Troubleshooting Transmission Problems

April 11, 2015 By

Transmission repair can be a nightmare for any car owner. The transmission of a modern car is an intricate mechanical wonder and repair work is comparable to untying the Gordian knot. Repairing any transmission is expensive and can run into thousands of dollars. Trying to avoid that cost is a primary reason for troubleshooting transmission problems.

Signs to change transmission fluid

The idea is to catch the problem before it gets out of control. The transmission difficulty might not be major and diagnosing the situation correctly can save you hundreds of dollars at the very least. Transmissions have a number of common problems that surface. Perhaps the easiest one involves transmission fluid itself. This liquid does the lubrication, the cleaning, and also behaves as a hydraulic fluid. Its color is red and it smells sweet. If you inspect the transmission fluid and discover that it has a burnt aroma or the fluid is dark it has to be changed immediately. The level of transmission fluid can be checked by reading the dipstick. If it registers a low level there’s a leak which has to be fixed.

Notice car problems carefully

A car tells its problems to an observant owner and the major parts seem to speak in a dialect, unique to itself. There shouldn’t be any noise coming out of the transmission when the car is in neutral. Any sound means the transmission fluid has to be checked. If the sound still remains then perhaps the internal workings of the transmission has worn down. A car should not shake, rattle, and grind. The grinding noise is a warning sign because it suggests that there are problems with the gears of the transmission. This is especially true with manual transmissions. The automatic transmission will show problems with shaking and jarring motions.
Transmission Gears
Gears can be a problem area, and if the car is not able to shift there may be trouble in the transmission. Gears that slip without warning not only are a sign of transmission problems, but are a very serious safety issue. This is something that needs immediate attention. Difficulty with the clutch could have its source in the transmission system. While the engine light on the dashboard may turn on for other reasons, the transmission may be a major one. It is because the sensors of the transmission can pick up on vibrations caused by problems. If the light goes on the transmission should be something you check as soon as possible.

Troubleshooting: Not a D-I-Y project

Troubleshooting work is going to require having some knowledge of how the transmission operates. While major transmission repair work is certainly not a do-it-yourself project, knowing the inner workings of the transmission is actually a way of cost saving. As a car owner you will pay for what you do not know. Understanding the transmission filter may be the source of the fluid problem (filters get clogged with debris) helps you understand the type of work that may be done on this part of the car. The troubleshooting work you do will give you an idea of how much cost is really going to have to go into resolving any problems.

Find out an honest mechanic

Checking The TransmissionIt is not advisable to try to fix transmission problems by yourself. The reason is that modern transmissions will require specialized tools and parts. A mistake made in trying to fix the transmission is going to result in greater expenses. This is something that a skilled auto mechanic should be working on. It is wrong to say that auto mechanics are unscrupulous and take advantage of people. Unfortunately, transmission work is so lucrative that a dishonest mechanic has an opportunity. A recommendation to rebuild the transmission can be challenged with a few questions based on your knowledge of the transmission. Once the mechanic recognizes that you are not just a naïve motorist, he or she might change the diagnosis a little bit. Your prior knowledge of the transmission can also help you recognize an honest mechanic who is telling the truth.
There is a little bit of sunlight in the transmission repair dark cloud. Transmission work doesn’t happen that often and once it is done, the repairs are long-term. You should be consulting your owner’s manual for any information about transmission service, and what ought to be done. If you have purchased a warranty on the transmission, be sure to follow its terms exactly. Transmission work does not have to destroy the family budget. A little bit of troubleshooting and routine maintenance will keep the expenses down.

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