Of all the mechanical problems that your vehicle might have, a transmission issue is perhaps the most dreaded. If you reach a point at which your transmission is entirely blown, you may have to look for a new car. If you can catch the problem early, though, you might be able to get things fixed in time. Below are four easy-to-spot signs that your transmission is in trouble.
Your transmission may heat up during operation, but it should never really be running too hot. The easiest way to tell that your transmission is overheating is by getting a whiff of the tell-tale sweet burning smell of transmission fluid. This indicates that something’s wrong with the transmission and that you’re going to need to visit a certified mechanic as soon as possible. Your transmission should never be producing any type of smell that you can easily identify if it is working correctly.
Gear Shifting Issues
Always pay attention to how your car shifts gears. If you have an automatic transmission and you notice your car shaking or vibrating as you shift from gear to gear, there’s almost certainly some kind of transmission issue. If you have a manual transmission and you notice a grinding sound as you shift, you’re also probably looking at a transmission problem.
Transmission fluid doesn’t burn up as it is used. As such, any sign that you’re low on fluid is a sign that something is wrong. If your transmission fluid is low, there’s a good chance you have a leak—something that’s indicative of a bigger problem. If you do have fluid, make sure that it’s not leaking out of your car—if you see a reddish, sweet-smelling substance on your driveway, you need to visit a transmission repair shop as soon as possible.
Check Engine Light
Yes, your check engine light can actually be one of the best methods of figuring out that your transmission is starting to go. If you have a relatively new car, you need to check the OBD codes that are generated when your light comes on as soon as possible. If the code indicates a problem with the transmission, you can get it into the shop and have it repaired before more damage occurs.
If you notice any of the problems above, it’s best to get your car checked out as soon as possible. Some of the problems of which these symptoms are indicative can be fixed easily, but only if they are caught on time. The sooner you get your car in to get looked at, the less chance you have of being stuck on the side of the road after your transmission finally fails.