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Signs You Need A Transmission Repair

Signs You Need A Transmission Repair

Are You in Need of A Transmission Repair?

Your car’s transmission is a complex system of different parts. What does it do? The transmission system moves your vehicle. We’ll explain this.

Transmission simply transmits the power produced by the engine to the wheels. The gear system is in the middle of this exchange. Your transmission should switch gears according to your speed needs.

Like most other parts of your vehicle, the transmission system needs regular maintenance. Despite doing this regularly, your transmission may need repairs after a while. Minor fixes would usually be fluid changes, fluid top-ups, or closing leaks. More extensive work would be the replacement of worn parts or even rebuilding the entire system.

We see a lot of vehicle owners come in late for transmission repairs. What’s the aftermath? They spend more money and energy trying to fix a bad repair. Sometimes, it ends in a total replacement.

Don’t let that happen to you.

There are many red flags that you can pick up early. You really don’t have to be a technician to notice. Also, it’s a bad idea to ignore them till they escalate.

Here are the signs your favorite auto repairer wants you to know about:

Your car doesn’t move when in gear

This is often confusing and distressing to car owners. Sometimes, you can switch gears but your car simply won’t start.

If your car is flat and does not as much as rev when in gear, there is an issue. This issue may be coming from a fault in the transmission system.

It may be due to very low transmission fluid levels, an old clutch, or a problem in the vehicle’s gear system.

Send your car to a professional technician for expert care.

The transmission doesn’t stay in gear

This can be a frightening sign of a dysfunctional transmission system. This can involve many components of the transmission including the clutch, gear, fluid, or torque converter.

Does your vehicle switch gears on its own? You need to get it checked out as soon as possible. This is not a sign to take lightly. You can get hurt if you do.

An out-of-control car that slides in and out of gear can be particularly dangerous to you and other road users.

Signs You Need A Transmission Repair

Transmission slips when revving

Your vehicle may be fine until you attempt to increase the speed. If your vehicle slips as you rev it, there is an obvious issue with the transmission here.

This can usually be traced to a need for fresh transmission fluid or replacing the gear system.

Transmission fluid is leaking

A pretty obvious one. If your transmission fluid is dripping on your garage floor, you need a repair. Wondering what transmission fluid is like?

Thankfully, most brands have a bright red tone and smell like well, sweets. You should be able to tell it apart from other vehicle fluids. You should be more concerned if it has taken a dark new color or begins to smell like liquid smoke.

Of course, you wouldn’t handle a leaky faucet by collecting the water with a bowl. You need to find and fix the leak.

This applies here. If you have brought in for a leak, the repairer should be able to trace and correct the source of the leak. This may be coming from one or two loose bolts or a fault in the fluid line.

Transmission repair services would usually find the source of the leak and seal it off.

Transmission fluid is different from your car’s motor oil in this regard. It should not be burned up or drained during use. If your fluid levels are low, then there is definitely a leak from somewhere. Find it!

Something smells like it’s burning

Just like in the kitchen, a burning smell should alert you of something sinister.

There are various reasons for a smokey car. If you perceive a burning smell from your vehicle, your transmission system may have an issue. This overheating would usually be from the gear system.

Why does this happen? The transmission system helps to lubricate. If this is faulty, there is so much more friction and things may get a little heated up. Your clutch system may need repair or replacement.

Another cause of this is old, burnt transmission fluid. Vehicle owners often forget to change their transmission fluid.

All the fuss is usually on the engine oil but you should not forget the transmission fluid too. You should have this replaced with fresh fluid as required.

Tip: You may actually sync your oil change with transmission fluid changes as required.

You can hear some unusual kinds of noise

Most car owners know what their vehicles sound like normally. You’re probably in the best position to tell if there’s something unusual. A hearty rev is usually fine.

Buzzing, creaking, humming noises or even a thud is most likely sinister. This is even more worrisome if this noise is heard when in neutral.

There is a ton of possible causes. Transmission damage is one of them.

Have it checked out.

Check engine light is on

Signs You Need A Transmission Repair 1

Your dashboard is a great way to communicate with your vehicle. You should pay close attention to it. If your check engine stays blinking, it’s a sign of an issue. A transmission malfunction is not excluded.

Sometimes, ‘seasoned’ car owners ignore the flashing check engine light until they are completely blind to it. Red spells danger. You are better off not ignoring it. You should check this out with your auto repairer.

Diagnosis may take a few minutes and spare you a world of trouble.

Gears grind when shifting

If you own a manual vehicle, changing gears should be a seamless process. Not a full-blown workout for your arm muscles. If you’re putting in more effort than regular just to switch gears, there might be a transmission problem. Your clutch or gear system should be looked at by a professional.

Normal gears don’t grind. For automatic cars, switching gears may cause unusual jerking. This can make driving very discomforting.

If this happens, send your vehicle in for repairs. It is a probable indicator that the transmission fluid level has dropped or that you need fresh transmission fluid.

You may choose to ignore this but that’s a bad idea. Sometimes, the gearbox of a vehicle is so badly damaged that it needs to be rebuilt entirely.    

Clutch grabs too low or too high

The clutch is an important part of a car’s transmission. However, it is susceptible to wear. The clutch plates may get so old that they need to be replaced.

Your vehicle should go as far up or down as you press it. If it lags or goes too far, there may be a problem with your transmission system.

You might relate to how this can make driving unnecessarily stressful. Take your vehicle to a professional for expert care if your clutch remains uncooperative.


You’ve realized that there are several warnings for a faulty transmission. Knowing these signs is great. However, the better option is to prevent them from appearing in the first place.

You can achieve this with regularly scheduled maintenance checks.

If you care to know more about your car, you might also  be interested in our when to replace the suspension blogpost. 

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10 Responses

  1. Thanks for mentioning that unusual noise is a sign that you need transmission repair. I noticed my husband’s car makes weird noises when he drives. I will have him take his car to an auto shop to have it fixed.

  2. I appreciate that this post mentioned that it is important to see a transmission repair for our semi-truck in the event it does not move when it is in gear. The other day my brother mentioned that he needs to have his semi-truck repaired. After reading your post, I will most definitely look into hiring an experienced mechanic to have his semi-truck repaired.

  3. The gears have been grinding in my car when I try to shift. My fear was that it was because of my trailer. It is really heavy so maybe I messed up something up when attaching it.

  4. I’m glad you talked about how you need to repair your car’s transmission as soon as you notice there’s something wrong with it. Recently, my sister purchased her first car, and she’s very excited to drive it around town. I believe she needs to learn about her car and how to tell if it needs repair, so I’ll be sure to share this with my sister. Thanks for the tips about how to know if your car needs its transmission repaired.

  5. It makes sense that your transmission may need to be repaired if you notice that it has started to leak fluid. My wife and I have been interested in hiring an expert to help us repair our diesel vehicle. We will find a professional that can help us get the job done right.

  6. My car has been taking a while to shift between gears, and I think it might be an issue with the transmission. It makes sense that getting this fixed as soon as possible would be important! I didn’t realize that waiting too long could make it so much harder to properly care for something like this.

  7. Thanks for explaining that a transmission system needs regular maintenance. My brother owns a diesel vehicle, and the transmission stopped working last week. I’ll tell him to look for an auto service that can fix the transmission for his vehicle.

  8. I’m glad you talked about the importance of keeping your transmission in good shape. In my opinion, every driver needs to know the basics of how their vehicle works. In that way, they could notice if something’s wrong with it and avoid an accident, so I’ll be sure to share this with my friends and family. Thanks for the tips on how to know your vehicle’s transmission is malfunctioning.

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