The Basics of Vehicle Repair Troubleshooting: Transmissions

The Basics of Vehicle Repair Troubleshooting: Transmissions

If you want someone who knows all the basics of vehicle repair troubleshooting: transmissions come to our technicians at Mountain View Automotive in Thornton. Our technicians are trained and experienced, and we have the specialized tools needed to get it just right.

What’s the job of your transmission? It helps shift your vehicle from gear to gear. But transmission repair is tricky. It’s not a “learn as you go” project and trusting it to your buddy who tells you he’s an expert on transmissions is not recommended. It’s very important that you get someone who knows what they’re doing.

If your car, truck, or SUV has a transmission problem and you bring it to Mountain View Automotive, we will find out what’s wrong with your vehicle because we know transmissions. Here are a few of the basic components of your transmission system:

  • Bell Housing – This is the cone shaped metal case. If it’s front-wheel-drive car it’s on the side of the engine under the hood. If it’s rear-wheel-drive, the transmission is underneath the car behind the engine.  
  • Gears – Even an automatic transmission has gears and all of them need to be working.
  • Fluid – The red transmission fluid is crucial to an automatic transmission and makes it easy to spot a leak.
  • Filter – The filter catches the gunk so your fluid is clean and your car can shift gears properly.

When you come into the shop, our technicians will check the transmission fluid and the filter, which should be done twice a year. A low fluid level or frequent loss of significant fluid could be signs of a leak. The lack of fluid can cause your car to shift poorly and lead to transmission damage. Your transmission filter sometimes gets clogged, so we’ll check that out as well and replace it when needed.

Beyond fluid and filter issues, there are several obvious signs that you may be having transmission troubles. If your car is showing any of these symptoms, be sure to call or contact us today.

Your Car Won’t Go Into Gear

Sometimes the transmission won’t budge when you depress the clutch pedal and try to move the stick shifter. It could also happen when you try to go into first gear from a stop or from gear to gear. This could be low transmission fluid, wrong viscosity (thickness) of fluid, or the shift cables or clutch linkage needs to be adjusted.

You Notice a Burning Smell

The burning smell of transmission fluid points to your system overheating. Transmission fluid does two things: it keeps the moving parts lubricated and prevents the transmission from burning up.

The Transmission is Noisy in Neutral

It’s probably the transmission if when you shift, you hear noises. But it also may be the transmission if there is noise when it’s in neutral.

The Gears Slip

If the gears slip and pop out of gear when you’re driving, it usually indicates a transmission problem.

The Clutch Drags (Manual Transmission)

The clutch drags or fails to disengage the clutch disk from the flywheel when you push in the clutch pedal. There will be a grinding sound when you attempt to shift.

There is Fluid Leaking

Automatic transmission fluid is bright red, clear, and a little sweet-smelling. If it’s leaking you, need to bring it in right away to avoid further damage.

The Check Engine Light Goes On

There are many reasons for your check engine light to come on but transmission problems should be considered. We can scan the code and perform a complete diagnosis to determine the source.

There is a Grinding or Shaking

With a manual transmission, if you hear a grinding sound or feel it shake when you shift into a different gear, you could have transmission issues. If you fully engage the clutch, shift, and then hear a grinding sound, it could be a worn clutch or it needs to be adjusted. It could also mean your transmission’s gear synchronizers, or synchros, are worn out or damaged.

There Are Sounds like Whining, Clunking, and Humming

If you hear a sound that you haven’t heard before likes a whining, humming, clunking, or buzzing sound, the transmission may need to be looked at for issues.

There is a Lack of Response

When your car hesitates or won’t go into gear, the transmission is the likely culprit since that’s its job.

The auto technicians at Mountain View Automotive in Thornton know the basics of vehicle repair troubleshooting: transmissions. If you’re having issues, it’s sometimes just a matter of changing the filter or repairing a leak. If not, we’ll check every other option because taking your transmission apart and rebuilding it can be expensive. We’ll do our best to avoid this worst case scenario. For help, feel free to call or contact us today.