Common Transmission Problems and How to Fix Them
Transmission problems would usually bring to mind replacing or rebuilding your transmission. But it does not necessarily have to be so. There are a few common transmission problems that you can fix on your own, at a fraction of the cost most auto shops would charge you.
The easiest way to avoid any transmission problems is to have preventive maintenance in place. This means you need to avoid any eventualities that might lead to leakages, slipping, and overheating.
- Transmission Fluid Leak: A Transmission leak problem usually means that there is a seal problem. At the first signs of a fluid leak or if the coolant is low, you have to check the driveshaft, transmission and input gasket seals. If there is a leak, you can easily repair this by purchasing a bottle of Stop Leak and pour it in using the transmission fluid dipstick. Add enough Stop Leak to replace the lost fluid. If there is a substantial amount of leakage going on, you can also opt to input a full bottle to stop the fluid leakage. This type of problem should really be remedied the soonest as possible, as it can cause your transmission to slip and possibly overheat.
- Transmission Slipping: The causes of transmission slipping can either be a fluid leak or a faulty solenoid. Some signs of a transmission slipping would be gears slipping or shifting very slowly. If it is the fluid leak causing the transmission slipping then it can be easily fixed by Stop Leak. While if it is something wrong with the solenoid, you would need to open it and check for debris or any obstruction. If the problem persists with the solenoid, check your warranty and have it replaced by your dealer. Remember that transmission parts have a longer warranty than other parts of the car.
- Transmission Overheating: When your transmission overheats, this is usually caused by your vehicle pulling a very heavy load. This could occur if your transmission fluid is old and dirty or if you have clogged cooler lines. To fix this would be to replace your drain and your transmission fluid, as well as clean the transmission filter. Remember that when you clean the transmission filter, you might need to open the transmission system. So, before attempting this, make sure you already have your manual at hand and that you are comfortable following the instructions.
- Transmission Maintenance: You should be checking your transmission every six months or every 6,000 miles for any problems. Transmission fluids should also be replaced when it starts to become a brownish color rather than the original red color. If you expect to haul heavy loads, you should also consider getting an auxiliary oil cooler to help your transmission system maintain operating temperatures. This is because the heavier the load your car will pull or carry, the faster the oil cooler needs to cool the transmission fluid, and at times it cannot keep up.
A few tips to keep in mind to better care for your transmission system is to never shift into ‘Park’ or ‘Reverse’ until the car has completely stopped. And you should never shift out of ‘Park’ without pressing on the brake pedal.