Apr 03 2014

Common Transmission Problems

The transmission is a very fine-tuned instrument, and is vital to an engine running correctly. However, this makes the transmission a fairly delicate part and prone to a variety of problems, particularly in older vehicles. Although the nature of these problems vary greatly, several types of problems are the most common.

Frequently Encountered Issues

By far, the most common transmission problem is the simplest one: a low level of transmission fluid, possibly resulting from a leak. Many car owners don’t bother to regularly check the transmission fluid, but doing so can prevent potential driving problems later on.

A low level of transmission fluid can result in gear slipping or unusually slow shifting of gears. Usually, a transmission fluid flush and refill will fix this issue.

Another common problem is an issue with the torque converter, which is an important part of the transmission. Specifically, the needle bearing in the torque converter, which is key to its functionality, can become worn or damaged in the process of driving. This can result in unsettling driving experiences, as the vehicle will often make a loud noise when starting and when shifting gears. To fix this, replacing the needle bearing is necessary.

A third common issue with transmissions is problems with the solenoid. The solenoid is a part of the transmission responsible for directing the flow of transmission fluid. Sometimes, solenoids will become jammed or partially blocked, resulting in a reduced flow of fluid and potentially other electronic problems. The symptoms of this can resemble the symptoms of a transmission fluid leak; if you check and there is no leak, the problem will likely be with the solenoid.

Nip Those Problems in the Bud

These are a few common problems, but there are a wide variety of potential transmission problems. A transmission diagnostic from a professional can often determine the exact problem as well as the route of repair.