5 Common Automatic Transmission Problems

September 13, 2018 | By Mister Transmission

5 Common Automatic Transmission Problems

Transmission problems can be a real hassle. If your muffler isn’t working properly or if you’re tires are not properly pumped up, these are problems that should definitely be attended to as quickly as possible, but they’re unlikely to ruin your whole day. A problem with your automatic transmission, however, that can cancel all your plans for an extended period of time. It can also be very dangerous. But knowledge is power, so let us arm you against potential automatic transmission problems by discussing five of the most common problems, their causes, and their solutions.

  • Insufficient Levels of or Degraded Transmission Fluid

This is perhaps the most common problem, but if it is caught early enough, it can also be the easiest to fix. Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of the transmission. An automatic transmission cannot work properly without enough transmission fluid. Furthermore, that fluid needs to be of a sufficient quality.

The truth is that there is no automatic transmission problem that cannot be caused or exacerbated by a lack of quality transmission fluid. Checking and topping up one’s transmission fluid is a very easy and painless process. You can do it yourself or bring it into Mister Transmission and we can do it for you. However, if you’ve perceived problems with your automatic transmission, the first thing you should do is check your fluid.

Sometimes a transmission will have the correct level of fluid but the fluid itself will be degraded. Good fluid will be a reddish, translucent colour. An unpleasant odour or discoloration indicates that the fluid is no longer in good shape and/or there are other problems with your transmission. Mister Transmission can remove your fluid and replace it with new fluid if we suspect that is the problem.

  • Slipping

Automatic transmissions sometimes have the problem of slipping. This happens when your transmission “slips” out of one gear and into another. As you can imagine, this can be a very unnerving, annoying, and even dangerous problem. Slipping transmissions also often cause the vehicle to have trouble accelerating.

As mentioned above, a slipping transmission can be caused by a lack of transmission fluid. This should be easy enough to fix, but this problem could also indicate a more serious problems. A slipping transmission could also be caused by worn out or broken transmission bands, clutches or gears or by solenoid problems.

  • Grinding

Grinding is the opposite problem of slipping. An automatic transmission will sometimes grind when you try to shift gears, making it difficult to do so. Interestingly, a grinding problem can be caused by all the same things that can cause a slipping transmission.

  • Noises

It pays to listen to your transmission. Generally, it should not be very noisy. Unusual and especially loud noises are often a sign of a problem with an automatic transmission. If you shift the gear to neutral and it’s still noisy, you likely have a transmission problem. Also, keep an ear out for whining, clunking, and humming.

  • Check Engine Light

If your check engine light is flashing, please don’t ignore it. Bring it to your local Mister Transmission for a free multi-check and diagnosis as it could indicate an automatic transmission problem.

Get in touch

If you would like to learn more about some common automatic transmission problems, their causes, and their solutions, please get in touch with us today.

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I have a 2015 Mazda 3 with automatic transmission. It is having jerking issue at 2nd gear when the car is cold. One of my known mechanic suggested Ken for transmission issues. I went there and parked my car overnight to make sure it is cold. In morning, Ken drove it and figure out instantly it was a computer mechanism trying to save fuel by engaging clutch and gear differently, which is normal and I should not spend any money on it. I liked Ken's experience and knowledge and his guidance which saved me going broke.
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