5 Easy-to-Spot Signs of Transmission Problems

The transmission is one of the most important parts of your car. It regulates the power coming from your engine so that you have the right amount to achieve a given speed. If something goes wrong with the transmission, it can cause serious problems for you and cost a lot of money to repair. But how do you know when there’s something wrong with the transmission if you aren’t a car expert? Here are some easy signs to look for:


1.  Your “check engine” light is on – While this could obviously mean a number of things, one of the major issues that the sensor detects is transmission abnormality. So if you see the “check engine” light and notice one of the following problems as well, the chances of it being a transmission issue are pretty high.

2.  Your car has trouble switching gears – If you notice that when switching gears, the car seems to kind of stall or catch before doing what it’s supposed to, you may have a pretty serious transmission problem. Also, you may notice an odd clunky sound when switching gears that may indicate the same issue.

3.  Your transmission fluid is brown or black – Transmission fluid is supposed to be bright red or sometimes pink. If you use a dipstick to test and come out with a gloopy looking brown or black substance, then it is dirty and needs to be flushed out. Dirty fluid won’t lubricate or clean your transmission, which could stall your car or make it run unevenly. This is the last thing you want when on the road.

4.  Your car is leaking red, brown, or black fluid – This will be your transmission fluid, in whatever state it happens to be currently. And the thing about transmission fluid is that it’s not meant to come out at all or be transferred anywhere. In fact, the only time that transmission fluid is moved is when it’s being changed out for cleaner fluid. If you notice that your fluid is leaking, don’t wait! Get it fixed immediately. Without the fluid, there won’t be anything to lubricate the transmission, which could make your car overheat, wear down the machinery more quickly, and eventually stop your car from running entirely.

5.  Your transmission is making strange noises – Depending on whether you have manual or automatic transmission and the type of noise that the car is emitting, this could be a symptom of a couple of things. For instance, grinding could indicate low transmission fluid or a problem with the gears. Regardless of whether you hear whining, whirring, or grinding, you’ll need to repair your car soon to avoid worse issues down the road.

These are just a few of the signs that your transmission may be faulty. If you see any of these or other worrying indicators, get to a transmission specialist immediately!