The image of an automatic shifter in a car.When everything is working right with your transmission and your vehicle is shifting smoothly, you won’t even notice it. There’s nothing to think about until you start experiencing some shifting problems. Those who drive manual transmission trucks and other vehicles may notice any differences in shifting a little easier than drivers of automatic or CVT transmissions. However, you should start to feel it pretty quickly if there is something wrong with your transmission. Any slight delays or problems with your automatic shifting should catch your attention.

Signs of Transmission Trouble

Ideally, you will want to deal with any transmission trouble as early as possible. This can help you catch minor problems before they develop into something much worse. Replacing the transmission fluid or a worn gasket will be much simpler—and cheaper—than having to replace or rebuild the entire transmission when it starts to fail. Here are a few common shifting issues you can look out for when driving:

  • Grinding Gears
  • Sluggish Acceleration
  • Clunks, Vibrations and Strange Noises
  • Slipping Out of Gear
  • Not Going into Certain Gears
  • Unusually High RPMs During Acceleration

Transmission Maintenance

One of the best ways to keep your transmission healthy and shifting smoothly is to keep up with routine transmission maintenance. Your transmission fluid, filter and pan gasket should be replaced every 30,000-60,000 miles. This interval can vary based on your vehicle age, vehicle model, driving habits, weather, road/traffic conditions, steep grades and other factors. You want to keep clean transmission fluid running through the system to provide the necessary lubrication and hydraulic functions. Signs of transmission trouble may just mean you are overdue for a transmission service. Otherwise, follow your mechanic or dealership’s recommendations for a consistent transmission maintenance schedule. Your transmission fluid level and quality should be checked with every automotive service visit. It is often the most important indicator of transmission health and performance.

Don’t Wait to Deal with Transmission Problems

If you do notice any symptoms of transmission issues above, don’t ignore the problem(s). Waiting too long will only make things worse as components inside the transmission wear out, get damaged and start to fail. One small problem often leads to multiple bigger problems. Before long, you could be looking at a very expensive transmission repair/replacement service. At the first sign of any transmission trouble, have your vehicle checked out by a transmission expert. You may be able to save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.

In the Central Valley, Ralph’s Transmission is your most trusted transmission specialist. If you are experiencing shifting issues or just want to take care of routine transmission maintenance needs, call our Modesto shop today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.

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