Taking care of regular auto maintenance means your vehicle has a better chance at not needing costly repairs or falling apart while you drive down the road—this goes for both manual and automatic transmissions. But, while most car owners know when to get the motor oil changed or to have their brakes looked at, many are not aware of the signs of impending transmission failure. The best way to ensure a healthy vehicle is to do your own inspections and know what to watch for, as well as schedule regular vehicle checkups.
Let’s ask an expert auto mechanic in Madison, TN about the signs that might point to a need for transmission repairs:
- Dashboard warning lights: The purpose of your dashboard indicator icons lighting up is to give you an early warning of possible issues. Some car owners may dismiss activated dashboard warning lights because of the age of their vehicle. The thought may be that the car is old and constantly malfunctioning, so the transmission temperature light coming on is attributed to its quirks. But don’t be fooled! There could be a serious transmission problem brewing.
- Fluid leaks: Some types of fluid leaks are normal, such as a small amount of used coolant leaving a little puddle under your vehicle. However, transmission leaks, big or small, are not normal and they need to be addressed immediately by an auto mechanic in Madison, TN. Excessive transmission fluid leaking under the hood or trailing underneath the vehicle can be damaging, and it is also hazardous to the environment.
- Transmission slips: If you are experiencing transmission slips in an automatic drive, you should stop the vehicle as soon as you can. Automatic transmissions are supposed to shift gears on their own as the speedometer rises, so be wary of any other actions, such as gears changing at random or switching between higher and lower gears. Loud hissing or whining and changes in motor pitch may accompany transmission slips. Also be aware of acceleration issues, loss of power or a struggling engine, as these are other common signs of a dying transmission.
- Strange sounds: A malfunctioning transmission system is likely to produce strange sounds from within. While automatic drives might fall victim to transmission slips, manual shifts with transmission problems have been known to experience gear grinding, as well as the stick shift popping out of gear when the car is in motion. If your gears are popping out of place, that could be both a transmission and a clutch issue. Schedule an inspection to avoid totally destroying your transmission.
- Unusual odors: Like motor oil lubricates working engine parts, transmission fluid lubricates transmission parts, which is necessary to keep the system from overheating. First, know that a burning odor that’s not related to motor oil is a red flag. Healthy transmission fluid typically smells a bit tart and sweet. If unusual odors are lingering, it’s important to find out if the fluid needs to be flushed, then have the transmission inspected for damage.
If you need a reliable, trustworthy auto mechanic in Madison, TN, look no further than Madison Muffler & Auto Repair. Call today to schedule an appointment!