Transmission problems are terrifying! Even to most mechanics, automatic transmissions are boxes of magic and mystery, so when they malfunction, often the only recommendation you’ll get is to replace the entire transmission because they are so difficult to understand and repair. Luckily, most transmissions that are having problems or failing give you some warning signs that are actually an insight into what is going on inside your transmission. If you pay attention to these signs, you might have a better idea of what’s going on and what repairs are needed

In the garage, we talk through a lot of problems your vehicle might have and how to identify them and get them fixed. Join me, Clark, in the garage for this episode where we’ll different signs of transmission problems, what they mean, and how to get them fixed!

Signs of Transmission Problems:

  • Hard or harsh shifting
  • Slow or hanging shifting
  • Stuck in neutral
  • Whining or humming

Hard or Harsh Shifting

If your vehicle seems like it’s slamming into gear or jerking your neck every time it shifts there could be a few different problems. First, there could be a problem with the line pressure in your transmission. Your transmission uses pressurized fluid to move components in your transmission to actually change the gears, so if that fluid pressure is too high or isn’t being modulated correctly by the shift solenoid it can cause harsh shifts. You can check that fluid pressure with a gauge if your transmission has a pressure port or by using a scan tool that can access your transmission’s sensors. A more common cause of harsh shifting is a low transmission fluid level so you can also try checking that. If you find a low fluid level, add BlueDevil Transmission Sealer and the manufacturer’s recommended transmission fluid to top off your system and seal the leak.

Slow or Hanging Shifting

If your transmission is slow to shift or hangs in a gear, it could be due to a broken sensor like a vehicle speed sensor. If your transmission’s computer it getting the wrong information, it will make poor choices for when and how to shift. Broken sensors will usually trigger a check engine light and can be found using a code reader. Hanging shifts are when you feel the transmission shift into the next gear but it takes a moment for your engine RPM to drop. This can be caused by a low transmission fluid pressure, which you can diagnose as described above, or can be caused by worn shift components. Worn shift components can be very difficult to diagnose without opening up the transmission and physically inspecting things. On the rare occasion, you can drain the transmission fluid and find friction material in the fluid which would confirm worn shift components.

Stuck in Neutral

One of the biggest letdowns is shifting your transmission into gear only to have nothing happen. If your transmission is extremely low on fluid it can cause this problem as the transmission can’t make enough pressure to move the components into gear. If this is the case, check for large leaks like a broken transmission cooler line. Another cause of extremely low fluid pressure could be a broken transmission fluid pump which would throw metal shavings into the transmission fluid and should be visible on the dipstick. If either of these were the case, neither drive or reverse would work. If only the shift solenoid for reverse or first gear has failed, it could cause this problem as well and would only effect that gear.

Whining or Humming

Much like the sound of a failing power steering pump, a failing transmission fluid pump can start to whine. In this case, the sound would come from the transmission at the back of your engine rather than at the front. Also, worn bearings can whine or hum as they allow play in the shafts they support and get noisy due to surface imperfections on the bearing surfaces. In either of these cases, the only option is to rebuild or replace your transmission.

For more information about each of these problems, join us in the garage!

You can find BlueDevil Transmission Sealer at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Fast Track
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
  • S&E Quick Lube Distributor
  • DYK Automotive
  • Fisher Auto Parts stores
  • Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
  • Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
  • Salvo Auto Parts
  • Advantage Auto Stores
  • Genuine Auto Parts stores
  • Bond Auto Parts stores
  • Tidewater Fleet Supply
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
  • Any Part Auto Parts
  • Consumer Auto Parts

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transmission_problems.jpg – By Goce – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link