Sights, Smells And Sounds From Your Car That Point To Transmission Problems

A well-running car normally delivers a smooth ride with no annoying sounds. When you have a transmission problem, you may suddenly have a noisy car that drives rough. Here are some of the typical symptoms of a car that is in need of a transmission repair

Hesitation Going Into Gear

From a stop, if you put the car into gear and tap the accelerator, but it takes a few seconds to move, this may be the transmission. The car should shift smoothly into gear as soon as you shift.

Clunking or Whirring Sound

As the car shifts gears, it should smoothly move from one gear to another. A clunking sound as the gears change indicates the transmission is having problems aligning with the next gear it needs to shift to. A whirring sound means the transmission is having a problem finding the next gear.

Slipping In and Out of Gear

While driving, if the car changes gears frequently while you're on a level surface at a constant speed, there may be a problem with the linkage in the transmission that connects the gears. Your transmission fluid level may be low and topping it off might resolve the slipping problem.

Car is Noisy in Neutral

When in Neutral, all of the gears should be disengaged and the transmission is quiet. If you hear any noises when the car is in Neutral, there may be bent or broken parts in the transmission that keep it from being silent.

Low Transmission Fluid Level

If you take your car in for an oil change and the service personnel informs you that your transmission fluid is low, begin looking for a leak. Your car doesn't burn up transmission fluid as it does oil so the level should remain constant. If it is low, look for a spot on the ground under the car wherever you park for long periods. Transmission fluid is reddish in color and thick like oil.

Burning Smell

If the fluid level is low, the transmission is not getting the lubrication it needs. The metal parts create more friction and heat. If the transmission gets hot enough, the fluid will start to break down giving off the burning smell. This creates more friction and heat. If you ignore the smell long enough, the transmission will seize up and stop working.  

Anytime you have a suspicious sound, smell or feeling from your car, take it in for an inspection. When transmission problems are allowed to continue, they can quickly go from minor to major issues.