Your transmission is an important part of your vehicle. Problems that develop can cost a lot of money to fix. The most common problems involve low fluid levels, ineffective fluid, leaks, slipping or solenoid problems. Fortunately, the easiest way to avoid transmission problems is through regular preventive maintenance. Here are the most common transmission problems and how to fix them.
Leaks and Low Fluid Levels
Leaks can cause low fluid levels and usually mean that there is a seal problem, puncture pan or worn gasket. At the first sign of leakage, look for reddish stains on your driveway or in your garage. These problems all call for replacement. Pouring Stop Leak into the transmission fluid is merely a quick, temporary fix for a broken seal. Make sure that a proper repair occurs and all bolts are re-tightened. Remedy this problem as soon as possible because low fluid levels can lead to overheating.
Ineffective Fluid is transmission fluid that has lost its usefulness. Fluid that is old and dirty will smell slightly burnt and turn dark red. Completely obsolete fluid will smell very burnt and be very dark. Allowing the transmission to run on worn fluid will eventually lead to failure, along with additional problems such as overheating, that could occur before that. Replace the transmission filter at the same time that you replace fluid.
Many people complain about their transmission slipping and fear it is a sign of imminent failure, but that’s not necessarily the case if you can pinpoint the problem. Signs include gears slipping or shifting very slowly. A variety of problems cause slippage. These include transmission leaks or dirty fluid. If the fluid tests low or dirty, try adding transmission fluid or replacing it. If this isn’t the source of the problem, you may have worn gears that need replacement or debris could be inside the solenoid.
The solenoid is an electrical component that controls the amount of fluid in the transmission. Malfunctions can cause the solenoid to behave erratically and cause too much or too little fluid to be delivered. After check for any of the above problems, check the s0olenoid next. A defective solenoid will need replacement. Plugging a scanner into the car’s computer will find the exact cause.
Have your mechanic check your transmission every six months or every 6,000 miles and replace fluid when it starts to turn brown. By doing so, you will avoid most costly transmission problems.