Before an automatic transmission fails, there are often a number of warning signs. Being able to recognize these signs can help you prevent a costly repair, or even worse-- being stranded on the side of the road. Make sure you know what transmission warning signs you need to pay close attention to.
Gear Shifting Sounds
Shifting gears should be an almost unnoticeable process because it shouldn't produce any noise. If your transmission makes a shaking or rattling type of noise when changing gears, this is a sign of a problem. In some cases, this could be an indication that your clutch is worn and needs to be replaced or it could be something more significant. Either way, it's time to have it checked.
If you notice even a small collection of a red like fluid under your vehicle, take heed. This often means your transmission fluid is leaking. An adequate automatic transmission fluid level is very important to any transmission. Low fluid levels increase the risk of the system overheating and internal damage caused by a lack of lubrication. If you aren't sure the fluid is coming from your vehicle, raise the hood and inspect around the transmission chamber to look for any fluid running along the surface.
If you notice a burning smell when driving your vehicle, it's best to park your vehicle as soon as possible and have it serviced. This type of odor is often indicative of a transmission fluid leak that has been going on for some time, unaddressed. As a result of the low fluid levels, the lack of lubrication has caused the gears to overheat, creating excess friction in the transmission. This type of issue can kill a transmission and lead to costly repairs, so act quickly.
One of the perks of having an automatic transmission is easier gear shifting. If you notice yourself having to put forth more effort to change gears when driving, this is a sign of a problem. Jerking motions when changing gears and gear slipping are two other shifting concerns you don't want to ignore. Unfortunately, there are a number of concerns that can cause this type of problem, so pinpointing the exact cause will require a professional.
In the event your vehicle is experiencing a transmission issue, make sure you are taking it in for a thorough inspection from a trained car repair professional.