Four Signs It's Time To Take Your Vehicle Into The Transmission Shop
Car problems are frustrating, especially when you least expect it. When it's something like a dead battery or a noisy muffler, that's an easy diagnosis for anyone, even if you are not a car person. Transmission problems, on the other hand, are a bit harder for the average person to recognize. Here's four signs your vehicle's transmission may be in need of attention at your local transmission shop.
You Smell A Burnt Odor
If your transmission fluid hasn't been changed in a while, it is probably dirty and likely has small bits of debris in it. Dirty transmission fluid can't do it job of keeping everything in working, moving order. If you haven't had the transmission fluid changed in a long time, there's a good chance there is also a small leak and there isn't enough circulating. This can cause a burnt popcorn smell.
The Vehicle Makes Clunking Noises
You would think your vehicle's transmission would only make noises as you were shifting into reverse or drive, but it can actually make weird clunking noises while it is sitting in neutral, too. Adding more transmission fluid may improve this, but noises, especially in neutral, may be a sign there is mechanical issues somewhere.
The Vehicle's Gears Shift While Driving
Nothing is scarier than driving on the highway and suddenly realizing you don't have control of the vehicle. The transmission is what powers the wheels, and if it automatically shifts out of drive and into neutral, no matter how much you press on the gas pedal, it's not going to go. This could be disastrous going 80 miles down the highway! If you notice your gears slipping, an immediate trip to the mechanic is imperative.
You See Fluid Leaking
Transmission fluid is bright red when it is clean and a darker blood red when it is dirty. If it is clean and new, it will smell sweet whereas if it is old, it will smell like the aforementioned burnt popcorn. Transmission fluid doesn't burn up or get used up like motor oil or gasoline does; it simply circulates throughout the system, keeping things lubricated. If you see fluid on the ground under your car or the low transmission fluid indicator comes on, you can be sure you have a leak somewhere that needs to be checked.
Don't ignore your vehicle when the check engine light comes on. This may not necessarily indicate something is wrong with the transmission, but something is wrong somewhere in the engine. If you have any of the above issues, get your car into a transmission shop for a checkup.