Engine Problems That Seem Like Transmission Problems

By Mister Transmission

If there is one thing all drivers share in common, it is the feeling of dread we get when we hear an unfamiliar sound coming from our car. That, and of course our dislike for getting stuck in traffic. Your car can give you signs that there is something wrong from obvious alerts such as an engine light to strange sounds, smells, vibrations or grindings. The problem for most drivers is trying to figure out what is causing the issue. There can be many signs that might seem like there is something wrong with your transmission when in fact it is your engine at the root of the problem. Here are a few ways to identify engine problems over transmission problems.

Check Engine Light

This may seem a little counter-intuitive, but many drivers who know their cars to some extent may be familiar with the fact that their check engine light is often related to transmission trouble. Some drivers will choose to ignore it because they have rushed to the auto shop only to find out it is something silly, like a loose gas cap. Regardless of what is triggering your check engine light, you probably want to take its cue and bring it in for a diagnostic. If you are lucky, it is something simple. Just keep in mind the longer you wait the worse it can get. In order to diagnose it properly, we recommend you take it to a transmission specialist like Mister Transmission.

Burning Smell

There are a dozen things that can cause a burning smell in your car, including transmission problems. Many people who have experienced a burning smell due to a lack of transmission fluid may just assume this is what is causing the problem and you may just make a note to yourself to check the levels at some point. However your engine can also have issues that cause a burning smell usually related to oil leaks. You can check for signs for oil leaks such as a loose oil filter, a loose or damaged oil plug or a damaged oil gasket. Many of these issues can occur following an oil change even if it was done by a mechanic. Transmission fluid tends to have a sweeter smell, but will smell distinctly “burnt” if there is an issue. Leaks from other fluids may cause a burning smell if they leak into or onto the engine.

Hesitation

Your car hesitating when you accelerate is an issue that can be caused by transmission problems. It is possible for you to mistakenly think your gears are slipping when in fact it is your engine hesitating. It is also common to experience issues when switching from park to drive for transmission problems. When it is the engine, you will really feel it if you try to accelerate as you are getting onto the highway or trying to pass someone. Some common causes for engine hesitation are blocked air and fuel filters.

Strange Sounds

Strange sounds are often mistaken for transmission problems. There is a way to tell the difference between engine and transmission related sounds. Transmission problems result in more of a whining, humming or clunking noise. Engine troubles will be more along the lines of whirring, hissing or backfires. Your engine may also make a popping sound when hesitating.

When you are straining to figure out what the heck the sound might be, the sound may stop which can be a big relief. However if it comes and goes it can be frustrating if you are trying to pinpoint where the sound is coming from. In the case of the whining, humming and clunking caused by transmission problems it tends to last whereas popping and backfires will happen only momentarily and whirring from the engine will occur as you speed up.

As you can see learning to identify issues with your car is tricky. However it might be a little easier to determine if it is the engine or transmission problems using these indicators.

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Customer Reviews
Good and friendly and reliable...
Albert Wilton
Good and friendly and reliable people and they work hard to get your vehicle doneService: Transmission
Date: July 25, 2021
Website: Google
Thank you, Mister Transmission! After...
Christy McMurray
Thank you, Mister Transmission! After taking my vehicle to the dealership where I bought it, and paying $150 for them to tell me what I already told them was wrong, the Dealer gave me a quote of $6,500 to replace my 9 year old transmission with a factory rebuilt one, because it couldn't be fixed or rebuilt by them. Thankfully I called Mister Transmission and Chris knew exactly what the issue was, how to fix it, and it only cost me $385 for everything and it was fixed in a day. I am so grateful that Chris and Dawn run an honest operation and provide genuinely great service. Thanks again!
Date: July 25, 2021
Website: Google
Cambridge Mister Transmission was awesome....
Sarah MacArthur
Cambridge Mister Transmission was awesome. We ended up having a small issue but they still took the time to show me where on my vehicle the problems were and fully explain the possible issues. They were prompt in getting back to me the following day and I had my vehicle back in no time. Chris and Nick were amazing and the office is so clean and pleasant. Great customer service!
Date: July 24, 2021
Website: Google
Great service , friendly and...
John Neven
Great service , friendly and very knowledgeable.Excellent work
Date: July 23, 2021
Website: Google
Mazda 3 AT light came...
Chris Elmquist
Mazda 3 AT light came on one with some bad noises and clunking. Dealer said need a new transmission for only $4400. Took it to this and a quick check they determined it needed new TCM which is very common on the mazdas. They took care of it and even did a bunch of extra work fixing a wiring harness all for the cost of the TCM . cannot say enough about how we were treated by Chris and Dawn. Would recommend them. FIRST CLASS!!!!!
Date: July 23, 2021
Website: Google
Workers are very nice and...
Ely Bolivar
Workers are very nice and explain thing clearly. Also they have an option to finance your repairs.
Date: July 22, 2021
Website: Google
They assessed the problem quickly,...
Colleen H
They assessed the problem quickly, quoted a good price, provided fast service, in a no-pressure, friendly manner. I've been telling everybodyService: Transmission
Date: July 20, 2021
Website: Google
I took my differentials down...
Kieran Massicotte
I took my differentials down to get rebuilt and Steve was very professional and the total was 200 bucks cheaper than the quoted price and there was a few things during the whole process that didn’t go as planned as I had brought all the bearings parts and some bearings were the wrong ones and I had brought 4.88s to put in end they would not work and before continuing with anything Steve would call and double check to let you know what needs to be done and get the ok from me first before they would continue overall amazing place Steve and the guys were awesome and the work was done perfect and the diffs have never been more smooth highly recommend.
Date: July 20, 2021
Website: Google
Excellent customer service.Service: Transmission
Eduardo Vieira
Excellent customer service.Service: Transmission
Date: July 20, 2021
Website: Google
Thank you Kyle and the...
Roman Danko
Thank you Kyle and the Mr. Transmission team for very professional and friendly customer service and repair. I definitelly recommend their services.Service: Transmission
Date: July 19, 2021
Website: Google
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