Every car or truck needs to have a way of transmitting power from the engine to its wheels. The transmission that is responsible for this important work always ranks as one of the most critical automotive components.
Naturally enough, the stresses that even a well-designed, properly maintained transmission experiences can cause it to develop problems over time. Being able to identify when a transmission needs attention will help keep repair bills down, in general. Fortunately, most transmission issues are easy enough to recognize for those who know what to look for.
Transmissions Almost Always Display Clear Signs of Trouble
Arranging to have someone repair your transmission as soon as an issue develops will minimize the damage and side effects that need to be addressed. Drivers who become familiar with the most common signs of transmission trouble will keep their repair bills low and be less likely to suffer the inconvenience that comes with a complete breakdown.
There are somewhere around a billion passenger vehicles in service worldwide at the moment. At any given time, a significant number of these will be showing clear signs of transmission problems such as:
Leaking. Most modern automotive transmissions are filled with fluid that is needed for a couple of distinct reasons. When the seals that keep this fluid contained give out or degrade enough, leaks will typically follow. A car or truck that leaves a puddle beneath it after being parked overnight will often need to have its transmission looked at right away.
Slipping. Although they are far less common than they used to be, manual transmissions include clutches that allow power to be transferred as required. Many automatic transmissions based around torque converters are designed to lock up mechanically to improve overall efficiency. When either type of transmission starts slipping instead of transmitting power smoothly, a repair will most often be in order.
Jolting. Transmissions should operate with a minimum of noise and disruption. A transmission that starts jolting into or out of gear will almost always need some attention. Becoming familiar with how a transmission sounds and feels when it is working properly will make it easier to recognize such symptoms.
Grinding. The gears within transmissions are supposed to mesh precisely and remain continuously engaged until otherwise directed. Transmission gears that make grinding sounds or produce noticeable vibration will oftentimes have been damaged beforehand. Grinding noises emanating from transmissions can also arise for other reasons, any of which will normally merit service.
Warning lights. Many newer vehicles include monitoring systems that can detect the root causes of symptoms like those above. In most such cases, a dedicated warning light or other signals will activate as soon as a transmission problem has been detected. As these sophisticated systems can pick up on problems long before human senses could, it will always be wise to pay attention.
A Single Repair Can Produce Long-Lasting Relief From Transmission Problems
Being alert for symptoms like these will make it possible to arrange for service as soon as a vehicle’s transmission needs it. That will almost always keep repair costs down and make the complete failure of transmission less likely. Fortunately, most transmission repairs enable many thousands of miles’ worth of trouble-free service thereafter.