Transmission Trouble: Five Symptoms of Scary Slippage

Written by a Guest Blogger

A lot of motorists have a fairly basic knowledge about how their car works but many would not really know what they were looking for if they lifted up the bonnet (hood).

When you get in your car each day and the engine starts up, that is probably all you need to know and you can drive away without any problems, but what if the car doesn’t feel right when you are driving along?

Diagnosing car problems yourself might seem beyond your basic skills but when it comes to things like transmission trouble, there are tell-tale signs you should be able to notice and take heed of.

Logical thinking

Even if you don’t have a great deal of car knowledge, you can still apply a degree of logical thinking and keep an eye and ear out for anything that doesn’t look or feel right on your car.

It would be far better to service an auto transmission and get it checked out at the first signs of trouble rather than leave it to chance and risk a mechanical breakdown, which could be a lot more expensive to solve.

Getting in gear

A lot of cars have automatic transmission these days but there also plenty of vehicles on the road with a manual gearbox.

A common sign that there is a potential problem with your manual gearbox is when you try to get the car into first gear from a starting stop or when you are travelling along and you experience resistance when you are trying to work your way either up or down the gears.

If this happens to you, it could be that you are low on transmission fluid or you have the wrong viscosity in there. It could also be that the clutch cable needs adjusting or replacing.

Smells funny

A burning smell coming from your car is never a positive sign and it could be that you are getting the scent of burning transmission oil hitting your nostrils.

That could be a sure sign that your transmission is overheating. Transmission fluid serves two purposes, it keeps all the moving parts well lubricated and able to move freely and it also helps to keep gearbox unit cool.

If you get a burning smell coming from your car, check to see if any fluid is leaking out and also consider getting the fluid changed as it may simply be dirty and not as effective as it once was.

Warning lights

You should always pay attention to any warning lights that appear on your dashboard. The check engine light is designed to provide you with an early-warning system that all is not well.

This warning light can come on for a variety of different reasons and one of them is to indicate that you could have a problem with your transmission. A lot of newer cars are equipped with sensors that are placed in various parts of the engine, so that any irregularities are detected and a warning sign sent to the driver.

These sensors can pick up small vibrations and other signs that even an experienced DIY motor enthusiast might not pick up immediately, and there may even be a code that comes up on the screen to tell you where it thinks the fault may be.

Not as smooth

There are different warning signs to look out for depending on whether you have a manual or automatic transmission.

With a manual transmission, an obvious sign of trouble is when you feel the car grinding and shaking, which could be a worn clutch plate or something more serious. If you have an automatic car, it may be that you actually feel the car changing through the gears rather than the smooth transition that you are used to.

Use all your senses as an in-built warning system and any sounds, smells or sights that don’t seem right or if the car doesn’t feel as smooth as it used to be. Get it checked out as soon as possible.

About the Blogger

Hudson Estell has been working on cars since he could grasp a wrench. He thinks everyone should understand the basics of auto repair and he likes to blog about it online.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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