Considering how critical it is to vehicle function, shockingly few people know much about their car’s transmission. Whether you have a manual or an automatic transmission, this component is essential for transferring power from the engine to the wheels, effectively making your car run.
If your transmission fails, your car could slip gears or refuse to move at all. If this happens on the road, you could be at serious risk of causing a collision. Because of the dangers of a failed transmission, it’s essential that all vehicle owners practice diligent care and maintenance. Car owners have a duty to keep up with safety practices like maintaining fluid levels and conducting regular inspections.
One responsibility vehicle owners have is knowing the signs of an imminent auto part failure. You should be aware of indications that a tire may blow, your brakes may fail, or your spark plugs are going bad. You can prevent a major issue before it happens when you know the warning signs to look for.
Warning Signs That Your Transmission May Be In Trouble
If you notice any of the following signs that your transmission is going out, take your vehicle to a trusted auto mechanic at your earliest convenience.
Slipping Gears or Difficulty Changing Gears
One of the most obvious signs that your transmission is going bad is difficulty changing or staying in gear. Slipping gears on the road is especially dangerous. You should take your vehicle in for an inspection immediately if you notice gears slipping in and out of place while in motion.
Vehicles owners may observe apparent difficulties no matter whether they drive manual or automatic transmission automobiles. A bad transmission may manifest symptoms such as:
- Your vehicle won’t move after you put it in drive.
- Your vehicle changes gears while you’re driving.
- You notice a stickiness or hesitancy when you change gears.
- Your gears noticeably grind or shudder when you shift.
- There is a delay when you accelerate.
Leaking Transmission Fluid
It’s recommended that your transmission fluid be swapped out every 60,000 miles, or as your vehicle manufacturer specifies. You may find a red liquid pooling under your parked vehicle if its transmission has sprung a leak.
But a transmission fluid leak isn’t always so visible. If you’re experiencing transmission issues, you may want to check your transmission fluid level by using a dipstick. Automatic transmission fluid in good condition will appear as a pinkish-clear color. If you find that levels are low or that the color appears as a dark brown or red, schedule an appointment to have your transmission fluid changed.
Clunking, grinding, humming, buzzing, or whining noises may arise when you change gears, shift from park to drive, or while you are traveling down the road. You could find that your car makes an unusual noise when it idles in neutral. You may even notice a shaking sensation in your vehicle. These symptoms can all be indicators of impending transmission failure.
Smell of Burning
Any time you notice unusual smells coming from your vehicle, take it in for a check-up as soon as you can. A harsh smell of burning can indicate that your transmission is overheating. This type of smell may be a sign that your transmission fluid is overused and burnt. Fresh transmission fluid has a slightly sweet smell, so any dark, burning smells mean that it is time for a fluid change. There may be more serious issues at play as well, so it’s best to let an experienced mechanic handle the issue.
Check Engine Light
The check engine light on your dashboard is a valuable tool that shouldn’t be ignored. Too many vehicle owners make the mistake of disregarding this orange light as unimportant—or at least as something that doesn’t require immediate attention. Don’t make the same mistake other drivers make. This light can indicate a variety of mechanical issues, from minor to serious. It’s especially important to respond promptly if the check engine light is accompanied by any other troubling symptoms.
Help After an Auto Accident Caused by Transmission Failure
If you were hurt in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you file a claim to collect damages for your losses. The car accident attorneys at Thomas Law Offices in Louisville, KY can help you understand your rights and how liability is determined after a car accident. Having the support and guidance of an experienced and compassionate auto collision attorney is particularly important if you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in an accident.
We’ll begin with a free case evaluation to better understand your situation and how we may be able to help. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and its aftermath, we may be able to help you recover damages such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our office today to learn more about your legal options. An initial case consultation with an experienced Thomas Law Offices car accident lawyer is always free.