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
Excellent services! DES provided fantastic...
Mayowa O
Excellent services! DES provided fantastic services, helping to fix multiple major issues in my car at competitive prices. I strongly recommend DES!
Date: January 29, 2023
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Nice to see frank good...
Mohammad Ashfaq
Nice to see frank good advise
Date: January 29, 2023
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Super proffessional! Great Service!
Guislena Jimenez
Super proffessional! Great Service!
Date: January 29, 2023
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I just wanted to say...
Ab H
I just wanted to say that the Orillia Mr T is amazing! Christina is very pleasant to deal with. They tested my car and told me the power issue and engine light was an engine problem and that the transmission was in good shape. They also said it was probably a turbo related problem. I had my mechanic fix the issue which was a cracked air intake pipe for the turbo. It's great to deal with a very professional and honest operation!
Date: January 29, 2023
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Great stuff. Very nice people...
Pavel Shnayderman
Great stuff. Very nice people . Do good job.
Date: January 28, 2023
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Fast, friendly, efficient! Came in...
SHELDON Tipple
Fast, friendly, efficient! Came in with a blown. Clutch. He got me in Same day and had my truck back to me in a few days! Definitely recommend this guy to anyone in the arena that needs transmission work! 👍🏻👍🏻
Date: January 28, 2023
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I was driving into the...
LJU H
I was driving into the city from out of town when I suddenly got warning lights. I called and spoke to Tanya who was so helpful, she worked to get me in quickly. The team diagnosed the problem quickly, ordered in the part and had the work done within 24 hours. I really felt they went out of their way for me because they knew I was in a tough position. Excellent service! Thank you!
Date: January 28, 2023
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Excellent knowledge, amazing customer service...
Mircea Adrian
Excellent knowledge, amazing customer service and support! Highly recommended
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Wonderful service . Knowledgeable and...
Friday Osagie
Wonderful service . Knowledgeable and experienced staff. Highly recommended
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I could not be happier...
David Traves
I could not be happier with the service that I received, this is a first class shop. When I took my sons car in they went above and beyond to help us out not only with the transmission but also the engine, what a fantastic group they have. I strongly recommend this shop to anybody with transmission issues I’m sure you will be very satisfied as was I. Right from Denise in front office to her husband Sean and and the crew in the shop you have my utmost thanks. Dave Traves
Date: January 27, 2023
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