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Transmission Trouble – What Are the Warning Signs?

Transmission

There are certain mechanical issues with your car that simply cannot be ignored and transmission trouble is one of them. Your car’s transmission controls the application of power from the engine to the driveshaft; it’s an essential part and one that suffers the most wear and tear compared to other parts of the engine.

The transmission is a complicated system to the untrained eye with many moving and interacting parts, when the car is traveling all these components create heat and friction, which could lead to problems in the long run so you must ensure that a) your gearbox and clutch is properly maintained and b) if any problems arise you have your vehicle checked by a professional as soon as possible, preventing major mechanical problems.

Transmission repairs and gearbox replacements can be expensive and time consuming so it’s important that you know how to spot the warning signs at an early stage, here are a few common symptoms of transmission trouble:

Difficultly Engaging Gears:

If you’re finding it difficult to switch between particular gears when driving or parking then this could well be a sign that your gearbox’s synchromesh is worn and your box needs replacing. If you notice your gears slipping whilst driving along then this is another symptom of severe wear.

Clunking, Humming and Whining Noises:

Different cars will make different noises but typically, if there’s a problem with your transmission, you’ll notice a humming, clicking or whining noise. Manual gearboxes will tend to make a loud, mechanical clunking, particularly when you shift gears – these noises will almost always lead to transmission trouble. If you notice these sounds it’s time to get your car checked by a professional.

Leaking or Low Fluid Levels:

Transmission fluid is essential; it lubricates all the components, cleaning and conditioning the seals and ensures the smooth running of your engine. No fluid of low levels of it can cause your engine to seize up and stop working completely which is why it’s vital that you regularly check your fluid levels.

Fluid levels are easy to check, the tank should be located just behind the oil dipstick. Unlike oil, transmission fluid does not burn off as the car is driven so if the fluid is low it means you have a leak somewhere which needs to be dealt with quickly.

Dragging Clutch:

A dragging clutch is caused when the clutch is failing to disengage with the flywheel when the clutch pedal is pressed making it incredibly difficult to change gear and results in a grinding noise every time you change gear. Fortunately, this problem is usually caused by too much slack in the clutch pedal which can easily be repaired.

A Burning Smell:

This is again linked to the transmission fluid, is you notice a burning smell this could mean the fluid is overheating and therefore will not be keeping the components lubricated and cool, leading to increased friction and a build-up of debris which, if ignored, could cause a complete engine breakdown.

If you’ve noticed any of these tell-tale signs then we would recommend getting your car looked at as soon as possible before a fairly small problem leads to a somewhat more complicated issue.