Even if you know absolutely nothing about cars, there’s still one word you know is bad when a mechanic says it: “transmission.” Just about anything associated with transmission repair is enough to make your palms sweaty, and you know it’s going to cost big bucks to fix. It’s because the transmission is such a delicate part of your vehicle, but one that’s absolutely essential to its function.
The reason transmission repair tends to cost so much money is because by the time people realize something is wrong, the problem is already severe. In truth, catching transmission troubles early enough can help you avoid these big costs. Here are a few things to watch out for. If you spot them, waste no time in talking with a mechanic in Madison, TN:
- Transmission warning light: In most late-model vehicles, the transmission light looks like a gear with an exclamation point in the middle of it. It might also say “gearbox” underneath it. In older cars, the check engine light is all you’ll have to go by. Some new cars might also say “transmission fault” if there’s a textual display for error codes.
- Strange smells: Burnt smells or “rusty” odors coming from under the car might signal a failing transmission. This is prone to happening if you fail to replace the transmission fluid as specified by the owner’s manual. A mechanic will usually check this at 90,000 miles, and at regular intervals after.
- Leaking fluid: Look under the car. Do you see red spots or red fluid present anywhere? If you do, schedule service immediately! Transmission fluid is red, and if it’s leaking, it means your gearbox is compromised. This could mean anything from friction to contaminants in your transmission, leading to premature failure.
- Grinding sounds: Metal on metal is never a good sound in an automobile, and it’s especially bad when it’s happening as you shift gears. Grinding related to your gearbox means there’s friction involved, and that’s a death sentence for your transmission. Seek transmission repair right away, before grinding gears turn into a dropped transmission.
- Rough shifting: A precursor to grinding, rough shifting indicates the presence of friction and misalignment within the gearbox. If your shifter is sticking or you’re having a hard time putting the car into gear or changing gears, consult an expert.
- Slipping transmission: Transmission systems have a clutch, used to engage gears. Worn transmissions will experience slipping while the clutch is engaged, which can mean literally slipping out of gear! This is a problem that’ll keep happening until you seek transmission repair.
The presence of any of these signs and symptoms doesn’t have to spell immediate doom for your transmission. It’s best to have them evaluated by a mechanic in Madison, TN as quickly as possible, so they can be addressed proactively, before any more harm comes to your transmission. Solutions range from flushing and re-lubricating the gearbox to transmission rebuilding. In any case, it’s worth the proactive approach before you find yourself sidelined by a car with a transmission that won’t engage at all!