Your transmission is not its own independent system: it is integrally linked to the operation of your engine, as it is what allows your engine to change gears. Without a properly functioning transmission, your engine would struggle to speed up or slow down and would damage itself in the process of normal driving. As such, paying attention to the state of your transmission is an essential part of car maintenance. Understanding some of the earliest red flags associated with a failing transmission can help you head to a mechanic before the issues can grow to become too serious.
One of the first and most serious signs that your transmission may be overly worn and in need of replacement is if you notice that when you shift into drive, there is a long delay before the pressure that you are placing on the gas pedal translates into movement forward. This can be caused by all sorts of issues, from a fluid leak to worn down transmission gears, so a professional inspection is usually the best path forward before any actual transmission repairs are made.
Another sign that your transmission is not working as efficiently and effectively as possible is if the gear shifts either up or down come with a loud clunk or banging, with a sudden surge forward or pulling backwards as the gear shift completes. Switching gears should be relatively smooth, and thus rough shifting not only places additional stress on the transmission, making further repairs and damage more likely, but it also places greater strain on the engine. This can cause more serious complications over a long enough period of time.
Leaking Transmission Fluid
Finally, another clear indication that there is something wrong with your transmission is if you notice that you are having to fill the transmission fluid up regularly — since the transmission warning light keeps popping up — or if you actually notice transmission fluid on the pavement underneath your vehicle. Transmission fluid should be reddish or orange in color, gradually becoming darker as it is used and becomes dirtier. Blotting up the liquid can help you identify its color and thus its source. Leaking transmission fluid can be caused by a broken hose or cracked reservoir and can reduce the amount of pressure that your transmission has to change gears — resulting in reduced performance. Fortunately, replacing a hose or reservoir is much less expensive and complicated than replacing the transmission itself.Share
26 September 2018
After my car died and I was stranded on the freeway a few years back, I knew that I had to do what I could to avoid similar issues in the future. I began working hard to identify different issues with my car, so that I could prevent problems. I began working with a mechanic to get help, and he taught me a lot about going through my car and being able to evaluate different things that were problems. It was really interesting to explore the possibilities of different car failures, and before I knew it, I could tell when my car was struggling. Read more about the early signs of car trouble on my blog.