Whether the vehicle you drive is an automatic or a manual, keeping the transmission in top shape should be one of your biggest priorities. The transmission in your car, truck, or SUV is a complicated piece of machinery and an expensive one to repair. Here are some signs of transmission trouble you should never ignore.
Not Shifting Properly
If your transmission is not shifting properly, it is important to find out why and take action right away. Not shifting properly or being late to shift is one of the key signs of a transmission problem, and it is a red flag you should never ignore.
The more you know about the vehicle you drive, the easier it will be to detect the early warning signs. The first red flags can be a bit subtle, so pay close attention as you head down the road.
Leaking Transmission Fluid
It is important to check the level of fluid inside your transmission, as this viscous substance provides vital lubrication for the metal parts inside. Checking the transmission fluid level every time you check the engine oil is a good way to spot problems before they become bigger, so you can drive away with a newfound sense of confidence.
Check the manual that came with your vehicle for the proper procedures needed to check the transmission fluid. Most dipsticks will have two markings – one that indicates full and one that shows a low level. It is important to not overfill the transmission fluid, and even more important to find out where that lost fluid is going.
Discolored or Contaminated Transmission Fluid
You should be checking your transmission fluid on a regular basis, and not just to detect leaks. The color and odor of the transmission fluid matter as well, so use your eyes and your nose to assess its state and detect any abnormalities.
If your transmission is working normally, the fluid inside the system and on the dipstick should be red and clean. If the transmission fluid is brown, dark red, or black, it could be a warning sign of trouble ahead. You should also call your mechanic if you notice metal flakes or other contaminants, another warning sign of future transmission problems.
If you want to keep your vehicle running like new and keep your money in your wallet, protecting your transmission is a good place to start. If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, it is time to talk to your mechanic, and acting promptly could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.