An image of a drop plopping into water.A clogged transmission filter is a fairly common transmission problem that we see at Ralph’s Transmission. The problem is that many drivers tend to ignore the warning signs and keep driving until it leads to much more significant (and expensive) transmission damage. At the first sign of any transmission issue, you should get the vehicle checked out by a transmission specialist. You may just be due for standard transmission maintenance (replacing the filter, fluid and pan gasket) and you could prevent major internal damage from happening.

How do you know if your transmission filter is clogged, or if there is some other sort of transmission problem happening? Here are some signs of a clogged transmission filter:

1. Transmission Fluid Leak

A transmission fluid leak is never a good sign. It can happen because of a major problem or a crack in housing, or it could just be a failing pan gasket or clogged filter. If the filter is clogged, then the transmission fluid won’t flow as it is supposed to and that could lead to leaks.

2. Contaminated Transmission Fluid

If you know how to check your own transmission fluid, it is a good idea to do it regularly. You should not only look for the fluid level, but the quality of the fluid itself. If it is dark, burnt, dirty, milky or full of metal shavings, then that is a sign of a bad transmission filter, old fluid that’s no longer effective or some other internal damage that will need to be repaired before it gets worse.

3. Shifting Issues

When the transmission fluid isn’t clean or is blocked by a clogged filter, the internal components won’t have the lubrication they require to function properly. This could lead to shifting issues, grinding gears, slipping transmission or other common symptoms of transmission problems.

4. Strange Noises

Grinding, clunking, rattling and other unpleasant noises can be noticed when the transmission isn’t working right. This could be the result of a clogged filter or internal transmission damage.

5. Unusual Smells

Likewise, you may notice some odd smells. Transmission fluid typically has kind of a sweet, sugary smell, so when it is burning it emits a fairly distinct odor that lets you know the fluid is burnt. Or, the smell can be coming from metal-on-metal grinding of transmission components that are lacking fresh fluid and lubrication.

These are just a few signs that you might have a clogged transmission filter, bad transmission fluid or some sort of internal transmission damage. At the first sign of any transmission issues, bring your vehicle to a transmission expert like Ralph’s Transmission. We are a leading Central Valley transmission specialist and we’ll get to the bottom of any transmission problem.

Call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.

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