Tag Archive for transmission problems

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.

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.

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.


Obvious Signs of Transmission Problems



If you dread waking up every morning and having to get in your car for work, I feel your pain. I’ve been there, to the point where your friends don’t bother asking you to drive anywhere and they offer to just pick you up. Let’s face it, your car has suddenly become a deathtrap to those around you. The shaking, rattling, and clunking coming from your car sounds as if there are two bears fighting under it, and it can be quite a frightening experience. The signs of transmission problems can be quite obvious and as equally terrifying. Everyone dreads having transmission issues, but no one ever thinks about the symptoms. Amazingly, some choose to ignore it and drive the car until it gives. I don’t recommend that option, because there may be cheaper solutions than buying a whole new car altogether. First think you should educate yourself on are what the signs of transmission problems might be.


The first would be one of the most obvious, the noises that your car is making in between shifts. It’s as if your car is crying out for help and you’re ignoring the poor thing, how dare you? You should definitely take your car in for a look by a professional if you are experiencing any sort of noise in between shifts. This could potentially lead to more startling symptoms of transmission problems. Another thing about transmissions is that the longer you wait to get them fixed, the bigger the problem may be in the end. Do yourself a favor and get some help with this problem, you’ll thank me later.


This next sign of transmission trouble is if your car suddenly feels like riding a roller coaster. When driving, if you’re experiencing rough and shaky shifts, most likely from 1st to 2nd gear, then you’ve got yourself a bit of a transmission problem. The cause can range from simple fluid problems, to some more technical and serious issues. There are a few guides online to help guide you through diagnosing your problem, but you can only be sure by taking it to a mechanic. I know I may have said that a lot already, but they are the best at giving you specific diagnoses of your car. You don’t diagnose yourself based off of WebMD, do you? Ok, you might… we all do from time to time; but, we eventually go to the doctor and he sets us straight. A proper professional will do the same for you!
The next obvious sign of transmission trouble is gear shifting. If your car is slipping into gears, without you accelerating or hitting the break, then you’ve got yourself some transmissions woes. You definitely shouldn’t run through the 6 with these, but instead take it to a mechanic that you trust. Gear shifting can cause abrupt changes in speed and could cause accidents if not enough space is given between you and the vehicle to your front/rear. Again, all of these are just symptoms. You can never be 100% certain of the causes unless you seek out a professional.

Determining the Type of Transmission you have



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.

Most Common Transmission Problems


The transmission of most vehicles is one of the hardest working components. You don’t think twice about it, but every time you step on the gas or move from one gear to the next, you are using this system. The problem with this is that just using the transmission can cause wear and tear. If you do not get your oil changed regularly or you do not properly maintain the vehicle in its entirety, you may end up with repair needs. More so, leaks and damage can occur for many other reasons. Knowing what is happening and why, and where to get help when you need it, is essential to all vehicle owners.

What’s Likely to Happen to Your Transmission?

What you need to realize is that most vehicles will need transmission repairs from time to time. The sooner you get them when you notice a problem, the sooner you will be able to avoid most costly repairs. Here are some of the most common problems transmissions have.

  • They hum, clunk or they make a whining sound: This happens for a wide range of reasons, but generally means that the system is not switching gears properly. If you notice it while you are changing gears, get your vehicle in as soon as possible.
  • Fluid can leak from them: Generally, automatic transmission fluid, one of the most important types of fluid in your car, can leak after a line breaks. If you notice red or even green fluid under your car, you need to get it in to a technician.
  • The car just will not move: A sure sign of a transmission problem is the lack of movement of the car. You may be able to shift it, but it does not move. This means that repairs that are more extensive need to take place. Have it towed into a shop.
  • Grinding: When you step on the gas or you step on the brake and feel a grinding under your foot, this is also an indication of a significant transmission repair.
  • Shaking or jerking: This occurs when the vehicle is struggling to shift properly and also requires an inspection and potentially replacement of the transmission – especially if you have not gotten this problem taken care of in some time.
  • Burning smells: If you smell something coming from your car, do not assume it is oil. The transmission fluid that keeps the system lubricated can get very hot and this will damage the entire system.

Most importantly, any time you feel that the vehicle is not moving properly in terms of shifting gears or stopping, it is time to bring it in. Do not put off getting this type of help. The longer the damage occurs, the more stress it is placing on your vehicle. This will eventually lead to significant instances of wear which may require the transmission to be rebuilt or replaced. Get it in sooner to potentially avoid these common concerns.