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10 Transmission Issues Not To Be Ignored

Everyone knows the importance of a car engine, but not many understand the importance of the transmission. If the engine is the heart of your car, the transmission is its muscle. Without a working transmission, your car is not going to take you anywhere. Knowing transmission problems is as important as knowing engine problems.

Let’s take you through some common transmission problems so that you can identify them early and get them rectified. We will also see how some of the simpler issues are rectified.

Loss Of Transmission Fluid

The transmission is full of moving parts. It is filled with transmission fluid, which keeps everything lubricated and cool. The fluid is an essential part of the transmission and is necessary for correct operation. Gaskets and seals at the joints prevent the fluid from leaking out of the system. With age, these parts wear out and start leaking. They have to be replaced and the fluid topped up for the transmission to work well.

While repairing leaks can be complicated, finding a leak is relatively easy. As the fluid flows down due to gravity, find the highest point from where the fluid is leaking. If the leak is at the bottom, it’s most likely from the transmission pan. If it’s from the front, the problem could be with a front main.

Bad Transmission Fluid Or Fluid Filter

Unlike engine oil, transmission fluids don’t need replacement for years. That said, they have to be replaced after the time or mileage interval recommended by the car manufacturer. You will find this in the owner’s manual.

Bad Clutch

Clutch Replacement

If you have a manual transmission, the clutch is the component that commonly needs repairs or replacement. The life of the clutch depends on age and usage, but at some point, it has to be repaired or replaced. Clutch replacement or repair is not cheap, but you won’t be able to drive comfortably with a problematic clutch.

Gear Slip

As transmissions get old, gears may get worn and slip. This is more noticeable in a manual transmission, but it can happen in automatics as well.

Bad Sensors

Sensors are the eyes and ears of your vehicle. All modern cars have several sensors spread out in its components. The transmission is no exception. With age, these sensors wear out or go bad and have to be replaced.

Shift Solenoid Problem

Automatic transmissions have shift solenoids, which are essential for shifting gears. There is an automatic transmission control module (TCM) in the car which controls these solenoids. These solenoids are electro-hydraulic valves which open or close to allow the flow of transmission fluid into the valve. Like sensors, these solenoids can also go bad preventing your car from shifting gears. They are expensive to repair compared to sensors.

When an automatic transmission is unable to get into or out of a specific gear, a bad sensor or solenoid is the first thing to rule out. This can be done by hooking up an OBD II reader to the car and checking if there are any fault codes coming from the TCM. If there are codes, it’s most likely a bad sensor or solenoid. A replacement should solve the problem.

If there are no codes from the TCM, it’s most likely a complicated situation like a jammed gear or broken band. Unfortunately, a rebuild is the only way to fix these problems and it is expensive.

Torque Converter Problems

If you hear grinding noises when your automatic transmission changes gears, you probably have a worn torque converter. Automatic transmissions are relatively maintenance free and work well for years, but eventually, they will wear out. If the torque converter of your automatic transmission is worn, you will need a transmission rebuild.

Transmission Overheating

Transmission Overheating

p> Transmissions can overheat due to numerous reasons and it’s not possible to pinpoint the issue unless it’s checked by a mechanic. It could be a fluid problem or jammed gears or a problem with other moving parts.

Broken Transmission Bands

Transmission bands ensure that you get the proper output ratio from an automatic transmission. These bands can break and cause a malfunction resulting in the transmission getting stuck at a particular RPM.

Rough Gear Changes

Many faults, including jammed gears, can make gear changes rough. A rebuild is the only sure way to diagnose and restore smooth transmission operation. That said, sometimes a transmission fluid flush and addition of slip-stop additive can solve the problem. As rebuilds are expensive, this may be worth trying, especially if the vehicle is not too old. If it works, you will get another 40 to 50 thousand miles before a rebuild becomes necessary.

While transmission faults can be due to a wide range of issues, identifying problems early and getting them fixed can save you from high repair bills. Repairing the transmission is not a DIY job, but with care, you will be able to identify faults early before they become worse. Always get the repairs done from a reputed garage.


Transmissions are as critical as car engines. Having a good understanding of how they work and being able to identify malfunctions early are important. Transmission repairs are not easy and are often expensive. Hopefully, this small guide will help you identify an issue before it becomes an expensive breakdown. Having a healthy engine and transmission will also give you more peace of mind when you are on a long drive.

If you have concerns over a possible problem with your vehicle transmission you can book your car or van in for a check, use the quick quote form below or give us a call on Oldham –  0161 624 5060, Bury0161 761 3030, Van Centre Oldham0161 628 5270 or at our new Heywood branch 01706 622633. We also offer a highly convenient Collect & Return service or a courtesy car to ensure your routine is disrupted as little as possible while your vehicle is serviced or repaired.

Arranging Your Service

Drop your car off
Simply drop your car off with us between 8am and 10am and in most cases your vehicle will be ready for collection the same day between 3.30 and 5.30. Outside these hours you are welcome to park.

Wait with your car
Most servicing and repair work can be done while you wait. If this is your preference we have a superb waiting area equipped with free hot and cold drinks and a interesting viewing area where you can watch our trained technicians working on your vehicle.

Courtesy car
If your vehicle needs to stay with us for 1 day or longer then you are able to pre-book one of our courtesy vehicles to keep you mobile.

Pick up / drop off
The ultimate hassle free solution; one of our drivers will arrange to collect your vehicle from your home or place of work at a pre-arranged time and then return your vehicle when the work is complete. Our service advisors will contact you when the vehicle arrives on site during the day to discuss the progress of the work and then advise you of the time you can expect your vehicle back. Contact our service advisors for more details.

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10 Transmission Issues Not To Be Ignored

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