Healthy transmission is the secret sauce that keeps a car running properly. Without a healthy transmission, even an automatic gearshift cannot accelerate and decelerate properly. The problem is that people usually only know their transmission has issues when it is already broken, sometimes beyond repair.
Because of this, the best thing to do is learn how to spot issues with your transmission before it becomes a serious problem. Understand that a transmission is failing before it has failed and you can save yourself time, money, and a whole lot of stress. But just what are the most common transmission issues in cars?
Well, J&S Auto Repair in Warwick RI has you covered with this guide to the three most common signs of bad transmission.
- Gear Switching Slowly
This is most common in automatics with transmission issues, but it can absolutely happen in manuals as well. In both cases it will be most noticeable when going from second to third gear. For those who have only ever driven automatic cars, that usually means whenever you go at or more than 40 MPH.
What will happen is that the car will need to change gears in order to go faster, but the bad transmission will create a delay between acceleration and gear change. During this time, the car will not be able to accelerate, creating a brief moment of slow-down in the car’s speed until the gear change happens.
- Grinding or Shaking
This will happen as much during braking as it does during accelerating. Even when accelerating it will happen much more frequently. This is because grinding or shaking means that the transmission is not just running into a delay, but it is having trouble sending its signal properly.
The engine will attempt to change gears, but it will require extra energy. This not only indicates bad transmission, but makes your car less fuel efficient as well, as steeper energy requirements use more fuel.
- Strange Noises When in Neutral
This is something that not many people will run into unless they are in a manual transmission. But it holds true even if you are in an automatic transmission. It is also a great way to test out if you are having transmission problems since it will almost always give you a strong indication of whether or not that is the case.
The “noises” you are looking for are humming and grinding. The thing about these noises that might make them hard to notice is that you will not “feel” them in the same way you will feel grinding and shaking. Instead these noises will almost sound as if they are coming from below your car.
That is because rather than being a problem in the engine, it is a problem with something much more delicate. This is as much an indication of a problem with transmission fluid as the transmission system itself. The fluid might need to be changed, or there might be a small leak that is causing there to be less fluid.
Whatever the case may be, it is always better to solve transmission problems as soon as they come up rather than waiting around for them to get worse. If they are not impeding your ability to drive your car immediately, then they will soon. So do not wait around, get that stuff checked out, and drive safe.