There’s no question that a reliable vehicle makes life a lot easier, especially when it comes from getting from point A to point B. You’ll especially notice the change when after months or years of never having any issues and then suddenly having no car eat all. Anyone who has had a transmission issue come up before knows how quickly that can take your car from trusted friend to anxiety inducing pain in the neck. You don’t want to be sidelined when living in a great city like Kent, so you want to make sure you know how to identify the earliest signs of problems once your transmission begins to give out.
Whether you are looking to enjoy a day in one of the dozens of parks that Kent is famous for, on the way to work at Boeing, or just going about running errands and trying to get everything on the “to do” list done, you want a dependable vehicle that won’t let you down – especially in the middle of rush hour or lunch time traffic. You don’t live around the Kent, Washington, area just to stay home, so you want to learn how to identify potential problems with your transmission before those red flags turn into a fully ruined transmission.
What type of signs should you be looking for?
There are many different signs that your vehicle can give that might indicate an upcoming problem with your transmission. While this shouldn’t be considered a fully comprehensive list by any extent, by looking for some of these signs you will be in a much better position to see red flags as they appear and put yourself in the best possible position to know when it’s time to see a Kent transmission specialist like Mr. Clutch Auto Service. By recognizing the following signs as they pop up in your vehicle, you will be set to get the early repairs or treatment needed to keep you on the road.
Are you leaking fluid?
This is one of the most common signs of a transmission problem and the good news is for all drivers who aren’t amateur mechanics this is the easiest issue to spot. Automatic transmission fluid is critical for your car to drive and shift, which means even small spots of fluid on the driveway can quickly become a huge problem. Don’t just assume everything is fine. Checking fluid levels in your car is important, but any sign of a leak is going to also throw up the red flags.
The biggest challenge for many drivers will be learning to tell transmission fluid leaks from oil, water, or any other fluids. This isn’t too hard: in fact transmission fluid is some of the easiest to identify because it has several unique factors. This fluid is a bright red and can smell slightly sweet unless it’s burning. This fluid shouldn’t be burning so low fluid levels will almost always mean a leak.
Never ignore a check engine light
Sometimes a check engine light might be just a check engine light, but it’s there for a reason and even if you don’t notice anything obvious at first, if something seems just a touch off and the engine light comes on, then the transmission might be to blame. This is especially something to look at if you notice the car taking longer to accelerate, if the engine doesn’t run quite as smoothly, or there seem to be some minor vibrations that you never noticed before.
Do you notice shaking or grinding?
The exact way your transmission works is different depending on whether you have an automatic or a manual transmission. With manual transmissions you’re looking for the sound of grinding. This can even be a feeling when shifting gears. When you fully engage the clutch, any grinding sound right after the shift can also tell you that something is off. This can be from basic wear and tear or it might be pointing to a more serious issue. These are issues that come up with the manual transmission.
When you’re looking at automatics, you generally won’t hear grinding but you will experience shaking or a slight “shimmy” that lasts until you hit a certain speed. This happens because the shaking is the car having difficulty shifting from one gear to another. This can be a jarring situation and definitely a clear sign that your transmission needs some serious attention. This is a good time to make sure you get your vehicle looked at for transmission or clutch repairs.
The lack of a smooth transition is a clear giveaway even when looking at automatics. Much of the time the repairs are not simple things that can be done at home, but this requires a professional touch. This is one of those times to call a Kent mechanic who specializes in dealing with transmissions.
Look for whining, clunking, humming
Look or listen for anything that causes you to have a “this just doesn’t sound right” or “this just doesn’t feel right” type of feeling. All cars are differently so some may shake more when the transmission is giving out while others may make a whining or scraping sound. Listen for a buzzing or humming with automatic transmissions as this can be a clear giveaway that you need to look at getting some repairs.
If you’re experiencing any of these things then it’s time to go get your vehicle checked out. The sooner your car gets checked by a professional the easier it is likely to be to fix any issues.
Lack of response
When working properly, a transmission should go into the right gear every time, so even the smallest bit of hesitation or a tendency to slip gears is a clear cut sign that something is wrong with your transmission. When the engine is revving but the car isn’t picking up speed the way you expect, then you’re facing a worn out transmission or clutch issue, in all likelihood, and you will want to find the nearest professional Kent transmission specialists you can trust to get those repairs done fast and right.