Signs of Transmission Failure in Your Car
Any car issue is problematic; it takes away from your valuable free time, it makes you feel as though you cannot rely on your car at any given moment, and it requires money that we often don’t have in the first place to fix issues that may not go away after the first try fixing it. One problem that drivers all over the world dread is transmission failure.
Transmission failure is often a gradual, progressive process that takes place over the course of many months or even years. While some cars are prone to specific transmission issues, other cars may go their entire life without encountering a problem. Transmission issues only become more severe the longer they’re left unattended, and unfortunately it’s one of the most commonly-ignored car issues – for a number of understandable reasons:
• Difficult to diagnose and repair
• Expensive to fix
• Time-consuming and labor-intensive
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the longer the problem remains, the more damage your vehicle will encounter. In this article we’ll go over the symptoms of transmission failure so that you have the opportunity to attend to the issue sooner rather than later.
Warning signs of a failing transmission
As a responsible driver and/or vehicle owner, it’s critical to know what to look for in a failing transmission so that you can get to the problem before it worsens. This cannot only save you thousands of dollars in a replacement transmission, but it can ensure that your car remains reliable, and consistent in performance and safety. Here’s what you may experience:
Your check-engine light comes on
Vehicles these days are designed with a built-in warning system for drivers so that they can be notified when the car experiences a downshift in performance – no pun intended. If your car picks up on transmission difficulties, the check-engine light may come on alerting you of the issue. If this occurs, you should immediately bring your car in for diagnosis and treatment – as it’s possible that the issue has already progressed.
Concerning or odd sounds coming from the transmission
Your car is a machine, and therefore it’s normal to experience noises of various components turning and working. Since you’re the expert on your own vehicle’s performance and what it typically feels and sounds like, any noticeable differences should be addressed right away. Any loud whining, humming, or grinding noises coming from the transmission are especially concerning, and they may occur while driving or idling.
Leaking transmission fluid
Your car’s transmission requires hydraulic fluid in order to allow gears to shift from one to the next without any hiccups. If you notice a reddish-brown fluid beneath your car, it could be the transmission fluid. If you notice a burning smell coming from your engine, the leak could be due to internal overheating.
Issues with gear shifting
Regardless of whether your car is an automatic or manual transmission, if transmission components begin failing it will likely lead to similar symptoms. You may notice gear slippage, hesitation when shifting gears, revving into higher RPMs, or rough transitions into other gears. This is not only a dangerous condition to drive under, but it causes significant strain and wear on your engine and its various components. These issues could be related to transmission fluid in the simplest cases, or could be due to a failing clutch. Whatever the case, it’s best to bring it to a professional auto repair shop right away.
How to prevent transmission failure in your car
Transmission problems are some of the most-feared by drivers, and rightfully so – they’re expensive, time-consuming, inconvenient, and often dangerous. That’s why it’s important to keep your transmission in excellent condition for the life of your car so that you can avoid the problem all together. Here are a few tips for ongoing care that can keep your transmission working properly and consistently:
• Stay on top of routine maintenance tasks as set in your car’s owner’s manual
• Don’t allow concerning warning signs to go unattended for any extended period of time
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your car’s transmission, including how you may be able to adjust your driving habits to prevent issues
• Hire a specialist that has expertise in your specific vehicle type
At Automotive Imports, we serve a wide range of clients from all over the areas of Boulder, Lakewood, Centennial, Westminster, Littleton, and Denver, CO. Our expertise is specific to European imports like Audi, BMW, MINI, Mercedes, and Porsche, and we keep it that way so that we can provide the highest quality automotive services to our clients. To learn more about our shop or to schedule a transmission inspection, please call one of our professionals today.