Top 10 most common transmission problems – Part 1

So, over the course of our time in business we have served a lot of customers, so what are most common ailments that affect the cars of our customers? This section focuses on the top ten most common problems that occur with the transmission.  This is just part one too, phew. So here are the first 5 in the transmission series. Please note they aren’t in a specific order.

Your car’s transmission is a very complicated system, with literally many moving parts in it, that each interact with others around them. The transmission manages the distribution and supply of power from the engine to the wheels via the driveshaft. Therefore you can see why it is such a vital part of your car to keep a close eye on when it comes to spotting issues early.

1 – Fluids – low levels or leaking

A leak is usually pretty easy to spot… literally, on your driveway or parking space. There are several potential culprits but if you can eliminate engine oil then it will most likely be transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is ordinarily part of a contained system, and it doesn’t get burnt up like engine oil will, so any fluid outside of the transmission housing points directly to a leak. Please refer to our guide on checking your fluids for more details.

2 – No response or a delay

You change gear but instead of an instant response there is a noticeable delay in the gear engaging, this might also be coupled with a surge in RPMs before the gear catches. If this happens and the RPMs have built up then you may get a jerk forward as the clutch engages with the gear. Either one of these could mean your clutch is worn and both mean you should seek assistance as soon as possible.

3- Strange noises

Whirring noises, humming and clunking – none of these were designed into your car to make it sound good. Also, if everything is working correctly you won’t hear any of these – so if one does suddenly appear then it’s a sign to get things checked out by a professional. A clunking noise when you change almost certainly points to a problem with your transmission – give us a call!

4- Smells…

Can you smell burning? Well it’s obvious that you shouldn’t be able to smell burning so there is something wrong. Again, one of the main culprits here is usually engine oil (unless you have been hammering your clutch particularly hard?) but once you have eliminated this from your enquiries it could be transmission fluid that is causing the olfactory offence. Although as mentioned the transmission is a closed system, the fluid can be subject to overheating, causing the burning smells. If this is the case then the fluid will need to be replaced. Why? Because if it is overheated to the point where it burns then the efficiency is vastly reduced, therefore your transmission is not as effective at lubricating, which will cause problems with many components.

5- Refusing

The last point in the first instalment is when you notice the gearbox refusing to engage a gear. This could be caused by a number of links in the chain – perhaps the wrong grade/viscosity of transmission fluid, low fluid levels, cables and linkage parts – but finding the issue will need the assistance of a mechanic, so get in touch so we can help.

Well there’s part one- stay tuned for part 2 where we will address the remaining 5 of the top ten issues that affect the transmission.