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5 Signs your Transmission Needs Work

Vehicle TranmissionIt’s easy to forget about your transmission when your car is shifting smoothly, especially when you drive an automatic. The vehicle does all the work, and you may not even realize your transmission fluid is old, or you have been ignoring a rough shift that only occurs in a specific gear change. Transmissions work hard, slightly less so in new automatics and manuals where shifting occurs at an optimal point. There are some signs you shouldn’t ignore though, and doing a little work now can sometimes save you a major transmission repair in the future.

Signs your Transmission Needs Work

  • Leaking or Low Transmission Fluid – Portland has windy roads and transmissions work hard. Detecting a leak early on can prevent severe transmission damage, and low transmission fluid is an easy fix. ATF should be bright red with moderate translucency. If you check your fluid and it is dark or smells burnt, you should get it flushed. This may even help with minor gear change problems. Vehicles don’t consume transmissions fluid, so if your fluid is at the correct level one day, and noticeably below it a short time later, a leak is likely and a proper diagnosis by an auto repair shop can identify it.
  • Your Check Engine Light is On – Many vehicles have sensors that are attached to the transmission. These can be set off and indicate a potential problem through the use of your check engine light. It always pays to go have a diagnostic performed after your check engine light goes off. A can determine exactly what codes your car’s ECM has saved and how best to proceed.
  • Gear Slippage – Your car should be able to stay in the appropriate gear. For an automatic transmission that means shifting at the appropriate time designated by the computer system. For a manual it means shifting when you tell it to. If your vehicle is shifting by itself or pops back into neutral you should get it looked at as soon as possible. This can be a major danger and indicate worn or broken gear links.
  • Poor Response – A vehicle transmission shouldn’t fail to go into gear or hesitate. This is occurs during shift into “Drive” or “Park” on an automatic, in a manual it’s indicated by an increase in engine revolutions without the corresponding speed boost a shift would normally bring. This can be due to a worn clutch, or something more serious. It’s not advisable to put it off for long.
  • Shaking and Grinding – Noises during shifting can indicate a number of things. Worn clutches or clutches that need adjusting will whine. A gear synchronizer could also be damaged or worn. Automatic symptoms include hard or abrupt shifting from one gear to the next. These symptoms tend to get worse with time, and are sometimes accompanied by audible clunks or whines. Though noises don’t always indicate transmission problems, they should still be checked out by a as it may be another important part like the differential or CV joints.

When you need a trusted local auto repair NE Portland, Call us today (503) 287-3022