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Your vehicle’s transmission is very important, and transmission problems can render it inoperable. The transmission is the system that directs the engine’s power to the driveshaft which turns the wheels. Good preventive maintenance for your car’s transmission will always help it last longer, requiring fewer repairs. However, some repairs will still be necessary. Understanding the four most common transmission malfunctions can help you explain your issue to your mechanic and get it repaired quickly.

4 Common Transmission Problems That Tell You It's Time to Get to A Mechanic

Solenoid Trouble

The solenoid regulates the flow of transmission fluid. Sometimes, low fluid levels can damage the solenoid, as well as cause electronic problems. Often, solenoid problems can seem like a fluid leak or low transmission fluid. If there is no evidence of leaks, but your transmission is slipping, it could be the solenoid.

Torque Converter Issues

Damaged or worn needle bearings in the torque converter can result in serious damage or even transmission failure. If the needle bearings get overheated, you’ll usually hear grinding or brushing noises while the transmission is in gear. However, if it’s in neutral, it probably won’t make any weird sounds. If you hear grinding sounds, get your vehicle to a transmission shop right away.

Leaks or Low Fluid Levels

Low transmission fluid or leaks are the most common type of transmission problems. If you notice your vehicle is low on fluid, that could mean the seals in the transmission are leaking fluid. Also, the gasket seals could be leaking, and should be replaced. Generally, signs of low transmission fluid levels or leaks include slow shifting or gear slippage. 

If the transmission fluid is contaminated or very old, it should be changed. Also, your transmission may need to be flushed and completely refilled.

Clutch Trouble 

Whether it’s manual or automatic, sometimes the clutch can sometimes get stuck. When the clutch gets stuck, the solenoid could lock up, and the right amount of transmission fluid may not get through. Clutch problems can also cause the vehicle to shake violently underneath, and can overheat the transmission. You will also notice a drop in the engine’s power.

Transmission problems can be very dangerous to drive with, and it pays to resolve any problems as soon as possible. If you notice any of the above problems with your car’s transmission, take it into the transmission shop as soon as you can.

Knowing what the signs are for the most common transmission problems can assist you in explaining the problem to your mechanic, so that you can more quickly get your car back on the road.