A messed-up transmission can be an overlooked maintenance problem, often because many people don’t recognize the signs of it. If you notice gears grinding or a burning smell, it hopefully goes without saying that you should call a mechanic. You might not know what a bad transmission sounds like, but it can be easily identified by a professional. Keep reading to learn some warning signs you should look for.
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Signs you should get your transmission looked at
A damaged transmission is as dangerous and serious as just about any car problem. If your vehicle racks up enough miles, it will eventually need a transmission repair job. The sooner you can recognize the following warning signs, the better it will be for your car and your wallet.
1.) Uneasy gear shifting
Gears are directly integrated with the transmission. Some shifting problems include falling out of gear, gears shifting on their own, and gears jerking when being shifted.
2.) Gear grinding
When changing gears, you shouldn’t really hear anything except maybe the engine’s hum. If you hear or feel grinding or shaking, that’s definitely not good. It could also be a sign of a bad clutch if you have a manual transmission. Nevertheless, bring your car right away if you notice this.
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3.) Buzzing and clunking
A common indication of transmission trouble is unusual noise. If your car is especially loud when in neutral or park, it’s likely a transmission problem. There are other problems that can cause similar noises, but they shouldn’t be ignored.
4.) Cloudy or burnt transmission fluid
Transmission fluid is usually bright red. If your fluid has a dark, opaque look to it, that’s an ominous sign of bigger trouble. Bad fluid can also have a burning smell.
5.) Leaking transmission fluid
Like oil, you can spot transmission fluid on your driveway or your garage floor if it is leaking. It’s an easy fix, and it’s not necessarily an immediate death sentence for your car. However, if gone untreated, a transmission fluid leak can cause big problems.
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