Few things could be more stress-inducing than a car in need of major repairs--especially when those repairs involve the transmission. Being able to recognize the signs of an ailing transmission means you may be able to keep your costs down by nipping more costly repairs in the bud. To learn more, read on. This article will introduce you to three signs that indicate your transmission may need some attention.
Burning smells are an important warning sign that something isn't working the way it should. For one thing, it may mean that your transmission is overheating, causing the transmission fluid to combust. This generally happens when the fluid level gets too low--usually because your transmission has developed a leak.
Adding more fluid can lead to further problems unless any burnt fluid is first removed. It is vital that you check to see whether your transmission fluid has burned. With the car off, remove the transmission dipstick and inspect the fluid at the tip. Fresh transmission fluid is a translucent bright red, whereas burnt fluid will appear brownish or even black.
Have you ever reached out for the gas with your foot, only to find that, although the RPM gauge shoots up, you don't accelerate at all? If so, you may have experienced the phenomenon known as a transmission slip. As its name would suggest, this happens when your transmission suddenly pops out of gear. Not only is this problem annoying, but it also poses a real safety risk to you and anyone else in your car.
Yet an unresponsive gas pedal isn't the only form of transmission slip, however. It can also cause your car to take an inordinately long time to coast to a stop, without any help from the brakes. Likewise, it can lead to either sluggish acceleration, or a noticeable delay after pressing down the gas pedal. All of these are signs that your transmission is not transmitting power to your engine the way it should and that your transmission may need professional attention.
Rattling, Grinding, and Buzzing--Oh, My!
Odd or unusual sounds are often a sign that something is wrong with a transmission. Unfortunately, however, there are many different transmission components--pumps, torque converters, planetary and bearings--that can cause such noises. Don't expect to make a detailed diagnosis on your own. Instead, pay attention to the circumstances in which the sound occurs. Is it there when the car is in neutral? Does it only happen when you're changing gears? Such information will make it worlds easier for a professional mechanic shop, like Atomic Transmissions, to identify and repair the problem.