A man with soft, white gloves adjusts components in a vehicle.At Ralph’s Transmission, we’ve seen every type of transmission damage you can imagine. There are so many sensitive mechanical components inside your vehicle’s transmission, and even the slightest weakness or failure can lead to significant damage to the entire system. It’s best to recognize that you may have a transmission problem. At the first sign of transmission failure, you should bring your vehicle into a transmission specialist for professional diagnosis and repairs. You may be able to save a lot of money and headaches by catching minor problems before they turn into major ones!

Here are 10 common signs of a failing transmission:

1. Unresponsiveness

The most obvious sign of transmission trouble is when the transmission won’t engage into certain gears. You may not be able to drive at all. This could be a hydraulic issue or mechanical damage inside the transmission. Either way, you can request a free tow to Ralph’s Transmission and get your transmission inspected.

2. Transmission Fluid Issues

Your transmission fluid can tell you a lot about the health of your transmission. If you notice a fluid leak, that is a definite sign that something is wrong. Low fluid levels or fluid that is burnt or full of dirt, grease, water or metal shavings are also signs that there could be a problem. You may just be overdue for a transmission maintenance service or there could be significant internal damage.

3. Sluggish Acceleration

If your vehicle feels unusually sluggish when you accelerate, it could be the transmission. Many people mistakenly assume that this is an engine or fuel system problem, but it is often the transmission system.

4. Slipping Gears

The vehicle may have a tendency to slip out of gear while you are driving. When the transmission won’t stay engaged in the desired gear, it is cause for concern.

5. Unusual Sounds

Your senses can tell you a lot about your transmission. If you hear any unusual grinding, clunking or rattling sounds, it could be your transmission or something else wrong with your vehicle like a damaged motor mount or exhaust system problems.

6. Unusual Smells

Likewise, you should pay attention anytime you smell something odd. Burning smells are often associated with transmission issues, usually coming from the gears grinding because of a lack of fluid or some kind of internal damage.

7. Unusual Feelings

Grinding gears, jerking, shaking, slipping gears and sluggish acceleration are all physical indicators that there may be a problem within your transmission. If you feel anything out of the ordinary, it’s smart to get your vehicle checked out as soon as you can.

8. Check Engine Light

The check engine light is a catch-all for many different automotive problems. Transmission issues can often trip this sensor, or you may have a more transmission-specific warning light or message that alerts you something isn’t right. Take all warnings seriously. Today’s vehicles are very advanced and will let you know when there is a possible problem.

9. Clutch Problems

When you drive a manual transmission vehicle, you can usually tell when there is a transmission problem when your clutch doesn’t react normally. If you are experiencing any trouble shifting or the clutch pedal itself is extra stiff or loose, you’ll want to get it checked out. It could be the transmission or something wrong with one or more of the clutch components.

10. Noises or Vibrations While in Neutral

Many transmission issues will only reveal themselves as you are driving. Sometimes, you feel them more while in neutral. Common signs of problems include vibrating, shaking or unusual noises when the vehicle is in neutral.

If you are in the Central Valley and notice any of these problems or anything else that has you concerned about your transmission, call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909. You can bring in your vehicle for a free transmission diagnostics check and external inspection. We’ll let you know if we find any transmission or drivetrain problems, big or small. You can also book your service appointment online.

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