Is Your Transmission Transmitting Warning Signs? What Every Driver Should Know

Posted on: 28 February 2018

Your car's transmission performs an intricate, essential task each time you drive. These mechanical masterpieces transfer power produced by the engine to the drive train and allow the car to shift gears. When issues such as excessive wear, misuse, or equipment failure cause the transmission to fail prematurely, you're likely to need expensive repairs or replacement. Drivers who learn to recognize warning signs of transmission trouble and address them quickly can minimize their chances of doing serious damage to their car's transmission and incurring unnecessary vehicle repair costs. Look for these two warning signs:

Unusual noise or vibrations when the vehicle shifts gears

Transmissions that are working correctly operate smoothly and make little noise, other than a barely audible sound when going from one gear to the next. In fact, this sound is usually so slight that those inside the vehicle may not even hear it. Vehicle owners who begin to notice the sound of their car shifting should pay attention to discover why. 

In some cases, a louder, more distinct sound when shifting may simply mean that the transmission fluid level has dropped. If this is the case, the noise can be alleviated by bringing the transmission fluid level back to normal. When this happens, it is important for the driver to follow through after refilling the fluid by having the transmission professionally inspected and serviced to determine why the fluid level became low and address that problem. 

In addition to more distinct shifting sounds, drivers who suddenly hear whining or clanking noises or experience sudden vibrations when the car shifts should immediately seek out a transmission repair professional, because these are often warning signs of a serious problem or precursors to a complete transmission failure. 

Difficulty in shifting or experiencing slower than normal response times

Vehicles that suddenly become difficult to put into gear or seem to be less agile in responding while being driven may also be experiencing transmission difficulties. This type of trouble can sometimes be caused by simple-to-fix issues, such as a clogged transmission filter. It can also mean that the transmission has developed some serious wear issues that affect the way its components fit together, making it necessary for it to work harder than it should in order to shift into the next gear. 

Transmission concerns of any kind should always be professionally evaluated as soon as the issue is noted. Ignoring sounds, vibrations, or performance issues will often lead to a more serious problem, possibly including a total transmission failure that can leave you stranded or saddled with a huge repair bill.