If you drive your car long enough, it will need transmission repair at some point, it happens sooner for some vehicle types than for others. Whether this means the transmission needs to be serviced, rebuilt or replaced may depend on how long the car has been driven with transmission issues, and how much damage has been done.
Fortunately, your car will usually tell you when the transmission is starting to fail, and the sooner you bring the vehicle in to a qualified automotive specialist, the greater your chances will be of avoiding the expense of a full rebuild. The key is to not ignore the symptoms when they occur. Here are a few warning signs that your car may be in need of transmission repair.
- Problems with shifting gears
Since your car’s gears are an integral part of the transmission, irregularities with shifting gears are an almost certain sign your transmission is in trouble. Symptoms may include any of the following:
- Hesitation when putting the car into gear
- Falling out of gear while driving
- Shifting gears for no apparent reason
- Jerking when shifting gears
If your vehicle is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to have it looked at by a transmission repair specialist.
- Grinding or shimmying between gears
If changing gears produces a grinding sound (in manual transmissions) or a shaking/shimmying (in automatic transmissions), it can be a sign of a worn clutch or other issues. In any case, if you experience this, don’t let it persist. Bring the car in for a check-up.
- Unusual noises and “whines”
Often, transmission trouble is indicated when the vehicle begins producing unusual noises, like whining, buzzing or even clunks. Also, if your car sounds excessively noisy while in neutral, you should have it looked at. Other things than the transmission can cause these noises, but they should never be ignored.
- Burnt, cloudy transmission fluid
Transmission fluid normally has a bright red color and a distinctive sweet smell. When the fluid appears dark and opaque, and if it looks/smells burnt, it’s a sign of trouble. Time to have the transmission checked out.
- Burning odor
You can often smell transmission fluid burning when you exit the vehicle, even if you haven’t seen the fluid. Likewise, when the gears overheat due to excessive friction, it can also produce a burning smell. If the transmission is going bad, you can often smell the burnt transmission fluid when you get out of the car. Either way, a hot, burning smell is not normal.
- Leaking transmission fluid
If you see the red fluid on your driveway, whether it appears clear or cloudy, take the car to the auto repair shop. A leak doesn’t necessarily mean your transmission is going bad, but if you let it continue to leak, it will definitely cause damage.
When it’s time for transmission servicing or transmission repair, Everson Transmissions has built a solid reputation for quality, affordable auto service in the Everson & Bellingham area over the past 25 years, they can be reached at 360-966-4800.