4 telltale signs that your transmission is in trouble

With the transmission being one of the most vital parts of every car, there are many troubles that can befall it and this only means that the car will not function at all or properly. A mechanical breakdown due to the transmission is one of the worst experiences. Transmission warning light, rough shifts, transmission slipping and delayed engagements are some of the problems that a transmission can experience. Repairing or rebuilding a transmission can be a pain in the wallet and thus it should be checked on regularly. Below, are four main signs that your transmission is in trouble.

Rough shifts

A transmission without issues allows for gears to shift without issues. Well if this is not happening, then the transmission has a problem. This happens with the manual cars that you have to keep changing gears on. The gears will not change smoothly or will not change at all even when you do it the right way. Sometimes you can even hear an unfamiliar sound when you try to change the gears which can be brought about by a breakdown in fluid viscosity or low fluid levels among other issues. Delayed engagement in automatic transmissions also shows that the car is having an issue with the transmission especially when changing from “Park” to “Drive”.

Transmission warning light

Technology is currently thanked for so many things in today’s modern world. Just like the “Check Engine light” every transmission warning light shows that the transmission is having a problem or there is an upcoming problem. Some of these problems cannot be diagnosed by just looking at the warning light and that is why there are parts like computers in the car that are designed to detect upcoming mechanical problems. This should not be ignored as it can be quite costly if the diagnosis is delayed. Any specific issue can only be determined at the mechanic’s shop and since you cannot really tell what the problem is by looking at the warning light, take your car to the expert.

Transmission fluid leak

Every transmission is designed in a way that it should not leak fluid. If there is any leakage on the engine or on the ground when driving, this means that there is a problem. It could be that the transmission fluid was overfilled or there is a leakage that could mean a bigger problem. If this is happening to your car whether from a service or not, do not ignore it, instead make sure that you visit an auto service shop or a car expert right away.

Weird noises

There are familiar noises that we get from our cars and if there is any unfamiliar noise which is not external, this could mean that the transmission is in trouble. Transmissions should be silent meaning that no wheezing, clunking or groaning should be coming out of it. The noises can be noticed at any time even while in neutral and the car is on. To avoid bigger mechanical breakdown problems from the noises with your car, take your car for a check-up.

5 Ways to determine if your transmission is the cause of your car trouble

Mechanical problems are some of the most stressing things in life. A car can just stall in the middle of nowhere when the tires are in good shape and the fuel tank is full. A car problem can be an impossible task to deal with. There are issues that you can have with your car that is only brought by the transmission. It is always advisable to pay attention to details when it comes to your car transmission. Below, find five ways that you can determine if your transmission is the cause of your car problems.

Burning smell

If you are driving your car and you notice a burning smell, this could be a problem with your transmission. It also happens when you are changing speeds. The transmission fluid is meant to cool off the parts and lubricate them at the same time but it can overheat resulting in a burning odor. When you smell this, consider having your transmission checked to avoid a major breakdown which can be quite expensive to repair. This could lead to having to rebuild the transmission if not repaired.

Unusual noises

Unusual sounds and behaviors while driving can also mean that the transmission is in trouble. The car can be quite noisy at any time even while in neutral with sounds such as clunking or whining will ensue. It can also tend to “jump” when accelerating or changing speed. This happens especially to automatic cars which should be very smooth when shifting gears. If this happens, make sure that the transmission is checked.

Engagement delay

If you are trying to engage gears and the car will not respond or is having delays responding, then this means that the trouble is probably with the transmission. While the auto transmission shows such a problem while in “P” or “D” mode, a manual transmission car will show this while shifting gears. Other issues can be gears falling out while driving, grinding sound, jerking while shifting gears and gear shifting for no good reason.

Car stalling for no reason

Sometimes a car will just stall for no apparent reason. Many have reported that their cars have stalled at stop signs and even while in park. This can be caused by the transmission fluid not being up to the required levels. When the fluid is low, the transmission will stall and the fluid needs to be checked right away.

Leaking fluids

Maybe you are in your driveway and you notice some fluid on the ground as you back your car out. It does not matter whether the fluid is bright red, brown or dark red, this means that there is a leakage in the transmission which should not be happening. Do not rush to refill the transmission with fluid, but head to your mechanic or service provider to diagnose the problem correctly. The specialist can opt to repair the transmission by replacing the transmission lines before it gets worse and requires you to do a whole transmission rebuild.

Warning: These 5 mistakes can ruin your transmission

A transmission problem can spoil a whole day and can be very expensive. Sometimes, a repair will not be of any help and the transmission has to be rebuilt. Although some of the problems can come about due to old age, there are things that you can do to ensure perfect maintenance of your car’s transmission. Below find the top five mistakes that you can avoid so as not to ruin your transmission.

Heat is an enemy to your car transmission

Why would you even think of overheating your car in the first place? This means that you have gone beyond the maximum temperature allowed. Apart from going above the allowed maximum temperature, you can kill the transmission by operating with low levels of transmission fluid. Since the right level of fluid ensures that the internal parts are well lubricated and maintaining the right temperatures, low fluid levels can lead to a breakdown. The consequences of overheating might not be clear at first, but one thing you should know is the lifespan of your transmission is reduced when the fluids are constantly low.

Transmission fluid

It could be that you are asking what transmission fluid can do to harm the transmission. You should always ensure that you maintain the proper fluid levels, you use the right fluid and it should be changed as per the manual provided by the automobile owner. Not changing the fluid is a mistake that should always be avoided since the fluid becomes dirty with time and has particles that can interrupt its operations. Automatic transmission fluid is different from a manual transmission.

Emergency brakes

Anything can happen on the road and you need to be prepared. If you are lucky enough, you can make an abrupt stop and not roll over or cause an accident. Emergency brakes are not only a danger to you and others on the road, but it is also a danger to your transmission. This causes trouble to your transmission mounts. If you could not avoid the abrupt stop, make sure that you check on the transmission mounts after.

Exceeding the towing limit

During towing, some things done can damage the transmission of the car. When towing your car over the maximum limit, you stress the transmission which causes some parts to slip. Not towing the recommended towing limit leads to wear and tear of the clutch as well as overheating. Before towing, check the owner’s manual for specifications otherwise, you will have trouble with the transmission.

Not maintaining the car

There is an owner’s manual that is found in any car from the factory indicating how often the transmission should be serviced. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you do not make a maintenance mistake that could lead to a bad mechanical breakdown. If the manual indicates that every time you change the transmission fluid you also change the filter, make sure that you adhere to this. Not following the owner’s manual is a grave mistake that should be avoided at any cost.

Sounds that indicate a transmission problem

Some of the transmission problems can be determined by sounds, odor, looking and even feeling. Although no one would like to hear a burning smell from their car, strange sounds happens to be even worse. There are all manner of sounds that one can hear depending with the problem itself. The car should run smoothly at anytime of the day. These sounds may vary depending with the kind of transmission (manual or automatic), the model and the make of the car. Below here are some of the most disturbing sounds that indicate a transmission is having a problem that needs to be fixed. If any of the below problem is noticed, it is advisable that you immediately get it diagnosed and treated.

Rattling or screeching

One of the other sounds that should be treated as soon as it is diagnosed is the rattling or the screeching of the torque converter. A damaged torque converter leads to a grinding sound when shifting gears. When you hear the grinding sound from underneath the car, it should be looked at by an expert as soon as possible to determine whether the torque converter is damaged. Its damaging can lead to some of the major transmission problems that might lead to not only a transmission repair, but also a rebuild. A faulty torque converter makes a lot of noise when the engine is still running.

Humming or clunking

Clunking is one of the most common sounds that a faulty transmission can emit. This humming or whining sound normally happens when you shift gears or simply trying to engage a different one. It also happens that the car is not accelerating as much as the engine sounds. The problem could be with the gearbox. If no major mechanical issue is diagnosed, a transmission flush can help in fixing the unresponsiveness.

Shaking or grinding

We all know that a car should neither shake nor grind at anytime of the day. If the car is juddering, grinding or shaking, this means that the gears have problems that must be repaired. For an automatic transmission, it starts as if it is wiggling while for a manual one is louder.

Clanging or bumping

Some of the strange sounds that are emitted by a car transmission can be fixed with ease. Clanging or bumping is a sound that the transmission makes when the car is in neutral. Although the car might have to be examined by a professional, some quick fixes including changing the transmission fluid or adding some fluid can help. A noisy transmission in neutral only needs a minor transmission repair and not a rebuild. You will find it is quite affordable to fix the issue.

Gear slipping 

Sometimes you might hear a gear slip while on the road driving. Apart from being a transmission problem, it is also a major safety concern as this can cause a terrible accident. When this happens, you hear a slipping sound like the gear has automatically shifted itself and the speed changes at once.

What User Errors Can Decrease the Life of Your Transmission?

Many people treat their cars poorly without even realizing it. Not everyone has a background in auto mechanics, so it’s pretty understandable if you don’t know everything about your car, what it can and can’t handle, and how you should be treating it. However, it’s important to learn these things, as mistreating your car can cause serious mechanical problems, and not everything is common sense when it comes to cars.

Even seemingly innocuous errors can wreak havoc on your car’s transmission, which might be more prone to damage than you think. If you want to avoid some major hassles, here are some things to stop doing when it comes to your transmission.

  • Not Checking Your Transmission Regularly

The signs of a problem may not be apparent right away, but if you monitor your   transmission carefully, you may be able to catch a potential issue in the nascent stages, which should make it easier and cheaper to fix. So, look at your   transmission regularly. Make sure the fluid isn’t burnt or otherwise damaged, that there’s enough of it, and that nothing else looks amiss.

  • Using the Wrong Transmission Fluid

Not every car takes the same kind of transmission fluid, so use only what your car’s manufacturer recommends. Some newer brands of transmission fluid may come with bigger price tags, but may offer better protection of your transmission, which makes them worth the extra money.

In addition, synthetic fluids often last longer and are more resistant to cold and other potentially harmful things, so look into them, but make sure they’ll work with your car first.

  • Letting Your Transmission Overheat

The vast majority of transmission problems stem from too much heat, so make sure to do everything you can to avoid overheating your transmission. Hot weather, insufficient fluid levels, racing, and driving in stop and go traffic are all potential sources of transmission overheating, so drive responsibly and exercise caution when it comes to heat and your transmission.

  • Overloading Your Car

Your car may be strong, but it can only handle so much. If you constantly load your car with an excessive amount of weight, it can put a lot of extra stress on your transmission, potentially causing it to overheat.

  • Not Warming Up the Transmission

While you definitely don’t want your transmission to overheat, you also don’t want to drive while it’s frozen, either. If you’re driving while it’s cold out, make sure to let your car run for about thirty seconds to a minute before you actually start driving. This will let your transmission warm up enough to run effectively.

  • Rocking When You’re Stuck

If you ever find yourself stuck in mud, snow, or anything else, try to avoid rocking. While it may seem like the obvious way to get your car out of whatever it’s stuck in, rocking can actually put a lot of strain on your transmission. If you absolutely must rock, do it as gently as possible. Ideally, if you get stuck, call for help.

If you notice problems with your transmission, or any other part of your car, contact Twin Automotive today for car repairs in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.

Where to Find the Best Transmission Help in Charlotte

Transmission shops in Charlotte can often be one of the types of companies you don’t turn to often. Today’s vehicles have transmissions that can last for numerous years, even sometimes the life of the car if the vehicle is well maintained. But, when you notice there is a need for repairs, such as a transmission that is not working to change gears or transmission fluid leaks, you need a reliable, dedicated company to call on. A quality company to call should be one with ample experience, affordable rates, and long lasting workmanship. How do you know who to call?

Ensure the Company Has a Specialist

It is always a good idea to turn to a company that either specializes in transmission repair or one that has a certified technician on staff to provide these services. Don’t choose just any shop that offers car repairs. This is a complex vehicle component requiring expertise as well as specialized tools and equipment to repair. Look for a company that has a professional that’s truly dedicated to repairing transmissions. Some have certifications from specific vehicle manufacturers as well.

Do Ask About the Types of Repairs They Offer

You may just need the transmission flushed. You may need it repaired, rebuilt or replaced. In all cases, you need a provider that can meet those needs. Rebuilding is far more affordable than replacing the transmission, but it can take time and it is not always available from all companies. On the other hand, you need a technician that isn’t going to require you to replace the vehicle’s transmission if it can be repaired. Ask if the company offers rebuilding service. And, if they do, they should offer a long term warranty on their service. If not, go elsewhere.

Look for Special Offers, But Be Careful

When it comes to finding a transmission repair shop, you also need a professional that offers an affordable price. Of course this is one of the biggest investments you may make in the vehicle, but it does not have to be overpriced. Ask about rates. Get a written estimate of any product or service they plan to provide to you. And, be sure to ask about discounts, coupons, and free towing offers. Many will offer benefits like this. However, if you see prices that are very low, be worried. Why would a highly skilled professional with certification in transmission repair need to offer such low prices? Chances are good the service and workmanship will not be worth that low price.

While it can be hard to get a written quote for transmission repair since it often requires the removal of the transmission (a very intense process) to even learn about the problems, it is possible to get an idea of pricing. Learn about warranties, the number of years of experience the technician has, and the overall length of time for the process. The more information you get, the more likely you are to be satisfied with the finished product.

Why Do I Need a Transmission Repair Specialist?

The transmission is a very technical part of your car that houses the gears that propel your car forward. Without a working transmission you can be out thousand which also means, unless you have a spare car around, you’re stuck until you can fix what’s broken. Now the problems with a transmission breaking down on you is that there is always going to be a big bill and many people think that if they can fix one part of their car learning to repair a transmission is going to be cheaper.


Well forget every thought you might have had about fixing a transmission, the smaller problems caused by low level, dirty or overfilled fluids might be an easy fix but when there is erratic shifting and problems with your gears then a professional is the way to go.


Any transmission repair specialist if already going to have the proper tools to fix your vehicle, while you might have to start borrowing then if you were to fix a problem in house. Any good specialist you visit is also going to be able to run a diagnosis on your vehicle to give you an estimate before the work has even begun. Therefore, while you might be spending a little bit more than you like, at least you know you’re getting a solid price.


If you are still thinking that a specialist might not be what your transmission needs you might be thinking that it’s okay just to take it into any shop. However, transmissions are a technical part of your car that needs a more trained eye to deal with the problems. While you might think everything is cut and dry from your own at home evaluation there are something’s that you cannot see without the right experience. If you decide to go another way, you might end up coming back to a specialist because someone else missed what was really going on with your transmission.


Choosing to restore instead of switching


If your transmission issues are also small and possible fixable then a transmissions specialist is going to see that and can work on restoring your transmission instead of replacing it. This means less money spent by you. While issues in your transmission may look like a big deal a specialist is going to be able to separate the issues and can decide if you need to get a completely new transmission of if you just need a patch here and there. A specialist is also going to be able to discuss the problems of your car with you so you can decide what is best for your vehicle.


By choosing a certified transmission technical you are choosing a smarter route, many properly researched transmission specialists are going to be open with the needs of your car and honest about the price points. By allowing yourself to spending a little more money for a professional your car is going to be full repaired and you will be involved in the entire process. The importance of selecting a specialist is going to be what gives you that peace of mind while your transmission is being repaired.