If you think your car may have a problem with its transmission, it pays to be able to know how to diagnose the problem yourself before taking it to the shop. After all, while you may not be trained to rectify the issue, it doesn't hurt to arm yourself with some mechanical knowledge in the process. Take a look at three common transmission problems below and how you can recognize them before they become even worse.
Low Fluid Levels
Transmission fluid is what keeps your transmission lubricated and functioning properly. Failing to regularly check your transmission fluid levels can lead to significant transmission damage and even more significant repair costs. To check your fluid levels, simply open the hood of your vehicle with the ignition off and remove the dipstick behind the engine labeled "Transmission." Wipe the dipstick clean with a rag before reinserting it and then, after waiting a couple of seconds, pull it out again. The fluid levels should be within the marked range on the dipstick and should be bright red in color. If the fluid is brown or smells faintly of smoke, take your car to a local mechanic to have the fluid and transmission filter changed.
Gear Shift Failure
If you own a modern car and suddenly discover that it refuses to shift into gear, low or old transmission fluid may be the culprit. But if you've already performed the task outlined above, there is a good chance that the vehicle's computer system has temporarily malfunctioned. To reset your vehicle's electronic computer system, simply detach the battery, wait thirty minutes, and reconnect it. After waiting for the system to reset, try to shift gears again. If the transmission continues to fail after engaging the clutch, you'll need to contact a mechanic.
Noisy In Neutral
If you hear noises that sound strange or particularly worrisome while in neutral gear, it may be that there's something wrong with your vehicle's transmission. As mentioned in the previous two examples, checking the level, color and smell of the transmission fluid should be the first thing you do. But if all's well with the fluid, it may be that the transmission needs some parts replaced. In this case, an old reverse idler gear or bearings are usually at fault. If you have a mechanic replace these parts shortly after noticing the noises, it will save you from having to purchase a brand-new transmission.
If you're looking for an auto service in your area that provides transmission repair, visit World Class Transmission Service.