Signs Your Car’s Transmission is Failing

Everything You Need to Know about Transmissions
Transmissions distribute power to your vehicle’s wheels. Like the chains on a bicycle, transmissions are what switch your car into high gear when you need it and take you back down when you’re done. It’s an extremely important part of your car, and you should monitor your transmission as closely as you do the oil in your car.

To help you understand your car’s transmission, here are tips on troubleshooting transmission problems, as well as information on transmission fluid.

Transmissions can fail for a lot of reasons: overheating, slipping gears, or too little transmission fluid. Here are symptoms of a failing transmission:

How do I tell if my transmission is slipping?

When your transmission slips into a different gear on its own, it’s time to have it checked out. It’s often accompanied by a change in engine pitch or an engine whine.

Another sign your transmission is slipping is if it feels like its struggling to accelerate, feels underpowered, or isn’t accelerating as it typically does. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to find a car repair shop near you. If you’re in Illinois, stop by one of HEART’s locations in Wilmette, Northbrook or Evanston for car repair.

Why won’t my car shift easily?

If your car is refusing or struggling to shift gears, it’s almost certainly a problem with its transmission. Maybe you’ll hear a chunk or thud like sound when shifting, or your car doesn’t accelerate quickly. Whatever the symptoms, it’s best to contact a car repair shop as soon as possible.

What if there’s a delay after shifting into a new gear?

Sometimes you’ll shift gears, and it takes a bit longer than usual for your car to engage. You’ll shift into drive from park, for example, and need to wait a few seconds for the engine to rev. That’s a strong indication that you need to have your transmission checked. It could be that the transmission fluid is too hot or is in another way degraded. If you experience gear slippage, stop by HEART Certified Auto Care and ask their ASE certified mechanics to diagnose the problem.

What is that strange smell in my car?

Transmission fluid typically smells sweet or tart. If you start to smell a slight burning odor, that means your transmission fluid may be overheated, becoming thinner and less effective. This transformation can happen due to stop and go traffic, if you’re pulling heavy materials, driving long distances, or traveling down steep terrains. Whatever the cause, it can lead to rough, slow, or incomplete shifts, which can cause serious accidents. If you smell a strange odor in your car, stop by a trusted auto repair professional as soon as possible.

What happens if I don’t change my transmission fluid?

Transmission fluid does more than lubricate. It keeps the transmission system cool and is essential to transmitting power from the engine. Not changing your transmission fluid can lead to the overheating of your transmission system, slow or incomplete shifting, or complete engine breakdown. That’s why it’s important to change your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. Save yourself the hassle and have it done at one of HEART Certified Auto Care’s three Chicago area locations today!

Why is my transmission making strange noises?

Manual transmissions and automatic transmissions make distinct noises when they aren’t working correctly. If you hear a “thud” or “chunk,” or a strange whining, buzzing, or humming sound when shifting, take your car in for a transmission check. With automatic transmissions, if you can feel the shifting, there’s probably a problem. Solve it quickly and correctly at one of HEART Certified Auto Care’s convenient locations in Evanston, Wilmette, or Northbrook, Illinois.

Transmission Fluid

Not as well-known as engine oil, transmission fluid’s just as important to your car’s health. The transmission fluid is the liquid that keeps the transmission moving smoothly and effectively between gears and is vitally important to you and your car’s safety. Here are tips on when to change your transmission fluid, how to tell if your transmission fluid’s failing, and checking your transmission fluid.

How often should I change my transmission fluid?

Unlike engine oil that burns up over time, transmission fluid remains fairly level. But it should still be changed about every 30,000-60,000 miles. If you drive a lot, you may want to change it more often, around every 15,000 miles. Also, transmissions rarely leak, so if you’ve noticed any pink fluid below your car, be sure to consult a car repair mechanic right away.

How do I check my transmission fluid?

Transmission fluid should be checked every six months. For manual transmissions, it’s best to have a professional hoist the car and check the transmission fluid. For automatic transmissions, your transmission fluid dipstick is in the front, near the oil dipstick.

First step, turn on the car and leave in park. Let the engine warm a bit. Then pull out the transmission fluid dipstick and read the levels. If it’s lower than “full” or “add,” you can top off, just as you would oil. But don’t overfill!

If the transmission fluid is very low, clear, or smells burned, it’s time for a car repair professional to flush the system. We’ll do it in no time flat at HEART, where 98% of our service is same day. come to HEART Certified Auto Care for a transmission fluid change.

How do I tell if my transmission fluid needs changing, and what color should it be?
Transmission fluid should be pinkish and almost translucent or semitransparent. If yours is brown or smells burned, then it’s time for a transmission fluid change at one of HEART’s locations in Northbrook, Evanston or Wilmette.