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Common Transmission Slipping Symptoms That You Should Not Ignore

Transmission Slipping Symptoms
Although a problematic transmission is a common issue, finding the exact cause and resolving the problem is rather tricky. There are a couple of common symptoms that plague the transmission system, knowing which can help save a lot of time and money.
Palmira S
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Quick Tip
spare parts
Be wary of where you get any re-manufactured transmission systems from. They may be cheaper than the original ones, but they can also be half as reliable.
Although the symptoms for transmission problems are common, the cause(s) are not always the same.

One problem can have different solutions, depending on a lot of factors like the brand, the year of make, total maintenance performed, quality of oils used, etc.

As far as skipping transmissions are concerned, the problem is quite serious and should be dealt with immediately.

Most transmission problems may start off lightly, but cause heavy damage if left untreated, making you spend a whole lot of money to get it fixed.
Most Common Signs of a Slipping Transmission
Check Engine Light
engine light
The first thing that you need to look for is this light. Modern cars come equipped with sensors that can detect problems in your car (especially the engine and the transmission) before you even feel that there's anything wrong with the car. It is always advisable to get the car checked by a mechanic, or at least someone who can tell you what's wrong by looking at the problem's code.
noise of engine
Any kind of noise that the car makes while moving from idling, or when shifting gears, can imply transmission slipping. Any kind of screeching, clanging, knocking, or grinding noise that you hear from the front or the back of the car is a direct indicator of transmission problems.
No/Lazy Starting
A clear indicator of a slipping transmission is a lazy start, especially during cold weather. The inability of the car to move as soon as you press the pedal means that the gears move, but the transmission is late to latch on, resulting in slipping.
Won't Go in Reverse
car reversing problem
It can happen that the car won't move at all when you put it in reverse gear. This also happens more often in cold weather than warm weather, and is a major indicator of transmission problems.
If you get a burning or rotten smell from near the engine or underneath the car, it's because of one, or both, of the following reasons: either the transmission is overheating, or the transmission oil is leaking into the exhaust. Either way, this is a fire hazard waiting to happen, so do not delay showing your car to the mechanic.
Oil Characteristics
Transmission oil is clear and bright-red, and smells slightly pleasantly sweet. Reasons such as a low level of oil, leakage, or aging of the oil may cause it to change color, become thicker, and smell awful.
Oil Leakage
oil leakage
The smallest bit of oil puddle forming underneath your car is cause for alarm. Less oil for the transmission means more problems while you drive. And the more you delay getting your car checked, the bigger the headache.
Harsh Gear Shifting
harsh gear shifting
If it feels like being rear-ended whenever your car shifts gears, then it is time to get your transmission checked. A feeling of being rear-ended occurs because the transmission cannot get the proper traction to disengage and latch on to the shifted gears.
Causes of a Faulty Transmission
~ Reasons like poorly functioning vacuum tubes, or improperly adjusted or defective gears, can give rise to a slipping transmission.
~ Low automatic transmission fluid is another cause, so always make sure that you fill an adequate amount of fluid whenever required.
~ Broken or worn out transmission bands, or worn gears can be a reason for transmission slipping problems, as well as other problems related to the transmission.
Proper and well-fitted gears allow the transmission to work under different tensions. Worn-out gears fail to do so, thus leading to the transmission slipping out of gear.
The pressurizing and propelling of the transmission fluid is done using the transmission converter torque. A faulty transmission converter will not be able to do it efficiently, which thus, gives rise to slipping of the transmission.
The most important point to consider here is that if you recognize any of these symptoms, do not waste any time to get your car to the mechanic. The fact that your vehicle needs to be checked regularly can be repeated every time, because it is just that important. The usual servicing includes not only changing the transmission oil, but also checking and changing the internal filter, if need be. Regular maintenance contributes towards longevity, thereby enhancing the performance of your vehicle.