talking technical lingo but the price for transmission replacements always comes loud and clear. Learning more on what a transmission is and how it works may help you get a better grip on the problem and avoid being fooled by a mechanic who is projecting to use your money towards his next summer vacation.

A transmission is basically a  sort of box underneath your car to put it simply. Its main goal is to successfully shift your car from gear to gear. In order to work well a transmission needs transmission fluid and a good filter. It is well worth it to check the transmission fluid levels from time to time to check the level and detect early leaks. Low fluid levels may interfere with the normal functioning of the gears and lead to transmission damage. As with lots of things in life, it is better to detect transmission problems early than later deal with a catastrophic transmission failure.

Helpful diagnostic tools

BLACK+DECKER AD925 Smart Scan Automotive Check Engine Light Diagnostic Tool
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Signs of Transmission Problems in Cars

• Mysterious Leaks

If you end up finding bright cherry red or pinkish leaks under your car suspect a transmission fluid leak. Such leaks may be easy to repair right away and will not likely dig a hole in your wallet as of yet.  Consider seeking out the help of a a qualified transmission repairman since a transmission low on fluids may deteriorate fairly quickly.

• Delayed Responses

You may be shifting into Drive or Reverse and feel some hesitation. This delayed response may be one of the first signs that your transmission is in trouble. This may be attributed to low levels of fluids or a band that needs readjusted. 

• Improvised Shaking

You are driving at highway speed and you feel a sensation of shaking. This can be a sign of some sort of transmission malfunction. Whether you are traveling with a manual or automatic shift, the change in gear should be smooth and not noisy.

• Burnt Smell

If you notice a burnt smell resembling burnt toast and the transmission fluid  appears to be dark, there are chances that  the automatic transmission has overheated or some transmission fluid has leaked on the exhaust. This requires the intervention of a qualified transmission repair man.

• Check Engine Light

Just as your body shows something is wrong through pain, your car tells you something needs attention with a check engine light. Of course, the check engine light may not necessarily be a sign of something transmission related but there are chances it may be. While this may be frustrating, you may invest in a diagnostic scan tool that you plug into your car. A special code can tell  you if  there is a transmission problem.

When it comes to transmission problems do not expect to be capable of doing it yourself. There are many tools required and many things can go wrong. Learn some basics about your transmission and try your best to find an honest mechanic that will not try to rip you off. Knowledge is power and can ultimately save you some money.


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    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      was that a photo a VW manual stickshift? lol. at least manual sticks are less costlier especially as you mentioned when detected early.

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