From grinding and popping to jerking and shaking, several odd engine sounds and vehicle movements can indicate the need for transmission repair on your vehicle. If you begin to notice some of the following common symptoms, you'll want to get your car seen by a qualified mechanic immediately. These types of problems never get better with time, and replacement parts are often extremely expensive!
One of the first warning signs is trouble shifting. If your car shifts roughly or absolutely refuses to shift into gear, you should take it to a car shop immediately for evaluation. Many times, unusual noises begin to occur during driving. The gears may grind as they shift or you may hear a loud humming or buzzing as you accelerate to highway speeds.
Besides weird noises, your car may begin to make some strange movements also. It may jerk as you shift gears or shake as you speed up. Since it's your car, you'll be the first to notice these strange movements. Explain them to the technician along with any other odd symptoms.
Another early indication is leaking fluid. The fluid is typically a pinkish color. It's designed to move throughout the equipment constantly, and doesn't need to be replaced often. If you notice a pinkish or brownish colored liquid leaking under your car, check the fluid level. If it's low, you'll need to take it in immediately so the mechanic can find out where the leak is coming from and replace the lost fluid. Since it's designed to lubricate and cool mechanical parts that would otherwise become very hot, low fluid should never be ignored.
If the check engine light on your car's dashboard lights up, you should always take the car in to be seen and evaluated by a professional. The check engine light is designed to illuminate when something in the engine is not running smoothly and it may indicate a problem with the transmission as well. Usually the mechanic will obtain printed information from your vehicle's computer which gives him a clue to the problem.
A final indication is a burnt smell coming from your engine. You may smell it while you're driving or you may notice it when you get out of the car after a drive. This smell can be caused by overheating fluid. Once again, check to see the color and level of the fluid. If it's low or is assuming a brownish color, you will probably need to have some transmission repair work done along with replacing the fluid. The fact that the fluid is overheating indicates that the various mechanical parts aren't moving smoothly together. Instead they're rubbing roughly and causing friction, which causes the heat that overheats the fluid and turns it the burnt brown color.
If you begin experiencing problems with your transmission, it's important that you take your car in to be seen by a professional as soon as possible. Transmission repair is much less expensive than getting the entire part replaced.