If your transmission is having problems, it could end up being a very serious and costly repair. The last thing you should do is delay any transmission repair when you begin to suspect that there could be a problem. The main issue that most drivers have is they misinterpret or completely miss the potential warning signs that a transmission is beginning to have problems or is about to fail.
Below are six warning signs that your transmission may actually need repair right now, whether you live in Sacramento or the surrounding area. If you notice any of these warning signs with your car, you should not delay bringing your vehicle into an authorized and qualified auto repair facility
First, though, let us explain the basic difference between a manual and automatic transmission. The vast majority of vehicles on the road today, especially consumer, passenger vehicles, our automatic transmission vehicles. Most trucks and heavy equipment are manual transmissions. Most sports cars are also manual transmissions.
An automatic transmission is one that shifts for you. All you do when you get in your car and start the engine is put it in reverse, backed out of the driveway or your spot, and then put it in D, or drive. The car is not starting out in overdrive. It is starting out in first gear and moving to second, then third, and ultimately overdrive, regardless of how many gears it has. You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to focus on shifting, and it is convenient for many people, especially living in a metropolitan area like Sacramento.
A manual transmission requires you to depress the clutch pedal, put the transmission into gear, and then slowly release the clutch pedal as you apply the accelerator and get moving. Once your car reaches a certain target RPM, then you need to depress the clutch pedal, shift to the next gear, and then release the pedal, all in synchronization with the accelerator.
A manual transmission will offer more acceleration and more power for the vehicle than an automatic transmission, which is why it is more common in popular among sports cars as well as big trucks.
Now, let’s talk about those six warning signs that your transmission may be having problems.
- Trouble shifting into gear.
If you have a manual transmission and you are finding it difficult to get it into gear, that is usually a good sign that there is a problem with the transmission or clutch. The clutch may very well be worn out and that is causing you to have trouble getting into gear.
If you have an automatic transmission and it is tough to get it from park into reverse or drive, this can be a significant issue and you should not delay having the transmission repaired.
- The transmission fluid is low.
In automatic transmissions, there is generally a dipstick for the transmission fluid. There is one for the oil, but automatic transmissions also have one for the fluid. You should make sure that you’re checking this on a regular basis. If you notice that the transmission fluid is low, it can be causing potential damage to the internal gears and mechanisms of the transmission.
Because the system is a closed system, if the fluid level is low and you added some recently, you probably have a leak that needs to be repaired.
- The transmission “slips” when driving.
If you notice that you are accelerating and suddenly the RPMs jump and then come back down and you feel a clunk, this could be the transmission slipping while you are driving. You won’t necessarily feel this with a manual transmission except when you are releasing clutch. If you are releasing the clutch and feel that the car suddenly is not grabbing and then grabs once again, the clutch may be wearing out.
- The transmission “kicks“ out of gear while driving.
If you have a manual transmission and you are cruising down the highway and everything seems fine and all of the sudden it just kicks the shifter out of gear, this could be the result of low fluid level in the transmission overheating. You may find that you can’t even get it back into that fifth gear and have to slow down and get into fourth gear instead. This is a very big sign that you need transmission repair as soon as possible.
It may be only a matter of adding fluid, but if the fluid level was low, it could’ve caused damage already. If you delay transmission repair at this point, you could end up completely destroying the transmission and having to replace it. That can cause cost several thousand dollars.
- The transmission doesn’t engage until the clutch is almost fully released.
In a manual transmission, if you are releasing the clutch pedal and you don’t feel it grab until the pedal is almost all the way out, the clutch or clutch plate is probably completely worn down. If you avoid transmission repair at this point, you could end up being stranded on the side of the road.
- Overdrive won’t engage.
In an automatic transmission, if you have it in overdrive, or D, but you notice that the RPMs are running higher than normal when you’re at higher speeds, this could be that the overdrive is not engaging. This could be related to a similar issue with a manual transmission kicking out of fifth gear.
There could be a wide range of potential causes for this problem, so make sure that you get the transmission looked at as soon as possible.
Why now is the right time to get your transmission repaired.
Any issue with the transmission could become incredibly costly if you delay having it repaired as soon as you detect potential problems. If the transmission fails, it can lead you to be stranded on the side of the road, in your driveway, late for work, or anywhere in the world. If you notice any of these issues, there is no reason or excuse to avoid transmission repair. If you have questions about your transmission or the repairs it might need, contact Standard Auto Care today.