If you’ve ever driven a manual transmission vehicle, you’ll know that problems tend to be obvious and can be reduced by changing your own driving habits. With an automatic transmission system, it may be harder to detect problems before they become major – and expensive – issues.
We’ve put together some warning signs that could indicate problems, because prevention costs less than the cure.
- Does your engine rev when you step on the gas?
- Is there a delay before the car starts moving forward from drive position?
- Does the gearshift feel less smooth?
- Do you hear any thudding or clunking sounds when the car shifts gear?
- Does your car feel as if it has too much power or too little power at odd times?
- Does the engine make a whining noise or is there a change in its normal pitch?
These signs that your transmission may be slipping need immediate attention. If you experience any of these – with or without a warning light on your dashboard – have it seen to by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
There are many reasons why your transmission could slip or fail, often related to the fluid that is the lifeblood of your transmission system. You don’t have to be an auto expert to run through this checklist:
- Check your car’s transmission fluid at least once a month.
- New fluid is pinkish in colour, burnt or dirty fluid is brown or black.
- Burnt fluid is a red flag – check the smell as well as the colour.
- Ensure the fluid levels aren’t low by using the transmission dipstick.
- There should be no leaks. Any leak suggests a gap somewhere.
- Insufficient fluid leads to overheating.