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Trouble Shifting into the Right Gear? Symptoms of Transmission Repair Trouble

Monday, February 20, 2012

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The transmission is one of the most important elements of a vehicle. It allows the automobile to shift gears to keep up with the load and speed conditions of the drive. Checking the transmission fluid is essential since the fluid is what keeps the transmission lubricated. Here are five symptoms of transmission repair trouble that you need to watch out for.

Leaking Fluid: If your vehicle has an automatic transmission watch out for leaking red fluid that has a burnt odor. Even a small amount of fluid in your driveway can indicate a serious transmission problem that needs repair.

Check Engine Light: Potential transmission problems may trigger the "Check Engine" warning light in your dashboard. If you see this light it's always best to have your car evaluated by a qualified mechanic to find out if there's an issue with your transmission.

Grinding or Shaking: Typically, automatic transmissions slip right into gear and manual transmissions have more of a jarring shift. When your transmission needs repair you may hear grinding noises or feel the car shake when it shifts gears.

Clunking, Humming or Whining Sounds:
These types of noisy sounds may indicate that your transmission needs to be flushed or needs repair.

Failure to Shift into Gear: A properly operating transmission will move directly into gear when you shift it. Manual transmissions typically cause the engine to rev when you shift gears while automatic transmissions generally run in "Drive" gear. However, if your transmission needs attention the vehicle may not shift properly.

Transmission Repair vs. Transmission Replacement

In some cases, a complete transmission replacement may be needed, but in other instances, you may be able to get by with a transmission repair. Common repairs include a transmission flush, which cleans the system; a clutch replacement, for manual transmissions that are sticking or slipping; and a transmission fluid change. Ideally, you should have your transmission fluid changed every 60,000 to 100,000 miles for an automatic transmission and every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for a manual transmission.

If your mechanic tells you that you will need a transmission replacement, you may be concerned about the price of the job. Fortunately, many auto repair shops offer customers the option to have their transmissions replaced with rebuilt systems. These are used transmissions that have been previously repaired. Using a rebuilt transmission can greatly reduce the price of your replacement job.