The transmission may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to car care, but it is certainly one of the most important. It is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels – among other things, so without it you wouldn’t get very far!

The components of the transmission system get a lot of use and understandably receive a lot of wear – which can lead to the need for repair.  How do you know if you have transmission problems?

Watch out for any of these signs that can indicate the need for a transmission diagnosis and repair:


Burning smell

If you drive a manual you may be familiar with that burning smell when holding the clutch for a long time.  When you’re not specifically causing it however a burning smell can indicate clutch problems that require repair.  This could require an adjustment to the clutch, or a new one completely.

If you do a lot of town driving and short journeys then clutch problems are more likely, but not a certainty.  Ultimately your driving style plays an important role.

Most clutches are designed to last for around 60,000 miles.


Popping out of gear – consistently

If your car stick pops out of gear from automatic to neutral (or in a manual from 3rd to 2nd for instance) then you should get your vehicle checked as soon as possible.  Popping out of gear unexpectedly is very dangerous as it takes control away from you, the driver, don’t ignore it.


Grinding noise when shifting

A grinding noise when you shift gear can mean a lack of transmission fluid or some sort of mechanical failure.


Leaky transmission fluid

Transmission fluid is a reddish color, it is different to other vehicle fluids in that it is very easy to distinguish.  If you notice a puddle of red fluid beneath your car then it should be the transmission that is leaking.  This is something that needs addressing right away as low or no transmission fluid can cause all these mentioned problems and more.


Slow to shift gear

In an automatic you might notice the car’s RPMs elevating when it tries to shift gear.  The transmission transfers power from the engine to switch between gears – without sufficient fluids however the system slows down.  Fixing the lack of transmission fluid should do the trick.


Transmission problems should never be ignored.  They’ll almost always get worse with time.  If you notice and problems with your vehicle and suspect the transmission is at play then don’t hesitate to visit a local transmission repair shop such as Fred’s Auto Center.


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