Signs of Transmission Failure
The automatic transmission is the most complex mechanical component of your vehicle…and as a result, it’s one of the most expensive to repair or rebuild. With the right maintenance and driving habits, your transmission should last the entire life cycle of your vehicle, but that also means you should be alert to any signs of trouble. Such as:
Transmission slippage. That’s when you try to accelerate and the engine races, but the transmission isn’t moving you forward very fast.
Harsh shifts. The transmission may delay its shift, then goes into the next gear with a bang or a thump.
Limp-in mode. The engine’s powertrain computer has set the transmission to operate only in low gear, to avoid further damage, limiting your speed to 25-30 mph.
Strange noises, such as buzzing, whining or thumps. A buzzing noise while the transmission is in neutral is especially troubling.
Delayed engagement. You put the transmission in gear and wait, but nothing happens for several moments.
Fluid leaks. Transmission fluid is magenta-colored and has a slightly pungent smell, making it easy to detect and differentiate it from motor oil or other fluids.
Burning smell. If you notice a burnt-toast sort of smell coming from your vehicle, it could be a sign of transmission problems. An overheated transmission is one that’s bound to fail soon and may already have suffered internal mechanical damage. Pull the transmission dipstick, with the vehicle on level ground, transmission in Park and engine running. Transmission fluid that’s darker than magenta and has a burnt smell is a sure sign of trouble.
Check Engine light is illuminated. While the Check Engine light can come on due to all kinds of reasons, an illuminated Check Engine light along with any of these symptoms is bad news.
One thing’s for sure. Your transmission problems will never just get better on their own, and a vehicle with a transmission that’s failing needs attention right away. Don’t risk running up the bill even farther if you suspect transmission problems. Make an appointment with us at Kirkwood Auto Center in Wilmington, DE!