Understanding Your Transmission

The transmission is one of the most important components of your vehicle. It’s responsible for gear shifting, so when something is wrong with the transmission, it’s usually apparent. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of different varieties of transmission failure, for the sake of your safety and your wallet. Transmission problems can be very costly to fix if you let the issue progress by ignoring the telltale signs.

Warning Signs

If the transmission is “slipping,” the engine will rev when you’re in gear and you push the accelerator, but not the car. It will seem as though the car is in neutral, even if it isn’t.

If your transmission is leaking, you may notice black or pink oil underneath your vehicle. These leaks may be accompanied by a burning odor.

If parts of the transmission aren’t functioning correctly, they might make loud thumping or grating noises. Usually, you will be able to both feel and hear malfunctions like this. These noises almost always indicate serious mechanical issues.

Your vehicle may take a while to actually move after you’ve shifted into drive or reverse. This may result from low temperatures or transmission failure. If the problem gets worse over time, you should see an auto repair mechanic.

In some cases, your “check engine” light will turn on. This is usually a good indication that there is a serious mechanical problem, especially if other warning lights are active as well.

What to Do

If you believe there’s a mechanical problem with your transmission, or another integral part of your engine, don’t hesitate to see an auto mechanic at a reputable auto repair shop nearby. It’s always wise to do so as soon as possible, since mechanical auto problems tend to get worse and more expensive to repair, over time.

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