Six Things You're Doing To Your Transmission That Make It Unhappy

Automotive Blog

Whether you're waiting for your automatic car to change gears as you accelerate on the highway or manually downshifting when pulling into a parking lot, the last thing you want is to hear grinding noises or feel gears slipping--the calling cards of a transmission problem. Want to avoid a costly mechanic's bill? Here are six things you should stop doing to your transmission, so it stays healthy for a long time.

Not Paying Attention to the Early Signs of Trouble

Have you been continuing to drive your car even after noticing that something's not right? Ignoring the early warning signs of transmission trouble can mean you may ultimately need to completely replace your transmission system instead of just making relatively minor repairs. Watch for these signs of transmission problems, and get your car to a mechanic right away if you observe them:

  • unusual noises during gear changes: grinding, squealing, racing engine, etc.
  • shaking or jarring
  • surging
  • rough transitions
  • car won't shift gears
  • manual transmission car shifts gears on its own
  • difficulty accelerating
  • "check engine" light on
  • hot or shaking clutch on manual transmission

Not Taking Care of Your Transmission Fluid

Your transmission should never have any leaks, but if you see red fluid under your car, it may be the transmission fluid. Darker red fluid indicates transmission fluid that is more deteriorated than fresh fluid, meaning a problem has likely been going on for a while. If you're not sure, put a newspaper or sheet of cardboard under your car to catch any dripping.

Your owner's manual should tell you how often you need a transmission fluid change, which you should do as directed, to empty old fluid from the transmission pan and possibly clean or replace the filter. Your manual will also tell you if you need to have your transmission fluid flushed, which entails completely emptying the fluid in the pan as well as in the cooler lines and torque converter.

Not Communicating Your Driving Style to Your Mechanic

How you drive can influence how often your mechanic should check your transmission. Let your mechanic know if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You drive in lots of stop and go traffic.(You may need the fluid changed more frequently to prevent overheating of the system.)
  • You tow heavy loads regularly.
  • You drive aggressively with lots of shifting.
  • You drive on rough roads or in rough conditions. (This can be hard on the engine or even cause damage to the transmission pan.)

Not Shifting Gears Properly

Make sure you really know how to handle a manual transmission before taking it out on public roadways, and always use your clutch when shifting gears. Never put the vehicle in reverse while moving forward.

Not Checking the Solenoid

Did you know that your solenoid controls your transmission fluid flow? Make sure when you have any maintenance done on your transmission that you ask your mechanic to also check the solenoid.

Not Inspecting the Transmission When Buying a Used Car

Finally, if you're purchasing a used vehicle, don't forget to get an inspection that includes checking out the transmission. It's a good idea to also have a trusted mechanic check, like those from Karry's Automotive Service Center, out the associated wiring, which if damaged, can lead to the car not shifting. Think twice about buying a car with anything more than just minor transmission issues that are a quick and inexpensive fix.


17 May 2016

Narrowing Down Your Car Choices

After our family sedan died, I realized that we needed to focus on finding a new car. I was really frustrated because I had no idea what was out there or what would work best for my family. I started focusing on finding a car that was large enough, and that simple action really made things a lot easier for me. I tracked down a dealership that had mid-size and large SUVs, and I was able to find the right car. This blog is all about narrowing down your car choices, so that you can enjoy your new car and keep your family safe.