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Advanced Signs of Transmission Problems
If your vehicle has any of these symptoms, further transmission diagnostics should be performed. Prompt attention can result in simple repairs that correct the problems before extensive damage results.
- Excessive Leaking - Any fluid leak is worthy of immediate attention. If it's bad enough that the fluid gets more than about a quart low, you're really at risk. Running a transmission low on fluid is a disaster.
- Long Delay In Engagement - If you step on the gas, and there is a delay before the vehicle goes into gear, this is a sign of an internal problem. Also, if the vehicle taks a few seonds to catch up or "shift" into gear after you've moved the shift lever, that's a bad sign. This indicates a possible fluid loss. Get it looked at before something breaks, as these conditions really stress the internal parts of the transmission.
- Fluid Color and Condition - Most manufacturers require that you check transmission fluid level when the vehicle is running on level groud. Follow their instructions, and pull the dipstick (if the vehicle has one), and check the fluid color and oror. The fluid should be bright and cherry red. If it's dark, cloudy, muddy, or has a burnt odor, then you should have it checked by a transmission expert.
- Loss of One or More Gears - If your vehicle doesn't have one or more gears, including reverse, this is a sign that you need to have aour digagnostic service performed to identify the cause of the problem. Like man ohter problems, early attention may result in a lower repair bill.
- Shudder - If the vehicle shudders under acceleration, you may hae a transmission problem or engine performance issue. A trained transmission expert will be able to diagnose the problem and make a service recommendation that will eliminat ehte shudder. This problem, if caught early enough, can often be repaired inexpensively.
- Slipping - IF the engine RPMS climb erratically, and the vehicle doesn't go faster, you may be slipping internally. Avoid driving as much as possible, as slipping results in rapid clutch wear, and the clutches dont' have a lot of material on them before they're worn out. If they wear before the problem is corrected, the transmission will require rebuilding to restore normal operation.
- No movment - If the vehicle won't move at all, you may have a transission problem. Possibly there were early warning signs, but sometimes this happens suddenly. It doens't always mean the transmission must be overhauled. There are often external causes, that, when corrected, can restore normal operation. Have this looked at by a trusted expert to get the REAL cause.
- Unexpected Shifting - If you notice that the shifting ocurs at an unexpected time, or changes every time you drive, this is a sign of transmission problems. But often this is a command issue, where the transmission is being commanded to shift at the wrong time. Transmissions are computer controlled, and if one or more of the signals isn't consistent or correct, then the computer issues the wrong command or the right command at the wrong time. This needs to be corrected before the computer commands the transmission to do something that damages it.
- No Passing Gear - If you press the pedal to the floor but the vehicle doesn't downshift then you may have a transmission problem. Only a trained transmission diagnostician can determine the cause of this problem.
- Gear Shift Lever - If the shift lever is hard to move into or out of any position, or has to be set slightly off "P" or "N" to start the car, you may have a transmission problem. Left uncorrected, this can cause the computer to get the wrong signal, and send the wrong commands, thereby damaging the transmission. Corrected before damage occurs, this is an easy and inexpensive fix.