Originally published on 02/03/2015
Updated on 12/16/2022
Having a malfunctioning transmission can be a concerning and expensive experience. Knowing what signs to look out for can help you identify the issue before it becomes severe. This article will examine worrisome signs that may signal a transmission problem. From strange smells and noises to difficulty shifting gears, we'll explore the symptoms so you can make informed decisions about diagnosing and addressing any issue with your vehicle’s transmission.
6 Common Signs of a Transmission Issue
If your vehicle isn't running as smoothly as it should be, you may have a transmission issue. Transmission failure can be a costly repair, so it is important to identify the signs and symptoms early. Below are the six main transmission failure symptoms that an expert technician should check at AAMCO Lee’s Summit.
1. Gear Issues
The most common symptom of transmission trouble is when the vehicle shifts from one gear to another in an erratic manner - skipping gears, slipping from one gear to another, delayed engagement, or not at all. You may feel a revving but no additional power to accelerate. Additionally, you may notice that shifting between gears becomes increasingly difficult or even impossible, rendering your vehicle inoperable. These signs indicate that something is critically wrong with your vehicle’s transmission and should not be ignored. They are hazardous symptoms and can quickly lead to transmission failure or an accident. Take your vehicle to a transmission pro immediately if you experience these issues.
2. Strong Smells
If you’re driving along and catch a whiff of something that smells like burning metal or rubber, it could be a sign of trouble with your vehicle's transmission. A strong odor usually indicates an overheating transmission, leading to permanent damage if not addressed promptly. The culprit is usually low transmission fluid, but other malfunctions can also lead to overheating.
Transmission leaks can be a serious problem in your vehicle. If left unchecked, they can lead to costly repairs and drastically shorten the life of your transmission. Transmission fluid is essential to any vehicle, as it helps ensure that the gears shift correctly and that all components are adequately lubricated. When transmission fluid leaks from the system, it can cause a range of issues for your car, including overheating and severe damage to internal transmission components.
4. Weird Sounds
A failing transmission can produce a wide range of odd noise patterns, from grinding and squealing when shifting gears to whirring or humming. If you hear any of these sounds and experience difficulty changing gears (delayed or rough shifts), it's likely time for maintenance work on your transmission.
5. Strange Sensations
Shaking or vibrating when accelerating is one indication of a faulty transmission. This shaking can be felt more heavily in the steering wheel or your seat, depending on where the issue lies. Grinding noises while shifting gears can also suggest a malfunctioning transmission system; this typically occurs when switching from Park to Drive or vice versa but can also happen during regular driving.
6. Check Engine Light (CEL)
A lit Check Engine Light could mean any number of issues, from a loose gas cap to more significant problems like transmission failure—especially if you notice other symptoms mentioned above in combination with a lit Check Engine Light. Ignoring dashboard warning lights is a risky choice that can lead to much more expensive repairs later. Have your vehicle diagnosed by one of AAMCO’s expert technicians.
Let Us Help
If you are experiencing any transmission issues with your vehicle, it's essential to act quickly. Transmission failure can be a major safety hazard, and besides being inconvenient, it could cost more in repairs if left unchecked. Regular maintenance and repair of your vehicle’s transmission are key to keeping your vehicle safe on the road.
Our experienced technicians will assess the situation and provide accurate diagnosis and quality repair services tailored to your needs.
If you are experiencing any transmission issues with your vehicle or just want to be sure you are safe on the road, call AAMCO Lee’s Summit today!