How Do I Know If I Have A Bad Transmission?

One of the most critical components under the hood of any vehicle is the transmission. You won’t be able to get the same value out of your car if it’s broken. So, how can you say if your transmission is in poor shape?

Signs of having bad transmission

1. Slipping Out of Gear

If your vehicle seems to change gears for no apparent reason, it might be time to get your transmission serviced. You should be able to match your gear changes to your acceleration, so slipping out of gear indicates an issue.

2. Unresponsive

Transmission trouble is indicated by hesitation or outright failure to change into the proper gear. It’s possible that the inability to move is caused by an electric, hydraulic, or mechanical problem. When changing from drive to park, this can feel like a pause before the gear properly engages, particularly in vehicles with automatic transmissions. The lack of response in vehicles with manual transmissions is often manifested as a disconnect between the revving of the engine’s RPMs and actual vehicle speed.

3. Rough Shifting 

Your transmission, on the other hand, should be able to smoothly change between gears. It’s a challenge if you can tell the car is having trouble shifting gears. You’ll notice that in the way the car drives, but you’ll notice it even more if you’re shifting with a manual transmission.

4. Fluid Leaks

Leaking fluid is easily identified and diagnosed. The automatic transmission fluid (ATF) keeps the transmission running. Transmission components are lubricated with ATF to reduce friction and avoid overheating. It also serves as a hydraulic fluid for engaging gears. If ATF leaks, the transmission will work with insufficient fluid, increasing the risk of overheating. This is the most common way for a transmission to fail. Take your car to a transmission shop right away if you see a pool of bright red fluid under it.

5. Noisy in Neutral

If your car is in neutral, a bumping sound does not generally indicate danger or trouble. Don’t worry, though; changing the transmission fluid can often solve the issue.

6. Engine or Warning Light

Most modern automobiles have a dashboard light that indicates when the transmission is malfunctioning. The logo can differ from vehicle to vehicle, so check your owner’s manual to see what it looks like in yours.

7. Dragging Clutch

Only manual transmissions undergo a dragging clutch, which makes changing gears highly difficult – if not impossible. When the clutch pedal is pressed, the clutch disk and flywheel do not disengage, resulting in a dragging clutch. A manual transmission can also “pop-out” of gear in some situations. During gear shifting, these problems are often accompanied by grinding noises. The hydraulics of the clutch pedal to clutch to flywheel engagement is always the cause of a transmission misdiagnosis, so the master and slave cylinders must be inspected.

8. Burning Smell

As a general rule, if you smell something burning in your engine, it needs to be serviced right away. If your transmission fluid is burning up, it’s possible that your transmission is overheating.

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