Signs Your Car Needs Transmission Repair, and What Those Signs Might Mean

by Ernest Perez

Your car's transmission is a set of gears, pulleys, and chains that direct the engine and how hard it works and also tell the wheels the direction to go. It's never good to overlook any signs of transmission damage or needed repairs, as this can mean overworking your engine when it doesn't change gears or having the transmission fail altogether when you're on the road. Note a few signs that your car needs transmission repair and what those signs might mean when it comes to the repairs you might be facing.

Won't shift smoothly

When you move the shifter of your car, it should work very smoothly; you should even be able to simply tap it from reverse to drive. When it feels sticky and you need to wiggle or wobble the stick to get into a new gear, this often means that your car's transmission fluid is faulty. Older fluid might have gotten thicker as it picks up debris from your car's transmission parts, including rust and other contaminants. The fluid may have also burned over time so it's not as smooth. In turn, your car's shifter cannot work so easily. Having the transmission flushed and filled with new fluid can usually address this problem.

Whining noise

If you notice a loud whining noise when you shift your car from one gear to another, this usually means the gears themselves are worn. The gears of your transmission have teeth like any other gear and when those teeth are worn, there is air that gets through them or they may rub up against the other gearwheels, causing that whining sound. You may only hear this sound when you shift to a new gear as the teeth may settle into position, but they will eventually simply wear down and the transmission will fail if you don't address this problem.

Consistently low fluid

It's good to check your car's fluid levels at consistent intervals, or ask your mechanic who changes your oil and tops off the fluids to check and see if any are dangerously low. If your car has consistently low transmission fluid, this usually means the pan holding the fluid is rusted through. When this happens, small cracks appear that allow the fluid to drip out. It's not good to just keep topping off the fluid as this can mean excessive wear and tear on the transmission if it's operating with low fluid levels. The pan itself should just be changed as needed.