No vehicle owner wants to hear that his or her transmission needs repairs. After all, the transmission is the second most important component of a vehicle, behind the engine. However, not all transmission issues are expensive to repair. Some only require a minor adjustment or a new hose. The secret is getting your vehicle to the garage in a timely fashion so that you don't compound the problem. Contrary to what we would all love to hope, few (if any) transmission problems fix themselves.
Common transmission issues
1. Your vehicle won't go into gear or hesitates when going into gear. A vehicle that won't shift easily into gear is perhaps the most common transmission problem. This can be caused by a number of issues, from a complete transmission failure to simply needing additional transmission fluid added to the vehicle.
2. The automatic transmission fluid is leaking. Transmission fluid is a burnt red color and smells somewhat sweet. If you see a reddish puddle in your driveway, it's a good sign that your transmission fluid is leaking. This is usually due to a hole in the transmission line. On most newer vehicles, the transmission fluid has to be added by a mechanic. There isn't a reservoir and dipstick like there is with the brake fluid and motor oil.
3. You hear a whirring or buzzing noise. A buzzing or whirring noise coming from the engine, especially when you are changing gears, is another sure sign that something's wrong with the transmission. When you find yourself saying, "I haven't heard that sound before," it's time to call your mechanic for an appointment.
4. You notice a burnt smell coming from your engine. Although this can be an indicator of several problems, one of the most common causes of a burnt smell is an overheating transmission. It's the transmission fluid getting scorched that you smell. This problem, too, needs to be evaluated by a good mechanic.
5. Your vehicle shakes when it goes into gear. All vehicles are designed so that they advance smoothly from one gear to the next. If your vehicle jerks or shakes between first and second gear or between second and third, there's likely an issue with your transmission.
If you're experiencing one of these common transmission problems, it's time to call your local mechanic—such as Integrity Transmission & Auto Service Center—for an appointment. He or she can evaluate the problem and let you know your repair options before the issue causes more damage and becomes even more expensive to repair.