Nov 11 2016

Your Guide to Transmission Problems

19575031 - detail of gearbox gearsEach component of your car plays a uniquely vital role, even if you don’t understand too much about them. The transmission is one such part that is absolutely critical to your car’s wellbeing, so it’s important to understand how it works and the signs that it might need to be repaired. The more efficiently you are able to identify transmission problems, the easier and less expensive the repairs will be. Basic Facts About the Transmission Your car’s transmission is connected to the back of the engine in order to send power from the engine to the wheels. When the transmission properly delivers that power, the wheels can spin at a speed that is best for the engine. Cars today are either equipped with a manual or automatic transmission, with most leaning toward automatic since they are deemed easier to use. The Functions of an Automatic Transmission Hydraulic, electrical, and computer systems come together to form the transmission unit, which converts the engine’s force into a controlled and reliable source of power that gets the wheels turning on the ground. You can think of the transmission as the middleman between the engine and the wheels. It is responsible for converting the intense power from the engine into a rotational force called torque that is transferred to the axles that rotate your tires. Symptoms of Transmission Issues It’s important to regularly maintenance your transmission, just like your oil, in order to keep it functioning at optimal levels. As your transmission undergoes more wear and tear over time, especially the intense heat and friction that result from its many interacting parts, major issues are hard to avoid. A lack of response is your first sign that your transmission might be struggling. A pause or delay before the gears engage as you shift into drive or reverse, for example, indicates a problem. Whining, clunking, and humming are also warning signs, though the exact sounds vary between makes and models. As a rule, if your car is making an unusual sound, it’s always wise to head into the mechanic. It’s also possible that your transmission will make a burning smell, which signifies overheating transmission parts. Since transmission fluid keeps the many moving parts lubricated and cooled, low fluid levels can wreak havoc and lead to that awful burning smell. Don’t ignore any of these signs. Head to your local mechanic to have your transmission serviced and keep your car running for many miles to come.