How Can I Tell If My Transmission is Acting Up?

April 16, 2018 | By Mister Transmission

Transmission Problems

Though we sometimes take them for granted, automobiles are actually pretty complex. There are a plethora of different parts and components that must work together just so to make sure that your vehicle is running smoothly. And if things aren’t running smoothly, it can be difficult to know just which one of those parts is acting up.

If your brakes are squeaking and it takes a long time for your vehicle to come to a stop, you can pretty easily figure out that your brakes are the problem. If every time you drive down the street and your Honda Accord sounds like a Boeing 747, then there’s a good chance that your muffler is the issue. But how do you tell if your transmission is the problem? What are the symptoms of a bad transmission?


The first item on our symptom list is slipping. If you have a bad transmission, your vehicle might tend to slip out of gear. This occurs when you’re driving in one gear and then your vehicle suddenly slips into a different gear. This is obviously a problem. Far from just being a minor inconvenience, a slipping transmission is downright dangerous. You do not want to be driving your vehicle with the fear that at any moment, your vehicle could just switch gears on you. If you’re experiencing slipping, bring your vehicle in for an inspection and repair right away.


The second symptom on our list is grinding. With slipping, your transmission switches gears far too easily (ie: without you telling it to do so). With grinding, it’s just the opposite. Grinding occurs when you shift gears and your transmission makes grinding and clunking noises. And you can feel it, too. Clearly, grinding is not ever a symptom you want your vehicle to exhibit.


Leaking is a symptom of a bad transmission that is easy to spot. If as you drive out your driveway or parking space, you see patches of dark red liquid on the ground, you have a leak. Transmission fluid is the lifeblood your transmission. Indeed, all of the symptoms on this list can be caused or exacerbated by insufficient levels or quality of transmission fluid. Leaks can be relatively simple to seal, or difficult, depending on where and how big the leak is.

Burning odor

Like with many things in life, a bad odor is a harbinger of doom. If your vehicle is emitting a bad, burning smell, something is wrong. A number of parts in your vehicle could emit such a smell, but if you haven’t just “burned rubber” as you peeled out of your driveway, there’s a good chance that odor is coming from your transmission. Get your transmission problem checked immediately.


If you’ve driven your vehicle for any length of time, you’re probably used to the noises it routinely makes. If it starts to make odd, new noises, take note. A bad transmission will sometimes emit unusual, “whining” noises that suggest something is amiss inside. As with all of these symptoms of bad transmissions, you ignore this symptom at your peril. 

Mister Transmission

If you think your vehicle is displaying symptoms of a bad transmission, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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