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Your Auto Repair Shop: How to Recognize a Damaged Automatic Transmission

Last updated 5 years ago

The transmission is a complex and vital part of your vehicle, especially if it is an automatic. While your transmission is built to last for many years with the right maintenance, problems can occur. Spotting transmission problems early and having them checked out can be the difference between minor automotive repairs and an expensive rebuild or replacement, so it’s important to know what to look out for. Here are a few common symptoms of transmission trouble:

Slipping Gears If you are driving down the road and your car pops into neutral, or if you try to accelerate quickly and your vehicle has a delayed and jerky reaction, you have slipping transmission. This is often due to a problem with the transmission fluid. Low fluid or an obstructed flow can affect clutch pressure and allow gears to disengage at random. Head to a transmission specialist right away if you notice these problems.

Burnt Odor Another sign of problems with your transmission fluid is a strange, burnt smell. If your transmission fluid really smells, then it has been overused or overheated and is no longer functioning properly. If the smell is particularly strong and offensive, your transmission has probably experienced serious wear and will likely need to be rebuilt. Clean transmission fluid should not smell bad, so the slightest burnt odor indicates a need for a fluid exchange.

Check Engine Light The check engine light is an obvious indicator of car trouble, but it the exact problem is not always clear. One reason for a check engine light being illuminated is an overheated transmission. If the vehicle has been stressed by heavy towing or uphill driving, the transmission may overheat, which could damage various components and render the fluid useless. If you see a check engine light, be sure to have your transmission checked out.

For top-notch transmission repairs and general automotive services, turn to A-1 Auto Tech. We provide an array of maintenance and repair services for vehicles of all makes and models. For more information on auto repairs in Mountain View, CA, give us a call or contact us online.


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