Signs That Your Transmission Needs To Be Repaired Or Replaced

Your car's transmission is one of its most important components in your vehicle. Whether you have a manual or automatic transmission, it's the system that changes the gears in your car so you can get moving.

If there's something wrong with your transmission, your vehicle isn't going anywhere. Obviously, catching any problem before your vehicle ceases to work is important, especially since the average price of a new transmission is between $4,000 and $8,000. Fortunately, there are a number of signs that your transmission is in need of service.

1. You feel vibrations when you change gears. One of the most obvious signs that your transmission is in need of repair is when you notice a shimmy or vibration when it changes gears. This happens on both automatic and manual transmissions. While this may simply indicate that your transmission fluid level is low, it can be a sign of a bigger problem.

2. You notice a sweet, burned smell.  A slight burned smell is another sign that you might have a transmission problem. This generally means that your transmission fluid is leaking and landing on the hot engine. Your transmission fluid likely needs to be drained and replaced.

3. Your car won't go into gear or it skips a gear. A more serious issue is when your car won't go into gear or when it skips a gear entirely. This generally indicated that your transmission will need to be replaced.

4. You notice a reddish puddle underneath your car. Transmission fluid has a reddish tint and is distinctive from motor oil and other engine fluids. If you notice a red puddle, it's time to add transmission fluid and have your car serviced.

5. Your check engine light comes on. If you're like most drivers, you're apt to ignore your check engine light when it comes on. While this light can be an indication that any number of things need to be checked on your car, one of the most likely is that there is a problem with your transmission.

While it isn't always possible to identify a transmission problem before your car stops running, being on the look-out for signs like hesitation when you go to shift gears, a sweet burning smell, and a red puddle underneath your car can help you know when to get your car to the mechanic before it leaves you stranded on the side of the road.