How to spot them, why they matter, and what to do
We all love to get from A to B as quickly as possible, but when was the last time you thought about how it worked? Or, more importantly, what do you need to be doing to ensure your vehicle is always in perfect health? We’re going to take a look at one of the most expensive parts of any car to replace: the transmission.
The transmission — also referred to as the gearbox — is the connection between the engine and the driveshaft. It determines how fast you go and how quickly you can accelerate. If it breaks, you don’t go anywhere at all.
Replacing a transmission can only really be done by a skilled mechanic. This means that, along with potentially having to spend several thousand dollars on new parts, you’ll also have to pay high labor costs to get the new transmission fitted to your car. Not such good news for those of you who want to be on the road rather than at home waiting for your vehicle to be repaired.
Good question. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the six most common warning signs that you need to look out for. Let’s take a look at each in a little more detail.
If you hear a constant whining or humming sound when the engine is running, this is a warning sign that your transmission needs some attention. If you’re not sure if what you’re hearing is normal, shift to neutral to see if the noise goes away. If it doesn’t, book your car for a service appointment as soon as possible.
Your transmission needs to be lubricated for it to work, so make sure to keep an eye out for any puddles or drips coming from the underside of your car. They’ll be an early warning sign that your car may need a trip to the garage.
This is a critical sign that something is drastically wrong with your transmission, particularly if it happens when you switch gears. The problem with ignoring this type of symptom is that you won’t just be damaging the transmission — you could also be doing all sorts of unseen damage to the rest of the engine system.
If your transmission is struggling to perform adequately, then it may start to overheat. No amount of topping up the fluid will cure this type of overheating. It’s likely due to a more complicated issue that has to be remedied. Listen to what your vehicle is trying to tell you and get it checked out by a professional.
If it takes too long to accelerate, or if shifting from Park to Drive is slow, it’s likely a transmission issue. The transmission governs how quickly and efficiently you can shift up or down, so make sure you get it inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
When a gear slips, you’ll find yourself in a lower gear than you intended. This will make the engine suddenly sound harsher because it needs more revs to reach the same speed. Alternately, it may slip to a higher gear. If this happens regularly, chances are it’s the transmission that needs a closer inspection.
Now that we’ve covered the key warning signs, we want to give you a few hints and tips that will help you extend the lifetime of your transmission.
Replacing vs. rebuilding your transmission is a decision you may have to make. The best course of action will depend on the current state of the transmission. Make sure you ask your mechanic which option they would advise. If a simple repair gets you another 30,000 miles, then choose that. However, if a complete rebuild costs you nearly as much as a new transmission, you might want to think about swapping it out.
Now that we’ve told you all there is to know about the six transmission issues you cannot afford to ignore, you’ll know the warning signs to look out for — just what you need when you want to avoid costly repairs and breakdowns.
We’re here to help you stay on the road. The best way to do that is in a properly serviced, safe car. If you think your car’s transmission may need an inspection or if you have any other concerns about your vehicle, contact us today to set up an appointment.
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