4 Transmission Issues That Could Kill Your Car

July 27th, 2016 by


Transmission Repair Shop Albany NY


If there’s one car maintenance issue that can take down the whole system with it, it’s a problem wth your transmission – hard to spot and harder to fix, but addressing it is absolutely critical to keeping your vehicle in proper working condition. Without a properly functioning transmission, your car can have serious difficulty in changing gears, hitting high speeds, and even just getting on the road in the first place – and if left unchecked, could signal the death knell for your beleaguered vehicle.

But fear not – despite the seriousness of the situation, a transmission issue does not necessarily mean your car is beyond repair. With the knowledge to diagnose what’s wrong and the help of a professional mechanic, you can save your transmission with transmission repair in Albany, NY and get back on the road stronger than ever – and all it takes is a little transmission know-how.

Here’s a look at four of the most common issues that take down hard-working transmissions, and what drivers can do to make sure these issues aren’t the ones that take their beloved cars off the road for good.


Clunking, Grinding, or Shaking


A transmission is a highly complex piece of machinery. Photo by Michael Barera, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


One clear sign that something’s wrong with your transmission is that something is going wrong on the inside – and in most cases, your transmission will let you know this is happening. Maybe you hear a consistent clunking or grinding noise when shifting, or when accelerating during normal driving – this can be a sign that your transmission’s gears are making unfriendly contact. Whether it’s due to a lack of lubrication from transmission fluid or a buildup of gunky material slowing the gears, grinding and unwanted friction can lead to overheating and further buildup until it becomes fully worn out.

In some cases, you can get rid of these unfriendly sounds with a refill on transmission fluid, or by having your mechanic give your system a thorough cleaning. In some cases, the damage may have progressed to the point that your transmission needs new parts or to be replaced all together – either way, the problem is only getting worse the longer it’s ignored.


Burning Smell or Smoke




In some transmissions, experiencing undue friction or common overheating, drivers may sense a burning smell coming though the vents during normal operation. This could be caused by transmission fluid overheating and burning in your transmission itself, building up into a gunky residue and clogging up the works all while producing that nasty smell. Common causes for this issue are low transmission fluid levels or using the incorrect kind of fluid; it’s best to have your mechanic check your car’s owner’s manual to make sure your vehicle is getting the right viscosity and amount of fluid to match your transmission. With proper maintenance, you should be able to avoid the worst of this nasty burning scent and keep your transmission running smooth.


Trouble Shifting




Maybe your transmission is giving off no distinct signs of trouble at all – no smoke and no smell – but you find your ability to shift smoothly has deteriorated or disappeared all together. Maybe you find the clutch slips too easily between gears, or won’t shift at all, even under optimal conditions. In some cases, this might be a sign that your transmission’s gears are worn out, or that your shifter is damaged or broken. Either way, your system isn’t being activated correctly to shift between gears, and may require extensive repairs to regain that ability.

This problem can also be caused by improper or incorrect transmission fluid. By using a fluid with the wrong viscosity, you could be inadvertently making it harder for your transmission to shift safely, thereby removing your car’s ability to move up or down into another gear while on the road. Check your fluid and make sure you’re using the manufacturer-suggested viscosity for your transmission fluid.

It’s also possible this problem could be cause by a malfunction in the vehicle’s computer system – possibly a misreading that’s preventing your transmission from shifting gears. In some cases, this may require a manual reset using the method outlined in your owner’s manual, or a simple removal of the battery for a while to allow your system to power down and reset. Either way, your car simply can’t operate without a working shifter, so make sure you can shift safely before you get back out there.


Fluid Leaks and Low Levels


transmission fluid change


So you’ve done everything, checked every detail, and fixed every issue – but the transmission issues all keep coming back. In many cases, this could be because of low transmission fluid levels, and regular transmission issues could be a sign that your fluid system has a leak in it. This can reduce the level of transmission fluid in your system and disrupt operation again and again. If your find transmission problems seem to plague your vehicle despite your best efforts, have your mechanic check your fluid system and check for any holes or leaks. Sometimes this may require a simple patch, and others it may require an entire system rebuild – whatever the result, your vehicle won’t run the same without the right level of transmission fluid.

So whatever your engine’s troubles may be, any and all signs of abnormal operation from under the hood is a sign of something serious going on – and, likely, something that needs to be addressed immediately. When it comes to finding great transmission care to keep your vehicle running strong for miles to come, nobody can match the professional transmission repair service you’ll find at DePaula. With a fully-stocked staff of expert mechanics ready and able to diagnose and fix your transmission troubles, you can rest easy knowing DePaula can fix your transmission the first time.

At the end of the day, transmission troubles are nothing to be ignored. Your transmission is the heart of your car, and with it out of commission you may not be able to experience all that fun driving pleasure that makes your car truly yours. Get your transmission checked out today and get back on the road in no time – your car will thank you.