Your vehicle’s transmission is one of the most vital components of your car—and when something goes wrong, it can result in a very expensive repair job. There are several clues you can watch for that may mean your transmission is having problems, so keep these signs and symptoms in mind and stay on top of potential transmission issues. If your car is demonstrating any of the following, take it to an AAMCO transmission expert or Colorado auto mechanic as soon as possible for further evaluation.

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Look. There are several things you can check to either rule out transmission problems or catch them early in the game. First, check for a milky or pink color in your transmission fluid, which may mean there’s a leak from the radiator cooler into the transmission lines. If coolant from the radiator gets into the transmission, it could cause clutches to wear out quickly and make the gears slip while shifting. Find a Colorado radiator repair expert to check your car for radiator problems.

Also, make sure you check the transmission oil dipstick regularly to catch any potential transmission problems early on. If the oil appears burned or dark brown, it could be a sign that the clutches are dangerously worn. If there is a brownish film stuck to the tip, then the transmission oil itself is worn and could have covered valves, pistons, and other internal parts. If your transmission oil looks problematic and your car is having difficulty shifting (or not shifting at all), this could be the reason.

Listen. If your transmission is making screeching or grinding noises—even if it’s only occasionally—it could be a sign of serious mechanical issues. The problem could also be a lack of oil, but either way it should be taken in for further evaluation.

Feel. If your car is shifting faster or slower than usual, or not at all, it’s likely that you have a transmission issue. This can be caused by lack of oil, clutches that are worn down, or other internal mechanical problems in the transmission. If the problem becomes severe enough, you may not be able to move your car.

As with most other things, the best cure is prevention. Make it a habit to pay attention to what your transmission is and isn’t doing, and your chances improve of finding a problem early enough to fix it. Typically, the earlier you bring in a vehicle that’s displaying troubling signs, the easier and less expensive it is to fix the problem.

Whether you need a rebuilt transmission in Denver, an oil change in Arvada, or a car tune-up in Broomfield, we’re here to help. For more information on AAMCO transmission repair, or for a Colorado auto mechanic near you, go to www.aamcocolorado.com. Those who know, go to AAMCO.