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5 Early Warning Signs of Transmission Failure

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Flywheel mounted on a modern engine. Engine and transmission repair. Car service and spare parts.

Early detection is critical for most vehicle issues. Not only can spotting the early signs of vehicle problems save you a lot of money but knowing the signs can also help prevent further, more widespread damage to your vehicle. Therefore, it is imperative to recognise the early warning signs of transmission failure. So, what are the symptoms of transmission failure? Let’s look at how to recognise the early symptoms of transmission trouble and what you can do if you spot some of these signs.

Problems with your gears

A more common fault in cars with an automatic transmission if your vehicle grinds or shakes when you change your gears; you indeed have a transmission problem. Be sure to book your vehicle in for a service with us as soon as you notice this happening.

Another alarming sign of transmission failure is when your gears slip in and out of place as you drive around. If your transmission slips, you’ll hear your engine revving as you change your vehicle’s gears. Some compare slipping gears to the feeling of driving over ice with no traction. You might also notice delayed acceleration and strange, harsh noises when you try to shift gears. Since this problem could progress to your vehicle eventually becoming totally unresponsive to gear changes, you should take your vehicle for diagnosis as soon as possible.

Leaking fluid

Are you noticing a sweet scent coming from underneath your car? Or are you spotting an oily red puddle as you drive off? Leaking transmission fluid is the most straightforward problem to identify and is one of the most common signs of a transmission problem. Contact us to find out more if you notice fluid leaking from your vehicle.

A dragging clutch

When you press the clutch pedal, does your clutch fail to disengage from your vehicle’s flywheel? A dragging clutch makes your gears clash, making your vehicle move as you change gears, even when the car is stationary. 

A dragging clutch is typically caused by a mechanical failure or clutch misplacement.

Neutral noises

When your vehicle makes noises, it’s a sure sign that something is up. But what about when your car makes noises when it’s just sitting in neutral gear? In this situation, noise while in neutral is a sign that something could be wrong with your transmission.

You may get lucky – strange noises while your vehicle is in neutral may simply be a sign that your car just needs some new transmission fluid. If so, our professional service will have your vehicle back up and running in no time.

However, noises while in neutral could also indicate that your vehicle needs a replacement transmission or in-depth servicing by our professional mechanics. 

A burning smell

You may have smelt that dubious sweet smell of leaking fluid in the past and rushed your vehicle in for a change. But what about the smell of burning? Though a burning smell may not necessarily indicate anything sinister, it could suggest that either your transmission fluid is old and starting to burn or that your transmission itself is burning. So if you notice a burning smell, you should book your vehicle in for a service right away.

How can I troubleshoot my transmission problems?

If you still aren’t sure what is wrong with your vehicle, you can try troubleshooting the problem. The first thing to do is to double-check your fluid levels. If it turns out that your fluid levels need to be topped up, this may be all you need to do. 

However, if your problem is not, in fact, caused by low fluid, your vehicle’s symptoms may be due to a mechanical problem instead. 

Your vehicle may also already be telling you precisely what is wrong! These days, there are so many lights and indicators on your dashboard that it can be hard to keep track of what they all mean. However, that trusty engine light is nonetheless among them. So, check your dashboard to see whether the engine light is on. Often, the engine light only indicates a minor issue and may not even necessarily be indicative of a transmission problem. But, you should still take your vehicle to be inspected by a trustworthy professional as soon as you can.

Whatever your vehicle needs, whether due to a mechanical problem, transmission failure, a service, or anything else, book it in with Beachwheels Automotive for top-class treatment!