Transmissions are a tricky part of cars and if even the slightest thing goes wrong with them, you’ll find that your vehicle is difficult to use. This can be frustrating and in some cases, incredibly expensive to repair if left untreated.
Just like the rest of your car, fluid is required for the transmission to function properly. The transmission fluid is used to ensure that the gears inside of the transmission can move smoothly, prevent heat damage, and prevent gears from wearing down.
Below we are going to be taking a look at some of the main indications that your car’s transmission fluid may require to be changed.
Sign #1 – Why is my transmission grinding?
A car’s transmission fluid is a liquid which is used to lubricate the different moving components that are a part of your transmission. It’s more common for a grinding noise to occur in cars which have a manual transmission than those with an automatic transmission.
In a car which is fitted with a manual transmission, both the clutch and the gear synchronizers can begin to wear without regular maintenance; hence why a grinding noise may be heard when you try to switch gears.
A change in fluid should restore optimal performance back into the transmission. If you suspect your transmission requires attention, arrange an inspection using our mechanic finder.
Sign #2 – Why does my transmission smell?
If you happen to smell an unpleasant burning smell coming from your transmission then there’s a strong chance that the transmission fluid either needs to be changed, or topped up. To check if this is the case, simply go for a short drive and then read the dipstick.
Burnt fluid, however, is not the issue here. If you find that there is burnt fluid in your transmission then this means that there is an issue with the transmission itself. In some cases, you may be able to fix the transmission issue by simply changing your transmission fluid or topping it off. However, if this does not fix the issue, then you could be looking at an expensive transmission repair.
If this doesn’t fix the problem, contact a mechanic before trying anything else. This could be due to a range of issues (such as small worn out components), and a professional will explain the most cost-effective approach for you.
Sign #3 – What causes my transmission to surge?
When you feel a “surge” or lack of constant power when you are changing gears, there may be a problem with the transmission.
The “surging” sensation is normally only found in automatics and is caused by low fluid or low oil pressure. Replacing or topping up the fluid may help with this issue, if problems continue we advise arranging an inspection with your local mechanic.
Remember, the longer that you leave a transmission problem, the more expensive it can be to get fixed in the future.
Sign #4 – Why is my gearbox leaking?
The most common reason behind a transmission breakdown is that transmission fluid has been left leaking. You can spot this by regularly checking where your vehicle is parked on a daily basis.
ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) is what keeps the transmission functioning as it should be by lubricating the necessary components, making sure that these components are kept clean. Without the transmission fluid, or if there is a lack of transmission fluid, then your car’s engine may run into issues.
Each transmission is installed with a series of gaskets and seals to keep in transmission fluid, if these fail, this can cause a leak and loss of oil pressure which can reduce transmission performance.
Transmission fluid is normally a bright red colour. If this is the type of fluid that you find leaking then the issue is most likely a transmission leak and you should have it fixed as soon as possible. On the other hand, if the fluid is darker, gritty, and smells burnt, then you must either change the transmission fluid or contact a mechanic for immediate repairs.
Sign #5 – Why is my transmission slipping out of gear?
When you’re switching gears, the transmission should be able to take care of this smoothly and without any issues. If the transmission struggles to do this and you aren’t able to switch gears easily, then there’s a problem with the transmission and it isn’t working as it should be.
One of the most common reasons for this happening in an automatic transmission is low transmission fluid. In order for the transmissions torque converter to work efficiently, it must be full of transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is used to generate internal pressure so that several different gears can be engaged simultaneously. With this in mind, if you have a low transmission fluid level then the transmission might hesitate when you attempt to accelerate or reverse.
In manual transmissions, if your car won’t shift once you have engaged the clutch and have tried to change gear, check that the transmission fluid is topped up. If the problem persists, you may have worn components inside the transmission or clutch that require replacement. Make sure that when you change transmission fluid or top it off, that you use the correct type of fluid.
To book in a mechanic for an inspection, make sure you check out our mechanic finder.
Sign #6 – What caues an engine light?
A check engine light is a simple way to indicate there may be a problem with your vehicle, this will include all your electronic components, including sensors found in your transmission. It’s recommended that with any check engine light that you get a diagnostic test done. This can be done at your local Supercheap Auto Store.
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