If you own a modern car with an automatic transmission, then it is vital that you know the early signs that signal a transmission problem. There are three things you may notice while driving your vehicle that are early signs of transmission issues, including each of the following:
Sign #1: Car Shakes or Moves Strangely When Changing From One Gear to Another
When you are accelerating your car and the clutch activates to shift the transmission from one gear to another, the process should be smooth. While you will feel the car's engine rev up and shift, you should not feel any shaking, jerking, or side-to-side movement when this happens. In a car that has a clutch that is starting to fail, you will start feeling movement when it shifts from one gear to another. If you are feeling anything other than a natural drop in RPMs as your vehicle shifts, then you should have the clutch checked out by a transmission shop in your local area.
Sign #2: You Have Problems Shifting the Vehicle Into Reverse or Drive
When you start your vehicle and put it into reverse or drive to start moving, the car should easily shift into gear. If the vehicle does not want to go into gear and you find that you are having to move the shifter around a lot to get the transmission to move into the correct gear, then this is a clear sign of a failing transmission. The gears in your car's transmission have teeth on them, and when the teeth are starting to wear, it can cause problems with shifting from one gear to another. To fix this problem, a transmission shop will need to take the gears out of your transmission and replace them with new ones.
Sign #3: Burning Transmission Fluid
Your car's transmission has a lubricating oil that keeps its gears and clutch moving freely. When the transmission is having problems with either part, then the transmission fluid will burn due to the excessive friction and heat in the transmission. You will be able to smell the burning fluid after driving your car. If you smell something burning but do not notice anything leaking from your car, take a look into the transmission fluid reservior. Is there fluid inside of it, and what is the color of the fluid? Transmission fluid has red dye in it and should appear a nice pink color in the reservoir. If the fluid is brown or black or if it has metal particles floating in it, then this is a sign of a major transmission problem that requires immediate attention.