When your transmission isn’t working right, your vehicle won’t shift properly and it may not even go into gear at all. The more you know about your transmission, the better you can take care of it with preventative maintenance. If something is damaged inside your transmission, it’s best to get it repaired before it leads to further internal issues. If the internal transmission damage is bad enough, you could be faced with rebuilding it or replacing it altogether.
Here are the most common transmission problems, according to the Central Valley transmission repair experts at Ralph’s Transmission:
1. Low, Old or Contaminated Transmission Fluid
The transmission fluid (or transmission oil) is the lifeblood of your transmission system. If the fluid levels are too low, parts won’t work properly and internal damage will be inevitable. Check your transmission fluid level periodically. Beyond just the level, you need to look at the consistency of the fluid itself. If it is extra thick, has a burnt smell or contains dirt, grease, water, metal shavings or any other contaminants, you will want to get your transmission serviced and inspected as soon as possible.
2. Transmission Fluid Leaks
Low transmission fluid levels are often the result of fluid leaks. The most common culprit is a worn transmission pan gasket. If that seal is not perfectly tight, you will start to leak fluid and that will cause problems. Severe leaks may be caused by a crack or other damage to the transmission pan or housing itself. These are very serious concerns that you will want to get addressed by a transmission specialist.
3. Torque Converter Failure
In automatic transmission vehicles, a torque converter will control the torque between the engine and transmission so that the vehicle can shift properly from gear to gear. It is a very sensitive piece of equipment that can fail over time. If you notice any grinding, shuddering, clunking or vibrations while you drive, it could be the sign of a failing torque converter or some other significant transmission issue.
4. Clutch Failure
In manual transmission vehicle, you have the clutch system that allows you to manually control the shifting between gears. It features several key moving parts that must be working together for a smooth ride. If your clutch pedal is loose or you are having trouble shifting, you will want to get your clutch and other transmission components checked out.
5. Bad Solenoid(s)
Modern automatic transmissions will change gears using solenoid valves that control the flow of transmission fluid. If a solenoid is faulty, you will have trouble shifting into certain gears and it will potentially lead to all sorts of other problems. Bad solenoids should be replaced immediately to prevent more significant transmission damage.
These are just 5 of the most common transmission problems. Obviously, there are a lot more things that can potentially go wrong within your transmission. At the first signs of any transmission trouble (grinding gears, trouble shifting, odd noises, fluid leaks, etc.), you will not want to leave it to chance. If you are in the Modesto area, you can call Ralph’s Transmission at 209.526.1909 to schedule a free transmission inspection. You can also book your appointment online.