Living without access to a vehicle would be difficult for many Americans today. Relying on a car to travel to and from work, to run errands, or for a relaxing drive has become common. Transmission problems could put your vehicle out of service for a significant amount of time. In order to reduce the amount of damage caused when a transmission begins to wear out, it's important that you learn to recognize the early warning signs of a failing transmission.
Here are three ways you can use your senses to determine when your transmission might be troubled.
1. Use your ears to listen for abnormal sounds.
Your ears can be useful tools when it comes to diagnosing potential problems within your car's transmission. A functional transmission should shift from one gear to the next without any problems. When the transmission begins to slip, you will notice a distinct whirring or clunking sound each time your vehicle shifts gears.
These noises are caused by the failure of mechanical components within the transmission. When you hear a sound that you haven't heard before while driving your vehicle, you should have a mechanic check the condition of your transmission.
2. Use your eyes to check for fluid leaks.
Transmission fluid plays a vital role in keeping the mechanical components within your car's transmission properly lubricated. When this fluid leaks out, your transmission can no longer work smoothly. You should be conducting visual checks for transmission fluid leaks each time you enter your vehicle.
Transmission fluid is typically red, and will feel slick and oily to the touch. As soon as you notice any transmission fluid leaking from your vehicle, schedule repairs with a reputable mechanic to avoid additional (and costly) damage in the future.
3. Use your nose to identify any burning smells while operating your vehicle.
A failing transmission can become very hot while in operation. Overheating within the transmission can cause the transmission fluid in your vehicle to begin burning. If you smell a burning odor while driving, this is a sure sign that your transmission is about the fail.
Burnt transmission fluid is unable to provide the cooling a transmission needs to prevent additional overheating, so it's imperative that you take your vehicle to a skilled mechanic for transmission repair if you are noticing this smell.
Being able to use your senses to identify potential transmission problems will help you keep your vehicle running right in the future.