A car’s transmission is one of the most important parts of the build, second only to the engine. The transmission works together with the engine and is what enables the motor to move at different speeds and shift between those speeds. Due to all of this activity, the transmission gets a lot of use, so it’s easy to see why it’s important to keep it in good condition. It’s also why you need to check it regularly for any needed repairs. Contrary to some opinions, both manual and automatic transmissions can break and need to be fixed.
So, what exactly tips you off to a transmission issue? What should you look for, and when is it important enough to get it checked and fixed? Below is our guide detailing the importance of transmission care and what you should do when repairs are needed.
When Do You Need To Repair Your Car’s Transmission?
Like most car-related issues, a transmission problem is usually fairly evident for those paying attention to their cars or driving them often. Transmission warning signs are a bit more dramatic, and they may feel sudden even though the issue could have been slowly building for a while.
Each vehicle is different, but there are some similarities between all cars and their transmission problems. You should look out for the warning signs we’ve listed below when driving or otherwise using your vehicle.
Some of the Common Warning Signs
While the most accurate way to see if your transmission needs to be repaired is by taking it to a mechanic who can look at it directly, there are some common warning signs to keep in mind as you drive your car and start to notice something is off. They are:
- A sudden jolt or lag when you switch gears.
- A popping, humming, grinding, or other metal-like sounds.
- A burning smell, even when the car is in neutral, parked, or turned off.
- Cloudy, dark transmission fluid when you check the dipstick.
- Leaking fluid under the car.
- Uncomfortable, non-smooth transitions between gears.
What Should You Do When Your Car’s Transmission Needs Repair?
The transmission is one of the more complicated car parts and often can’t be repaired or properly inspected at home unless you’re a trained car technician or mechanic. When it needs to be fixed, we recommend visiting a professional mechanic or repair and service center. This way, you can guarantee your transmission is getting the help it needs, and they catch issues with the transmission or car parts that you aren’t able to identify.
When visiting a mechanic, be sure to tell them the signs you noticed while driving and be specific about what you heard, smelled, or saw. This will be very helpful to the technician working on your car.
What Kind of Transmission Repair Does My Car Need?
There are a few different repairs a transmission could need to work properly again. These are:
- Transmission fluid changes: This is the most straightforward fix and also the most common one. You should regularly change your transmission fluid anyway, but getting an oil change from a mechanic can solve many basic issues before they get worse.
- Transmission flush: Transmissions can occasionally get clogged with old fluid or sludge buildup. This is common when routine checks are skipped and fluid goes without being replaced, though it can happen even with regular checkups. Mechanics will inspect the transmission, remove all the old fluid, and run new oil and cleaning solutions through it to get rid of any gunk or sludge causing the issue.
- Full transmission replacement: Sometimes, the transmission can’t be saved, or it will be more cost-effective to replace it completely instead of attempting to replace specific parts.
- Partial transmission rebuild or overhaul: This means the transmission needs to be taken out of the car, completely disassembled, and put back together with the existing parts that still work properly and any replacement parts that were needed.
Remember that the transmission is affected by the rest of the car, and sometimes the issue isn’t within it but caused by external problems, such as improper wheel alignment, extended spare tire use, and a poor or broken cooling system.
How Often Should I Repair My Car’s Transmission?
How often you should check your car’s transmission depends on how often or harshly you drive it. If you put significant mileage on your vehicle often, you should get your transmission checked or oil changed every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. If you use your car only when you need to, you may need to get it changed less often, but we still recommend checking it from time to time to make sure that it looks clear on your dipstick.
Regardless of how often you use your vehicle, always drive your car with respect. That means not overusing your brakes or braking too hard, especially in stop-and-go traffic during rush hour or other peak traffic periods. Don’t drive aggressively or shift gears before coming to a complete stop. If you do, you’ll need transmission repairs more often than you’d probably like, especially because it can be hard on your budget.
If you’re in the Plano, Texas, area and looking for a reliable service center to work on your transmission, look no further than Huffines Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Plano. With the in-house maintenance technicians at our Mopar Service Center, your car’s transmission will be in excellent hands.
We will take care of your car like it is ours, and that’s the level of service and repairs you should expect from us. The next time you smell something burning in your car or hear a loud clunking sound and suspect a transmission issue, Huffines Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Plano can make your car feel like new again. Additionally, if your transmission repair was a complete surprise, we offer service coupons to make things even easier on your wallet.