You are heading down a flat, newly paved street when all of a sudden you feel it. Your vehicle jumps a little bit when you're accelerating and changing gears. You know it's not the surface of the road because it's smooth as silk. So what did you just feel?
That kind of jumping—or grinding or slipping—during gear changes could be a sign of trouble in your automatic transmission. And it's important to get it checked out fairly soon because some transmission problems that aren't fixed early can lead to more involved and expensive repairs.
By far most vehicles on the road in North America have automatic transmissions, and they are workhorses. Unlike early cars with balky, hard-to-shift manual transmissions, the latest automatics allow you to drive without having to even think about gear changes. But you should know about a few signs of trouble to look for if they ever start showing up.
- When you first get going and shift your vehicle from Park into Drive, do you feel a slight pause?
- How about when you shift into Reverse? Is there a little lag?
- Does your vehicle sometimes shake when you're traveling down the road?
- Do you smell something burning in your engine compartment?
- Do you hear a clunk when your vehicle shifts?
- Do you have spots of a reddish or brown, oily fluid in the driveway under your vehicle?
If you do, these are worth getting checked out at our service center. When automatic transmissions start to show signs of wear and age, it can be because of a number of reasons. They can be caused by your transmission fluid getting old and contaminated, or its level may be low. The gears can be worn. You may have a leak somewhere in your transmission. Or transmission problems might be caused by a computer problem.
Transmission issues aren't always expensive to repair. Sometimes there may be a leak in a hose or gasket. Or a computer needs to be reset. Other issues may be much more involved. This is why it's important to get your vehicle checked out when you do notice something doesn't feel, look, shift or smell quite right. Everyone wants their automatic transmission to be a smooth operator.
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