If you thought going to automatic transmission from manual, has freed you from all the worries regarding transmission, then not only you are grossly wrong, you may already be brewing serious trouble for yourself by being negligent towards the shifting mechanism condition of the car.
Yes, it is true that automatic transmission does away with your shifting worries while on the move, but you still need to worry for the health of your car’s transmission. Automatic transmission in fact demands more attention, as it is a much more complex unit than manual.
Adding to the woes is the fact that automatic transmission problems are generally expensive: much more than manual. So don’t even think of ignoring them.. The more you do, the lighter will be your wallet afterwards.
It is important to keep up a regular maintenance schedule for your car. Many times major expensive repairs can be avoided if the vehicle is properly maintained. This is especially true if you notice something unusual. The car should be taken in immediately for service.
Brushing up on your knowledge of transmissions (at least the basics) pays highly as it can save you from costly inspections, and also making you aware enough to avoid being over-repaired, over charged or simply ripped off.
Here are five signs of transmission problems you should not ignore:
1. Transmission Slipping
If you’re experiencing automatic transmission slipping, it can feel like you’re driving in a certain gear and then it changes for no apparent reason. The noise from the engine may change in pitch or start to sound like whining.
Your car may also seem like it is struggling; is suddenly underpowered; or isn’t accelerating like it should.
2. Rough Shifts
Your car may feel like refusing to shift gears the way it normally does, or the shifts don’t feel very smooth. Sometimes you can hear a noticeable “clunk” or “thud” when the car shifts gears. You may also notice the car has difficulty getting up to speed.
3. Delayed Engagement
If this symptom occurs, you’ll notice a delay before the car actually engages into drive and starts moving forward. When you shift out of “P” mode, into “D,” there may be a long pause where the engine revs as you give it gas, but the car does not move forward as it should.
4. Fluid Leak
Transmissions are generally sealed units that should never leak fluid. If you notice leak spots on your driveway or garage floor, lay down cardboard under your car in the front and middle to determine if there are any active leaks.
If your transmission is leaking, the fluid is bright red, but may also be a dark red or brown - visit your auto service shop immediately. Before refilling any transmission fluid; factory specifications should be checked and followed. Using a wrong grade or overfilling could further aggravate the problem instead of solving it.
5. Transmission Warning Light
A warning light alone, like the “check engine” light, typically does not mean you have a transmission problem, but if any of the above symptoms are occurring in conjunction with an illuminated warning, have it diagnosed by a professional.
A warning light typically means the computer is generating an error code that can be checked with a shop’s diagnostic equipment. For transmissions specifically, “P0700” is a code that can indicate a general transmission problem.
More next time. Be safe.