The mechanical engine of a car transmission often gets noisy when something is wrong with it. Don’t ignore weird sounds hoping they will go away, especially if it continues more than a day.
The older or harder we work our transmissions, the quicker it breaks down and needs maintenance. It’s best to give your car a regular check up to make sure everything is in working order, just like a checkup at the doctor or dentist, to avoid having to pay for costly fixes down the line or an unexpected break down.
Keep yourself from sitting on the side of the road with your emergency signals on and waiting for a tow truck by paying attention to these warning signs that your transmission may have some troubles.
Check Engine Light Comes On
The easiest way to identify transmission problems is to take your car to a shop when the Check Engine light comes on. Putting a sticker over it so you can ignore it is not recommended. The electrical system of your car can pick up on vibrations coming from the engine and identify problems before they get bad. Most places offer a Free Check Engine Light check.
Gear Won’t Shift
If your gear is stuck or you have a hard time shifting into another position, then it’s possible that your transmission fluid needs some upkeep. Either the fluid is too viscous or levels are low. Transmission fluid keeps things greased up and the moving parts functioning effectively. Of course, it could also be that you need to get the cables of the clutch adjusted. Another related problem is when you shift and your engine takes a moment to catch up to what you just did.
Gears Slip Out of Place
On the opposite hand, if your gears seem to sneak their way into a different setting, you are not going crazy. This is a transmission problem and dangerous if you happen to be cruising along and drop into neutral in the middle of traffic. Don’t push your luck by assuming you can keep your hand on the gear shift and stop that from happening. Steer yourself to get this fixed.
Bumping While in Neutral
If you are driving a manual transmission and hanging out in neutral but your ride feels bumpy, get it to a mechanic ASAP. It might be something small but it could also be something really serious like worn gears that need replacing.
Grinding Gears and Shaking Car
There’s no doubt, if your car makes a grinding sound when you shift gears or the car shakes and you’re not blasting music, it means your clutch may be worn or need some adjusting. Something may also need adjusting or replacing due to wear and tear. If it’s humming, clunking, or whining, definitely bring it in for an inspection too. If ignored, these sounds will continue to increase over time.
Car Has a Burning Smell
Does something smell like it’s burning and you didn’t forget to turn the eggs on the stove? Chances are, your transmission is overheating since the transmission fluid also helps to cool the engine. Transmissions get really hot and if the fluid isn’t at the appropriate levels, is too old, something might be leaking or needs to be cleaned out.
Dripping Puddle Under the Car
If you find that your car is a bit leaky and some fluid has built up underneath, check underneath your car to try and identify where it’s coming from. Red fluid that smells a bit sweet means it’s your transmission fluid that’s leaking. As the lubricant for the engine, get this repaired so the engine doesn’t get rusty.
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