Tips

5 Signs You Need a Transmission Service or Replacement

Automatic and manual transmissions will tell you if they’re “sick.” If you pay attention to the signs, you’ll avoid an expensive repair bill. We here at TRUE Automotive service, repair, and replace transmissions, and we’d rather service than replace yours. Is your transmission about to fail? Here are five signs that it is.

Leaking Transmission Fluid

If you have fluid leaking onto your garage floor, dab some of it up using a white paper towel to determine its color. If the fluid is pink or red and leaking from the center of your vehicle, it’s probably transmission fluid. Transmission fluid does not burn like motor oil does, so leaks indicate another problem, such as damaged bell housings, a loose or leaking transmission pan, or worn gaskets or seals.

Sweet or Tart Smells

Transmission fluid smells either sweet or tart. A burning smell that is sweet or tart could indicate transmission trouble. You don’t want to ignore your automobile manufacturer’s recommendations for transmission fluid flush, as failing to replace old fluid can wreak havoc on an automatic or manual transmission. The burning smell suggests your transmission is overheating, which is disastrous.

Fluid Level

Unlike your motor oil dipstick, your transmission fluid dipstick is underneath your vehicle. As such, most people prefer to have automotive professionals check it because it’s easier to do so from an automobile lift. If you do decide to crawl underneath your car and check your fluid, low fluid suggests there’s a problem, because again, the transmission does not burn its fluid like your engine burns motor oil. 

Strange Noises

You should not hear clunking, grinding, or screeching when your vehicle changes gears. It doesn’t matter if you drive an automatic or stick. If you do hear grinding or other odd noises while in neutral or between gears, you might have a worn clutch or damaged transmission gear synchronizers. Automatic transmissions might also buzz or hum if there is a problem with the transmission system.

Movement Signals

Automatic and manual transmissions are engineered to go into the right gear quickly and easily. Delays in movement from a stopped position or in between gears suggest your transmission is going out. Gear shifts should be seamless, too, without lurching or stalling. Your vehicle should also shift easily into gear. If you notice you’re having trouble putting it into drive or first gear from park there’s a problem.

Finally, if your transmission light illuminates on the dashboard, bring your vehicle into TRUE Automotive in Marietta, GA, right away. You can call us at 770-214-4688 to let us know you’re on your way.

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