Tag Archive for transmission issues

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.

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.

Troubleshooting Automatic Transmissions

If you are unlucky enough to have to deal with any sort of transmission problem, then you should definitely learn how to attempt to figure out the problem. There may be common symptoms to transmission issues, but each cause may be different than the other. Assuming its one problem when it’s actually another will leave you with wasted time and money. Being able to diagnose the problem will also determine if you could potentially fix this yourself or if you’re in need of a professional. Obvious, being able to do it yourself will save you a ton of money, compared to taking it in to the shop. So, let’s see if we can help you diagnose your car.

So, first thing you should look for under your car is for a sign of leaking. Leaks can happen for a variety of reasons, including cracked pans, gaskets, and loose bolts. You should look for a red, sweet-smelling fluid that feels a bit slippery to the touch. If you feel that, then you’ve got yourself a transmission leak. You should definitely take a look at the pan and fluid line. Check for any punctures in the part and replace them if they are damaged. Look for cracks on your gasket, because gaskets can get those cracks over the time spent driving your car. Tighten the bolts and hope the fluid stops leaking. If it doesn’t, then you’ve got a problem with your torque converter. If that is the issue, then you need to see a professional as soon as possible.

If you think you’re hearing noises in between shifts, like clunking or whining noises, then you should most likely take a look. Those noises can soon become strong rattles that will make you want to avoid driving as much as possible. So, before anything, take a look at your transmission fluid levels. If those are low, then it should be a cheap fix to top it off. Keep that fluid at the right levels, because with low transmission fluid you’ll experience a different set of problems. If the fluid levels don’t fix anything, then you will want to have your torque converter looked at. Again, this should only be done by an experienced professional.

If your car begins to rattle in between shifts like I mentioned before, then you could be experiencing multiple issues with the fluid. First of all includes low fluid levels, so like I said, keep those at an appropriate level. If the fluid seems to be at the right level, but you’re still experiencing issues, you may be using the wrong fluid. Always buy the appropriate type of fluid and get rid of any contaminated fluid with too much build up. If it doesn’t turn out to be your fluid, you should check your broken vacuum line. If it is indeed broken, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. You should always remember to consult your mechanic for his professional opinion. Finding the right mechanic that you can come to for years is something that everyone should do, for those just in case moments.

 

Determining the Type of Transmission you have

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Transmissions are very important and extremely complex. Having a transmission problem can cost someone a pretty penny, so knowing what transmission you have is important. When you know the type of transmission you have, you can understand the proper steps in taking care of it. Each transmission is different, so having detailed information about your own can save you money on unneeded repairs. Now, how do you determine what type of transmission you have? There are numerous ways to figure that out and it’s recommended you have all the details about your car at your disposal.

 

The first and most obvious way to determine the type of transmission you have would be to check the owner’s manual. This manual will have all the specifics about your car and should be kept with your car at all times. There is very important information in that manual, including the type of transmission it came with. What if you don’t have the owner’s manual? There are many sites online that sell the owner’s manuals to certain cars online. They usually don’t go for more than a few bucks, so it is something to consider. Older cars usually don’t come with the owner’s manual, so take some time to hunt yours down.

 

The white card that is stuck to your driver’s side door comes with a ton of valuable information. It comes with all the needed info on your car, which includes how much air to put in your tires, the gas your car takes, engine details, make/model, year it was made, and the type of transmission you have. This card is the go to place for those that have recently purchased a car without an owner’s manual. I would still recommend finding the owner’s manual for your car, but if you’d rather not, then this will have the specific car specifications without all the detail. There is also a sticker you can find under the hood of most cars. If you can’t find the information you need on your car door, then lift the hood and look for it there.
The next way to check the type of transmission you have should be left to those that know how to maneuver their way under the hood of a car. Look for your oil pan and try to determine the shape of it. Some manufacturers can be determined by the shape of the oil pan. You should also be able to determine automatic or manual transmissions by the shape of the oil pan. If none of the above steps lead to any answers, then you should take down the VIN number of your vehicle and find websites where you can type in the VIN and get the specifications of your car. The VIN will have all the details of your car, so it is an important number to have at your disposal. Contacting a professional and asking them to find out the details of your car is another way you can figure out all this information.

How to Know You’re In Over Your Head With a Transmission Problem

 

Transmission problems in Charlotte can become problematic for a number of reasons. First, the transmission needs ongoing attention and regular inspections. Simple things like letting the transmission fluid run low can lead to costly problems with the system. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, have your vehicle serviced as the manufacturer recommends. But, what happens when you do have a problem? There are a few things you need to take into consideration if you are facing these types of complications.

Is the Problem Worsening?

At first, you may notice a faint burning smell or a hard jerk when you move your car from one gear to the next. You may also notice a bit of whine coming from the engine. Whenever these problems exist, you need to take action then. Most of the time, individuals who have transmission knowledge can handle these types of repairs at home. Most people, though, do not have the experience or the tools to handle more invasive transmission repairs. That’s when you need to turn to a professional, especially if you notice the problem is getting worse.

More Complex Problems

On the other hand, there are some problems that are simply too hard to make repairs to at home even if you are a skilled auto repair technician. In short, if you notice any type of transmission related problem with your car, bring it in for a repair. The following instances should mean you stop driving that car and get it towed into the shop right away:

  • The car is shaking significantly when you are driving it
  • The car is switching gears hard – you feel a jolt or jerk when you do so
  • There is a significant leak of transmission fluid under the car
  • The car does not move at all – it may start, but it will not move
  • There is a strong smell of blunt fluid

If these situations are taking place, the transmission is no longer working properly. This means when you try to use the car, especially if you can still move it, the more strain you are putting on the transmission as well as the engine. This type of damage is significant and it can lead to costly repair needs.  While repairs and flushing are good enough for most basic problems, rebuilding or even replacing the transmission may be necessary in situations where there are more complex problems.

Most of the time, it is a good idea to call an experienced transmission repair technician (not just your basic auto mechanic) to do this type of work for you. Doing so can save you time and money. It can also help you to reduce the risk that you’ll face complex problems down the road. Working with a skilled professional can also help you to know your car is getting expert attention to not just find and fix the repair, but to ensure that it does not happen again.