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Diagnosing Transmission Problems

Posted by on 12/3/2013 to Diagnostics
There are several signs to look for when your transmission starts acting up, and it is important to catch these problems early to avoid potentially serious damage and costly repairs. Diagnosing automatic transmission problems begins with knowing whether you have an automatic or manual transmission. Generally, manual transmissions are simpler and have fewer moving parts, subsequently resulting in lower repair costs. This distinction is important because transmission problem symptoms differ between the two types, and can often indicate different problems. One quick way to diagnose automatic transmission problems is to look for the check engine light. If it’s lit up, it’s always a good idea to get it diagnosed, as this little light could indicate a wide range of issues ranging from trivial to an imminent malfunction. If your car is hesitating or flat out refusing to go into gear when you try to shift, this is a serious problem; an automatic transmission should always shift immediately when it is supposed to. With a manual transmission, a delay after shifting accompanied by increasing RPMs without a corresponding increase in speed may indicate a clutch that is in need of replacement. Another transmission problem symptom to keep an eye out for (and this also applies to general car maintenance, not just to transmissions) are fluid leaks. Whenever you back out of a parking space, check for any fluid on the ground that may have come from your vehicle. Automatic transmission fluid in particular is bright red in color, so if you see any of this, it may indicate a leak. Even if a leak is not present, it’s a good idea to routinely check your transmission fluid level and make sure it is at the appropriate level. Proactive preventative maintenance is important as it will help keep you safe and cut down on expensive repairs.

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