How can you tell if your transmission is working properly? Usually, you can do so by the absence of observable problems. The truth is that it’s much easier to tell if your transmission is not working properly. This article will go over some of the telltale signs that you have a transmission problem as well as some of the things you can do if you have a nagging feeling that something is amiss, but you’re not sure what.
Symptoms of Transmission Problems
The easiest way to figure out if there’s something wrong with your transmission is if there’s an obvious problem. Granted, you don’t want to ever have any transmission problems if you can help it. But if you know what the signs are and able to identify them, then at least you can take the proper steps to get them fixed right away.
Grinding, clunking, or resistance when shifting gears
A smell of burning
Whirring, thumping, or other odd sounds coming from your transmission
Patches of reddish liquid on the pavement under your vehicle (sign of a transmission fluid leak)
Transmission fluid has a foul odour or is discoloured/opaque (sign of damaged or burned transmission fluid)
The Multi-Check Inspection
If you have observed any of the above symptoms from your transmission you should bring it into a reputable transmission shop to get the problem fixed. And you should do it sooner rather than later; it doesn’t pay to procrastinate. However, these symptoms generally present only when a problem has become severe enough to be noticed. Is there anyway to identify a problem sooner? Well, yes, there is.
Mister Transmission offers a four-part multi-check inspection as part of our transmission services. The multi-check inspection is almost certain to be able to find any problems or inefficiencies with your transmission. The multi-check inspection includes:
A Fluid Check
A Road Test
A Lift Inspection/Diagnosis
A Pan Examination
The Fluid Check
–The fluid check examines your transmission fluid. If the fluid is damaged or depleted, this could be the cause of or a symptom of a problem.
The Road Test
-Sometimes the best way to examine a transmission is to get the vehicle out on the road to see how it handles. Our technicians will take careful notice of how the transmission responds to commands and everything it does. Or doesn’t do, as the case may be.
The Lift Inspection/Diagnosis
-During the lift inspection a Mister Transmission technician will examine the following:
The Pan Examination
-The pan examination is the most important part of the Mister Transmission multi-check inspection. In all pans, you can expect to see some metal particles and friction material. However, an excess of this material indicates internal wear and damage. If that is the case, and it is determined that a minor adjustment will not correct the problem, we will recommend Mister Transmission’s inspection service. This service will determine exactly what is wrong inside your transmission.
If you would like to learn more about the Mister Transmission multi-check inspection or about how to properly evaluate your transmission’s health, please reach out and get in touch with us today.
Mister Transmission offers the best transmission repair services money can buy. Having said that, you still don’t want to bring your vehicle in for a transmission repair if you can avoid it, regardless if you’re bringing it to Mister Transmission. Of course, it would be foolish to think you can drive a vehicle for its whole lifespan and never require a transmission repair. Nevertheless, you want to minimize the number of repairs needed as much as possible. To do that, you need to know the root causes of transmission problems. So…what are they?
Transmissions are incredibly intricate and complex, more so than most folks think. This is because, to many people, the transmission is one part of their vehicle: the transmission. But in actuality, the transmission is a series of parts working in concert to deliver the power generated by your engine to your wheels. And when even just one of those parts is not working, that can render your whole transmission ineffective. What this all means is that a lot can go wrong with transmissions. Even the best built transmissions can run into problems because they are inherently complex.
Common Transmission Problems
While it can sometimes be exceedingly tricky to pinpoint the exact problem with a transmission, there are several common transmission problems that we hear about at Mister Transmission all the time. Here are some of these common transmission problems:
Hard Gear Shifts When you shift gears, you expect the change to occur smoothly. But this is not always the case. Sometimes drivers notice resistance to the gear change. It can be difficult and it is sometimes accompanied by odd clunking and whirring noises. This is not good.
Slipping Some transmissions have the opposite problem. Sometimes it’s really easy to shift gears. Too easy. So easy in fact that your transmission does it for you. You can be driving along the highway and all of a sudden your transmission slips into neutral. This is definitely not good.
Rejected Changes Similar to slipping, sometimes a transmission can “reject” the driver’s gear change. For example, you might change into reverse only to have your transmission switch you right back into drive. All of these problems are annoying at best and dangerous at worst.
Smells like Burning This one is fairly obvious. If ever any part of your vehicle smells like it’s burning, you should get it checked out. Unless you just “burned rubber” out of the parking lot. Which you definitely shouldn’t do, by the way.
Fluid Leak As you pull out of your driveway, if you see a patch of liquid underneath your vehicle, you have a problem. Do not ignore it.
Transmission Fluid Problems
This last point is important. Not every transmission problem is caused by an issue with your transmission fluid. But there is no transmission problem that cannot be caused or worsened by a transmission fluid problem. If you’re low on transmission fluid, top it up. If your transmission fluid is damaged or burned –smells unpleasant, looks opaque– bring in your vehicle for a fluid change. And if you suspect you have a leak, bring in your vehicle for a transmission re-sealing.
Get In Touch
If you would like to learn more about the causes of and solutions to common transmission problems, please contact us today.
There are two eternal truths about transmissions: they are important and they are complicated. The transmission is what allows your vehicle to move. It transfers power from the engine to the tires. No transmission means no movement. However, this is not a simple process. We think of the transmission as one entity. “The transmission”. But a transmission is actually a whole set of different components working in tandem to transfer power to your axles. If just one component is malfunctioning, that can screw up the whole operation.
This is why transmission problems are as frequent as they are. With such an intricate and complex set of components, a lot can go wrong. A lot can go wrong with tires, too. They are the only part of your vehicle that touches the road, after all (hopefully). But tires are simple. They either need to be inflated, sealed, or changed. They’re important, but simple. The transmission on the other hand? It can be quite difficult to diagnose transmission problems. Here are six of the most common transmission problems that you might encounter.
Do you Hear What I Hear?
Transmissions require that we pay attention to them. This is not something that comes naturally to many of us. For many of us, a vehicle is a tool to get from Point A to Point B. We don’t always pay attention to the process. But we should. And if we listen closely, our transmission might be trying to tell us something.
Whining, whirring, humming, and clunking noises are all signs that something is amiss. Especially if you hear these noises in neutral. An optimal transmission won’t make much noise that you could hear above an internal combustion engine. Even if you can’t feel any problems with your transmission, such odd noises could be portents of trouble to come.
Grinding and Shaking
Sometimes the noises mentioned above are accompanied by tactile sensations. If you can feel your transmission grind and shake when you change gears, you have a problem. Gear shifts should be smooth and seamless. Grinding and shaking are symptoms of a transmission problem.
Smells like Burning
There are only two instances in which you would smell a burning odour coming from your vehicle: 1) when you’ve just “burned rubber” and peeled out of a parking lot. And 2) when something has gone badly awry within your vehicle. Since you are, of course, a responsible driver, you would never do Number 1, so the cause must be the latter. A burning smell coming from your transmission is a problem indeed.
Gear Change won’t Engage
If you shift your car into drive, you expect your car to shift into drive. If that doesn’t happen, you have a transmission problem.
Your vehicle can “slip” out of gear. Usually into neutral and usually after a gear change, though not always. Not only is this a transmission problem, it is a big danger to both your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians.
Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of a transmission. Insufficient levels of transmission fluid are a very common cause of transmission problems. If you see patches of reddish liquid underneath your vehicle after you park, you have a leak and that’s a big transmission problem.
In sports, it is often said that the best defence is a good offence. If we extrapolate from this aphorism and translate the meaning to the context of vehicle care, it is best to remain ever vigilant with regards to transmission problems. The best way to avoid major problems with your transmission is to anticipate them and head them off at the proverbial pass. If you notice a small problem, get it fixed by a professional Transmission Shop before it becomes a big problem. And do whatever you can to avoid the development of problems in the first place. It may take some time and effort, but if you can anticipate transmission problems before they occur, you will save yourself a lot more time and effort in the long run, as well as money.
Automatic transmission problems
But just how do you anticipate problems with your automatic transmission? How can you know if things are about to go pear shaped? Well, the first thing you need to do is arm yourself with knowledge. You need to know what some common automatic transmission problems are before you can anticipate them. So let’s first go over some of the most common symptoms of problems with automatic transmissions:
Slipping – transmission slipping from one gear into another
Rough shifts – hearing or experiencing bumps or jolts when you shift gears
Delayed shifts – when your transmission lags behind you when you shift gears
Leaks – when you see transmission fluid underneath your vehicle after you’ve parked, you have a transmission fluid leak
Warning light – an obvious one, but still far too often ignored; a warning light (such as “Check Engine”) could indicate a problem with your transmission.
If you experience any of the above problems, bring your vehicle in for inspection and repair immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of the problem worsening, which could you leave you with a larger repair bill, stranded by the side of the highway, or worse still, in a collision.
Prevention is better than cure
Just like you should eat your daily serving of vegetables and avoid junk food in order to maintain good health for the future, so too should you take care of your vehicle to prevent future problems. Most any transmission problem can be caused or exacerbated by insufficient levels or poor quality of transmission fluid. This is why you should check your transmission fluid regularly. If your fluid is a reddish translucent colour, you should be OK. If your transmission fluid is dark and smells funny, you should change it. You can change your transmission fluid yourself, or bring it into the shop if you would rather not spend time on it yourself.
Also, just like with your body, you shouldn’t deprive your transmission of regular checkups. At Mister Transmission, we have our Multi-Check Inspection that methodically tests all aspects of your transmission and can find any problems with your car’s transmission, including problems you may not have even noticed yourself.
If you think your transmission is due for an inspection or you suspect you’re already experiencing automatic (or even manual) transmission problems, please bring your vehicle into the shop or contact our transmission shop today.
A slipping transmission is one of the most common transmission problems that there is. When you first begin to experience a slipping transmission, it might only be inconvenient, frustrating, and unnerving. But left unrepaired a slipping transmission can be a major and even a dangerous problem. That is why you should bring your vehicle in for a transmission repair as soon as possible after experiencing some transmission slippage. But how does one fix a slipping transmission?
When a transmission slips it means that your car changes its gear –or slips– without you intending to do this. If you’ve never experienced this, you can probably imagine how troubling and discomfiting this can be. While not necessarily a sign of oncoming major transmission failure, slipping does indicate that your transmission is in serious need of service and repair. To leave it unchecked is to put both your vehicle and yourself, as well as other drivers and pedestrians, in danger.
With regards to manual transmissions, the cause of slippage is usually associated with the clutch. Both manual and automatic transmissions utilise clutches. For manual transmissions, a clutch problem is the most common culprit for a slipping transmission (in the rare event that it is not a clutch issue, it’s likely due to leakage). Often what you’ll see is a worn out clutch that has become too thin.
Automatic transmissions contain clutch plates throughout the transmission as well as in the torque converter which may become worn or burnt from inadequate transmission fluid. To fix this, you will have to get the clutch plates replaced immediately and also change the fluid.
Low fluid levels are often involved with any problem that involves slipping transmission. Low fluid levels can contribute to a host of various problems, such as overheating and a lack of hydraulic pressure being produced to engage gears. If you suspect you have a low level of transmission fluid, you should check your levels as soon as possible. If so, add more fluid in order for the gears to engage properly, and check underneath your vehicle for any transmission fluid, as leaks can obviously lead to low fluid levels.
Ineffective transmission bands can also contribute to slippage. Transmission bands can become worn and broken, which can cause transmission slipping as well as engine troubles and worn out gears. Bands are what link the gears in the automatic transmission together. To fix this problem you need to replace or adjust the defective band. Transmission slipping can also be affected by worn out gears, solenoid problems, or torque converter issues.
We’ve discussed some of the necessary repairs to transmission slipping above, but obviously, the repair needed will vary depending on the cause of the problem. For low fluid levels, you’ll need to add more fluid to repair the problem. For burnt or damaged fluid, you’ll need to drain the exhausted fluid and replace it with new fluid. For a leak, however, at least part of your transmission will need to be resealed to prevent further slipping and transmission problems.
For other problems such as ones that concern the torque converter or the solenoid, the required transmission repair can be quite complex and will necessitate special equipment. To learn more about slipping transmission and the required repairs, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
Since 1963, Mister Transmission is the name Canadians trust to provide them with high-quality transmission repairs and expert service.
With franchises conveniently located coast-to-coast, Mister Transmission is the largest chain of transmission and driveline repair specialists in Canada. We're proud of our reputation and our history as Canada's premier transmission and technology experts...