When your automatic transmission is operating as it should, it can be easy to take it for granted – and perhaps overlook the important regular maintenance it should be receiving. When it isn’t operating correctly, however, it’s an issue you’ll definitely notice. From missing gears to refusing to shift at all, there are a number of different issues you may notice when your automatic transmission isn’t working.
If you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you may ask yourself what are the most common transmission problems, and how can you spot them? Understanding the most common automatic transmission problems can help you identify issues early on, potentially saving you from costly repairs and breakdowns. In this blog, we will discuss seven of the most common problems that automatic transmissions may encounter, along with their symptoms, causes, and possible solutions.
Your Transmission Fluid is Leaking
One of the most common automatic transmission problems is fluid leaks. Transmission fluid is crucial for lubricating and cooling the transmission components, and a leak can lead to serious damage if left unaddressed. Symptoms of a fluid leak include low fluid levels, a burning smell, and puddles of reddish fluid under your vehicle. Common causes of leaks include worn seals, damaged gaskets, or loose transmission pan bolts. If you notice a leak, it’s essential to have it inspected and repaired promptly to prevent further damage. A professional mechanic can identify the source of the leak and replace any faulty components.
Your Transmission Gears Are Slipping
Gear slippage is another prevalent issue with automatic transmissions. It occurs when the transmission unexpectedly shifts out of the intended gear or slips between gears while driving. You may notice a loss of power, RPM fluctuations, or a delay in acceleration when this problem occurs. Gear slippage can be caused by worn-out clutch plates, a malfunctioning solenoid, or low transmission fluid. To address this problem, a transmission specialist will need to diagnose the underlying cause and may recommend repairs such as replacing worn clutch plates or repairing/replacing the solenoid.
You’re Noticing Delayed Engagement
Delayed engagement refers to a delay in the transmission engaging after shifting into drive or reverse. When you move the gear selector, your vehicle may take a few seconds to respond, and you may hear a whining noise. This issue can be caused by low fluid levels, a faulty torque converter, or a worn-out transmission pump. Checking the transmission fluid level and condition regularly is essential. If the fluid is at the proper level and the problem persists, it’s recommended to consult a professional technician for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.
Your Transmission is Overheating
Overheating is a common problem that can lead to severe damage to the automatic transmission. High temperatures can cause the transmission fluid to break down, resulting in poor lubrication and reduced performance. Common causes of overheating include low fluid levels, a malfunctioning cooling system, or towing heavy loads without the proper transmission cooler. Signs of an overheating transmission include a burning smell, slipping gears, and fluid discoloration. To prevent overheating, ensure regular maintenance of your vehicle’s cooling system, check transmission fluid levels regularly, and use an auxiliary transmission cooler if necessary.
You’re Having Torque Converter Issues
The torque converter is a critical component of the automatic transmission system. It transfers power from the engine to the transmission and allows the vehicle to idle without stalling. Torque converter problems can manifest as shuddering or vibrating sensations when accelerating, a delay in gear engagement, or a noticeable increase in engine RPM without a corresponding increase in vehicle speed. Faulty needle bearings, damaged seals, or worn-out clutches can cause torque converter issues. Professional diagnosis and repair are necessary to resolve torque converter problems, as they often require specialized knowledge and equipment.
Your Solenoid is Malfunctioning
Automatic transmissions rely on solenoids to control the flow of transmission fluid and shift gears. When a solenoid malfunctions, it can result in harsh or erratic shifting, difficulty shifting
Let Jiffy Lube® Help You Take Care of Your Transmission
At your neighborhood Jiffy Lube®, our highly trained technicians know exactly how to help prevent unexpected automatic transmission issues with regularly scheduled maintenance. Stop by anytime that suits your schedule, and our team can inspect your vehicle, and check if your vehicle is at the manufacturer-recommended interval for a transmission service. It’s just another way that Jiffy Lube® works to help you keep your vehicle running strong for years to come.
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.
Go to ChicagolandJiffyLube.com for services and locations in Chicagoland, Rockford, Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin.
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