If you have a car, whether manual or automatic, it has a transmission. In automatic cars it’s the part of the engine that shifts the car from gear to gear, while in manual cars, you operate it with a clutch and manually shift. Essentially, the transmission is what controls the power the engine produces, allowing the driver to control the vehicle.
It’s obvious why a transmission is vital to the functioning of a vehicle. If the transmission is malfunctioning, the car can’t switch gears, and you literally cannot drive it. It’s important to pay attention to all aspects of engine health, but transmission problems are often considered to be among the most serious. There are some telltale signs of transmission trouble, and if you’re experiencing any of them, you need to get repairs fast. Here is a list of some common issues:
- Your car is slipping out of gear. If your car can’t hold a certain gear, you’re encountering “gear slippage,” and this is very serious. A car with gear slippage can shift without your permission, rendering controlling the car nearly impossible.
- You see bright red fluid underneath your car. A lot of people will mistake this for oil, but transmission fluid has a distinctive reddish hue. However, if the transmission fluid is old, it might be slightly brown. Transmission fluid is slick, and smells similar to petroleum. The leak will generally appear around the front or middle of your car.
- You smell something burning. This indicates your transmission is overheating. An overheated transmission is a problem, as it can burn out if not kept properly lubricated. In this situation, you may simply not have enough transmission fluid in the car; the fluid has become dirty, or there’s a leak.
- The car violently shakes. This usually means your clutch has jammed, and the shaking will feel like it’s coming from underneath the car. This problem can affect the power output of the engine as well.
- The “check engine” light is on. Of course, this is indicative of any number of problems with the engine, but many people ignore this warning!
The transmission is one of the most vital parts of a car’s engine. Failure to pay attention to transmission problems can ruin your engine, resulting in costly repairs, or even posing a safety hazard. Make sure to service your transmission regularly!
If you have questions about the health and maintenance of your transmission, make sure to come in to Downtown Auto Parts so we can take a look and advise.