Next to the engine, the transmission is one of the most important parts of an automobile. The transmission plays a vital role in making a vehicle run properly-- it is responsible for transmitting power to the drive train and also allowing the car to shift into different gears. The costs to rebuild or replace a transmission can be high, so it is in your best interest to pay attention to signs of transmission problems, and have your vehicle looked at by a reputable mechanic as soon as possible so issues can be repaired. Some of the most common signs of transmission problems include:
Leaking Transmission Fluid
The transmission is a closed system, so leaking transmission fluid is a clear sign of a problem. You can recognize transmission fluid by its red color, so if you find red fluid leaking onto your driveway it is a good idea to have your car looked at. Leaking transmission fluid does not necessarily mean that your transmission is about to fail, but if you notice that your transmission is leaking fluid you can cause more extensive damage by continuing to drive your car without having it repaired.
Odd sounds from a vehicle are never a good thing. Strange sounds while you are driving your vehicle can point to any number of problems, but a transmission in need of repair will often make whining, buzzing, or loud clunks while in operation. One of the easiest ways to see if unusual sounds from your car are due to your transmission is by putting your car in neutral; if you notice a lot of noise, have a mechanic look at your transmission.
Problems Shifting Gears
A transmission in good repair will smoothly transition between gears; if you notice jerking when you shift gears, a delay in gears shifting, or gears shifting unexpectedly, your transmission may be in trouble. Don't ignore problems when your vehicle is having issues shifting gears-- it is much less expensive to make repairs than to have to replace your transmission.
A urning Smell Under the Hood
Even if your if don't see transmission fluid leaking, you may be able to smell it after driving your vehicle. A pungent burning smell from under the hood can indicate a number of problems, including transmission issues. If your vehicle has a burning smell, visit a transmissions repair mechanic and ask them to check out your transmission and engine.