Why Do Automobile Transmissions Go Bad?

Transmissions are one of the most important parts of your car. They take a lot of abuse over the years, so if you suspect a problem, it’s time for a trip to your local auto shop. However, why do transmissions go bad? Here are some of the signs you may have transmission trouble on your hands:

  • Fluid leaks – If you see a lot of transmission fluid leaking from your car, that’s a key sign of potential problems. A transmission should work seamlessly when it shifts into different gears, so when it’s guzzling fluid, that could mean a critical part is broken. This fluid is usually red and not cloudy as long as things are working properly. If it looks dark when you examine it, it’s probably time to get it changed.
  • Burning smell – The smell of something burning when you’re driving should have you hitting the gas to your nearest mechanic. If transmission fluid is burning, then the part could actually be overheating, likely because there isn’t enough fluid.
  • Check Engine light – For some people, it might be temping to ignore the check engine light when it flashes on, but don’t. The light that sends fear pumping through the veins of every car owner could be an early sign that something is going wrong with your transmission (or it could have nothing to do with it at all). Some cars have sensors that can detect when things aren’t working as they should in the transmission.
  • Grinding and shaking – Sometimes, a transmission problem can be detected with a feeling – the car doesn’t shift into gear right. In automatic transmissions, this means you might be able to feel the shift when it’s usually unnoticeable. For manual transmission, a grinding sound is a key symptom of trouble.

The transmission can be an expensive fix, so it’s important not to delay a professional diagnosis if you suspect you might have trouble with yours.

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