4 Telltale Signs of a Failed Transmission

From changing the oil to rotating your tires, there’s a lot of maintenance you need to keep up with as a car owner. Unfortunately, one thing that often goes unnoticed by car owners is a failed transmission. 

The job of your vehicle’s transmission is to make sure the right amount of power goes to the wheels so you can drive at a given speed. It does this by shifting gears in a similar manner that you’d see on a bicycle. 

To keep your vehicle’s transmission running smoothly, you need to change the transmission fluid regularly. However, sometimes changing the transmission fluid isn’t enough. In some cases, transmissions can fail in as little as 100,000 miles. However, with proper care and service, a transmission can last 300,000 miles or more. 

How do you know when your transmission is failing? Read this guide to discover the signs of a failed transmission. 

  1. The Transmission is Slipping 

Both automatic and manual vehicles come with clutch systems that separate and engage new gears. Unfortunately, over time, this system wears down, and your transmission system will begin to slip while changing into the next gear. 

A slipping transmission can also be caused by low fluid pressure, which is a result of low fluid levels, a bad pump, or clogged filters. This is why it’s so important to keep up with your transmission fluid changes. 

  1. Odd Noises 

When your car starts making strange noises, it’s never a good thing. Often, it can be challenging to figure out the source of the problem behind the peculiar noise. The noises will also differ depending on the make and model of the vehicle. 

If you hear a whining, buzzing, humming, or clunking sound, then there’s a good chance your transmission is on the brink of failure. The transmission is composed of hundreds of different parts, so even a worn case can emit a troubling sound. Unfortunately, those noises will eventually lead to transmission failure if not adequately addressed. 

  1. Strange Smells 

In addition to keeping your ears perked for strange noises, you should also keep your nose alert for odd smells. Sometimes, the transmission fluid will leak, and a peculiar, burning odor will accompany it. 

This likely means that your transmission is overheating due to debris in the clutch or a breakdown of metallic components. If you haven’t flushed your transmission fluid or you haven’t serviced your vehicle in over 100,000 miles, this outcome is common. 

At this point, you should definitely take your vehicle to a tranmission repair service

  1. The Warning Light Goes On 

If your transmission warning light goes on, it could be a sign that your transmission is about to fail. Often, when the warning light goes on, it may just mean that your transmission fluid is running low and needs to be changed. 

Or, it could mean that the transmission is burnt out, causing the temperature in your transmission to rise rapidly. 

Failed Transmission: What to Do Next 

Now that you understand the warning signs of a failed transmission, it’s time to figure out what to do next. If you suspect that your transmission is failing, take your vehicle to a professional mechanic to have it inspected. 

And, for more car-related news and tips, check back in with our site. 

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