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What Are the Signs of a Bad Automatic Transmission?

Most automobiles have automatic transmissions these days because people prefer to drive them. If you drive an automatic transmission, it’s a good idea to have it serviced every 30,000 miles. Failure to do so can cause problems for the transmission and, thereby, your vehicle. Automobile Diagnostics lists the signs of a bad automatic transmission below.

Burning/Hot Odors

Smelling burning or hot odors coming out from underneath your car can be a sign that the transmission is overheating. One common cause of this is low transmission fluid or transmission fluid that is dirty and needs to be changed. 

Completely Unresponsive

When we say completely unresponsive, we mean you cannot get your automatic transmission to go into gear. Despite the fact that you have shifted the gear shift out of neutral or park and into drive or reverse, the transmission will not actually go into either gear.

Gear Shifting Problems

You may also experience gear shifting problems with your automatic transmission. Your transmission may refuse to shift completely through the gear cycle or it won’t stay in gear. It might also change gears at the wrong time.

Leaking Fluid

If you have a transmission fluid leak, you will see red spots underneath the center of your car. It’s important to get the leak fixed right away before your transmission fluid level gets too low. Low transmission fluid will damage the transmission.

Neutral Noises

Humming or squealing while in neutral is also a sign of a bad transmission. Humming is the more common of the two sounds, but you shouldn’t hear anything other than your vehicle idle when you are sitting in neutral.

Strange Sensations

Strange sensations such as shaking or vibrating when the car is in neutral or shifting gears are also a sign of transmission problems. Another sensation is the feeling that the transmission is “clunking” into gear. You will hear the clunk and feel it.

Strange Sounds

You should never hear any other strange sounds, such as grinding or squealing, either. If your transmission is making noise, whether in neutral or while you are driving, it’s important to have it checked out right away. Something is wrong.

Check Engine Light

Finally, if your check engine light comes on, it could be the automatic transmission. This light will come on when the transmission isn’t operating as it should be.

Call Automobile Diagnostics in Columbus, IN, for a transmission inspection and service. We will check your automatic transmission thoroughly and let you know what we find. 

Photo by sspopov from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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