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
Wes was very knowledgeable and...
Mike Webster
Wes was very knowledgeable and helpful and kept me informed throughout the repair. It was a pleasure to deal with such a professional automotive repair shop. I wholeheartedly recommend them for any transmission issues.
Date: September 22, 2022
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Our car broke down upon...
Virginia Tang
Our car broke down upon when we return home. End up car need to get tow to this store. Staff are very friendly and owner PJ is very helpful. He explained very clear about the problem and shown his expertise.They really relieved our stress.
Date: September 22, 2022
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Chris and his staff provided...
Glenn Gibbons
Chris and his staff provided excellent service. Quickly diagnosed problem ,clearly explained the repair. estimate was accurate and vehicle was repaired in time framed promised. highly recommend them .
Date: September 22, 2022
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Very happy with Carlo and...
Malcolm Ogley
Very happy with Carlo and the work he does. He has worked on both my vehicles and no issues. Will keep going back
Date: September 21, 2022
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Great service and friendly staff....
Neal Woelinga
Great service and friendly staff. Definitely will come for servicing my truck again
Date: September 21, 2022
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Had a great experience from...
TJ Deering
Had a great experience from the first phone call, very friendly staff. Highly recommended!
Date: September 21, 2022
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I have a Toyota rav4...
Kashmir Maan
I have a Toyota rav4 2013 Symptoms were , low speed shudder between 35-45 Km Dealer told me that it has problem with torque converter .So it has to be replaced . the cost would be $2000 . Suddenly I called Mr Giorgio .He at once ask me to come to his shop . He took test drive . Then he told me he will fix it without changing torque converter . He did it . He saved me $1650 and did an excellent job . I am fully satisfied with his services . He is a very professional and honest person . I would highly recommend that you visit Giorgio and his team for assistance with any issues you may have with your auto
Date: September 20, 2022
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Sean is amazing. Very sincere...
Patti Mckay
Sean is amazing. Very sincere and honest. I highly reccomend this location. I trust them 100%. Thank you.
Date: September 20, 2022
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Highly recommend this location! I...
Scott Bullock
Highly recommend this location! I don't normally post these but Ken was extremely helpful with my repair. He answered every one of my questions. If your car has a problem, go to this location, Ken will fix your problem
Date: September 20, 2022
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Aki and the boys know...
Gee Bee
Aki and the boys know EXACTLY what they're doing. You pay for that knowledge and experience. But it is worth every penny. I just have to remember to drop by more than once every 3 years! Lol
Date: September 19, 2022
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