How to Care for Your Car's Transmission and Recognize Signs of Repair

8 February 2024
 Categories: , Blog


Your car's transmission is a crucial part of the vehicle's powertrain that ensures the right amount of power is delivered to your wheels to drive at a given speed. Similar to your vehicle’s engine, it requires proper care to function optimally for the life of your car. Neglecting the transmission can result in costly repairs or even the entire transmission needing to be replaced. 

Regular Transmission Maintenance

Change the Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid acts as a lubricant and coolant for the moving parts inside your transmission. Over time, this fluid breaks down and loses its protective properties. Always refer to your owner's manual for the correct interval to change your transmission fluid. Do not neglect this crucial service, as it could save you from more significant transmission problems down the road.

Inspect for Leaks

Consistently check the area beneath your parked car for signs of transmission fluid. A reddish-brown puddle could indicate a leak, which not only means you’re losing fluid but also could be a sign of a more severe issue.

Keep an Eye on Transmission Overheating

Just like an overheating engine can cause damage, an overheating transmission is bad news. Towing heavy loads or driving in stop-and-go traffic can put a strain on your transmission. If you notice a burning smell or the transmission slipping or shifting roughly, these could be signs of overheating problems. Pull over and allow the transmission to cool if you suspect this is happening, and don’t ignore the issue.

Recognizing Signs of a Failing Transmission

Gear Slippage

Your vehicle might "slip" in and out of gear as you drive, or the engine may seem to rev up for no reason while you’re maintaining speed. This is both a safety hazard and a clear sign of transmission trouble.

Delayed Engagement

When you shift into drive or reverse and there's a noticeable pause before the car "kicks in," it’s a sign something is wrong.

Strange Noises

Unusual humming, whining, or clunking noises coming from your car could be a sign of worn or damaged gears or other transmission issues.

Dragging Clutch

If you have a manual transmission, a dragging clutch is when the clutch pedal fails to disengage the clutch plates completely. This can lead to grinding gears and difficulty shifting.

Warning Lights

Your car’s dashboard is equipped with various warning lights. A check engine light or a specific transmission-related light could indicate a problem.

By regularly monitoring and maintaining your car's transmission, you can prevent many common issues and protect your investment. Remember that if you detect any of the warning signs, address them promptly to avoid more severe and costly problems.

Learn more from a transmission shop near you like Denville Transmission