Your vehicle has many different warning lights and sensors. The newer the car, truck or SUV, the more advanced its computer system. Some vehicles can provide you with very specific messages to let you know what is wrong. Older vehicles may not be so specific. One of the most of common warning lights to illuminate on your dashboard is the “check engine” light. It can come on for any number of reasons, including problems not really related to your engine at all.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

The check engine light can come on if you have engine problems, low motor oil, exhaust system issues, a bad oxygen sensor and many other automotive concerns. It can also illuminate when you have a transmission problem. Many customers who visit Ralph’s Transmission looking for a transmission inspection and diagnostic testing report that their check engine light is on. However, they can tell from driving—or from inspections at other auto shops—that it’s actually a transmission issue.

Signs of Transmission Problems

There are many different signs of transmission problems. You could notice a transmission fluid leak under the vehicle. Acceleration may feel unusually sluggish. You could hear strange sounds (clunks, vibrations, gears grinding, etc.).You might have trouble shifting into certain gears. Or, the vehicle tends to slip out of gear when driving. All of these are clear signs that there is probably a transmission issue that you should get checked out. The sooner you can catch and fix the problem, the less likely you are to have major internal transmission damage that will be more costly to repair.

Transmission Warning Lights

Most vehicles also have transmission-specific warning lights and computer messages. There will be a transmission temperature gauge. If it is running hot, you will want to get your transmission system inspected as soon as possible. An overheating transmission is a very bad sign that something significant is wrong. And, of course, a transmission problem can also trip the check engine light. This warning signal is essentially a “catch all” that will illuminate for both minor and major automotive issues.

What to Do if the Check Engine Light is On

If your check engine light comes on and you aren’t noticing any transmission problems like noted above, you’ll probably want to take your vehicle to a general auto repair shop for diagnostic testing. If they find a transmission concern, you may want to visit a transmission specialist. If that check engine light is flashing or bright red in color, that generally means there is a serious problem that requires immediate attention. In this case, you should avoid driving your vehicle and call for roadside assistance.

If your check engine light comes on in conjunction with signs of transmission problems (weak acceleration, fluid leaks, shifting issues, etc.) then you may want to visit Ralph’s Transmission first. We can run free diagnostics and perform an external inspection of the transmission. If it appears there is a major transmission problem, we can dig deeper with a thorough internal inspection to get to the source of the damage.

Your vehicle will generally let you know when something is wrong. It’s best not to ignore your check engine light or other warning messages. Catch minor problems before they evolve into major issues.

For all your Central Valley transmission inspection, maintenance and repair needs, call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.

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