Home / Transmission / 8 Signs of Transmission Problems That Can’t Be Ignored 2023

8 Signs of Transmission Problems That Can’t Be Ignored 2023


How do i know what are the signs of transmission problems that can’t be ignored? One sign of possible trouble is difficulty shifting between gears. If your car tends to get stuck as you try and shift manually the fluid may be low or too thick, or the cables and clutch may need to be readjusted.

Sometimes the gears begin slipping also, spontaneously popping out of gear when you least expect it. If you’re beginning to find that the clutch won’t free the gears when you try and shift, you may have a different problem with the cables and linkage items that connect the clutch to the gears.

Fortunately, this transmission repair is relatively inexpensive when compared to some issues. If you begin to notice red or brown liquid leaking out below your car, you probably have a leak in the pipe. This is definitely not something to ignore.

The fluid is designed to keep your car running smoothly by lubricating the parts and keeping the transmission cool. Once fluid is lost, it can begin to overheat and ultimately destroy this costly piece of equipment.

8 Symptoms Of Transmission Problems

Mechanical issues with your car should not be taken lightly. Whether you recognize the need for transmission repair or you simply notice some weird noises, it’s always best to err on the safe side and take your car to be inspected by a mechanic you trust.

The transmission is a crucial part of your automobile. Transmission failure means that your vehicle can’t be driven until your transmission is replaced or repaired. Being aware of the early warning signs will help you avoid costly repair bills and important safety issues. Here are the symptoms of a transmission problem. There are numerous warning signs that a transmission needs attention.

Check Engine Light On

Once your check engine light comes on, its time to have the engine checked – even if you just had your regular maintenance done! It may be a small issue that won’t cause much damage, but it may also be related to a much needed transmission repair that can cause major problems if left untouched.

In newer cars, sensors on your engine’s computer can pick up problems before you even notice any of the side effects like weird noises or driving trouble. The mechanic who works on your car will be able to print out a sheet of issues the computer has detected.

Rough Shifting

Abrupt shifting between gears is a sign of a transmission problem. A damaged transmission may give your vehicle a jerky action when shifting gears. Additionally, there should not be any jerky movements or clunking sounds when the car is shifted from park.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

Small drops of fluid under your vehicle may not be a serious problem. However, puddles deserve immediate attention. The larger the fluid leak, the more important it is to have the transmission checked out by an auto repair mechanic. If you find a red-colored puddle under your vehicle, visit an auto repair mechanic for an inspection. If your transmission fluid is leaking, it needs to be inspected and restored.

Unusual Sounds

A transmission that is starting to show signs of damage or wear will make noises when the vehicle shifts between gears. A heavy-knocking sound is a sign of a transmission problem. A grinding noise is also an indication of a transmission problem. In addition, clunking, grinding, and other unusual noises when shifting gears can mean that your transmission fluid level is low.

Weird noises are the ultimate sign of trouble. Grinding gears during shifting, bumping sounds in neutral, whining and other unusual thumping noises indicate that it’s time for a visit to the mechanics! For both manual and automatic transmissions, grinding and shaking as your car shifts is a pretty clear sign of transmission issues. Just play it safe when your car begins making unusual noises – take it to a trusted mechanic!


Slippage means that the engine that speeds up your vehicle is not responding accordingly. This is a sign of a damaged transmission. The transmission can slip while in gear or while shifting. This means that the vehicle isn’t shifting quickly and firmly like it normally does. If you are experiencing sliding and slipping, you may not make it to your destination. Don’t ignore this problem. Consult with a trustworthy auto repair mechanic.

Delayed Response

A delayed response when you shift gears is a sign that the transmission is failing or has failed. Vehicles with automatic transmissions should shift gears without a delay. If you have to wait for the vehicle to move, you may have a serious problem with your transmission.

Burnt Toast Smell or Smoke

Transmission fluid is red in color. If you check the fluid and it appears dark or brown in color, it could be a sign of a problem. Dark fluid usually gives off an odor that smells like burnt oil. Smoke can also be a sign of a transmission problem. If you notice these signs, you need to replace the fluid.

Low Transmission fluid

The transmission fluid keeps internal parts lubricated and it allows the car to move forward and backward. If you don’t have a leak but the fluid continues to run low, your transmission may be burning fluid and overheating.

Transmission failure is usually avoidable if you keep the fluids in check. Fluid levels must be maintained or the transmission will eventually stop working.

Low transmission fluid can be detected by the sweet odor, which it puts off when it overheats. Once again, it may overheat due to lack of fluid, which causes the parts to overheat and literally burn away.

If you think you have a problem with your transmission, take your vehicle to an automobile repair shop. Taking care of transmission problems immediately can mean the difference between replacing the transmission or repairing it.

How to Fix Transmission Problems?

Trying to figure out what’s wrong with your car can be a challenging task, especially for the untrained eye. Issues involving mechanical systems in a vehicle usually exhibit certain sounds and sensations that provide clues as to whet the precise problem is.

As soon as you realize that there is something a bit “off” with the way your car is behaving, it’s important to look deeper into the potential problem right away. Of the many things that can go awry with your vehicle, the transmission can often be one of them.

The transmission of your car is a complicated mechanical system that controls how the power is applied from the engine to the driveshaft. Because of the continuous heat and friction applied against the transmission, this component generally experiences the most wear and tear in a vehicle.

Serious problems with it are bound to come about if it isn’t well taken care of, or if the problem is ignored without having it checked out upon the first sign of something wrong.

Last Updated on: January 11, 2023

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Jessie Harrison
7 years ago

The transmission in my car isn’t running very smoothly. It’s almost like the gears are grinding against each other. Sounds like that’s a big issue that should be taken care of by a professional. First, however, I want to hear what you think the problem is.

David Hawkins
7 years ago

It sounds like that burnt smell is something you should really look out for. I know that my car has been having that smell lately so I might want to take it to a transmission shop to see if there are any issues. I don’t want to be driving around on a broken transmission and then possible causing even more damage. Thanks for the awesome tips and info!

Kenneth Gladman
Kenneth Gladman
7 years ago
Reply to  David Hawkins

I am glad I came across this. I have been noticing a smell coming from my engine when I drive. I can’t quite put a description to it, but it may be a transmission issue. I will have to take it in to be looked at.

Simon Brooks
Simon Brooks
7 years ago

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, it’s nice to know the difference between when you might be able to let your transmission sit for a while and when it needs to be repaired as soon as possible. I didn’t actually know that a damaged transmission could make noises to signal you that it needs repair, although, I’ve only had automatic transmission my whole life so that might be the difference. I do have a question about transmission fluid though, is there a way to check it from within the car like a light or a signal or something or is it… Read more »

Annie Frances
Annie Frances
7 years ago

I have started hearing unusual sounds coming from my transmission. Normally I would just ignore it for a while, but my brother told me I had to get it checked. It’s a good thing though, because I had to get my transmission replaced. Thanks for this list!

Jeff Curtis
Jeff Curtis
7 years ago

Thanks for the helpful post on transmission repairs. I am never quite sure if I am just paranoid or if my transmission is going bad. It is good to know that low transmission fluid can be detected by the odor. I will have to see if I can smell anything next time I am driving. It is also good to know that weird noises are a really bad sign. I have been hearing some weird noises while shifting, so I should probably take my car in as soon as possible. Thanks for the help!

James Bergman
7 years ago

My older car definitely has the rough shifting you describe. However, it normally only happens when it shifts from fourth to fifth gear. It really just feels like my car has to try really hard to shift between these gears. How can I fix this problem?

Braden Bills
7 years ago

I’ve been trying to figure out what’s wrong with my car. I’ve noticed something dripping under it. I didn’t realize that it could be a transmission leak! I’ll be sure to get that fixed as soon as possible! Thanks for sharing.

Jeff Curtis
Jeff Curtis
7 years ago

Thanks for the helpful post on the signs of transmission problems you can’t ignore. I have noticed that my transmission seems to be having a hard time shifting into gears sometimes. It feels like something might be wrong. it sounds like it might be a cable or linkage issue, which would be really good news. I will be sure to have a professional check out my transmission. Thanks for the help!

Kendall Everett
Kendall Everett
7 years ago

Paying attention to how the vehicle shifts between gears is a great idea. Like you mentioned, there shouldn’t be any jerky movements so if there is then it’s helpful to know. Paying attention to what the movement is like would be helpful when taking the vehicle in so it’s easy to tell the mechanic what’s wrong.

Kendall Ryder
Kendall Ryder
7 years ago

My car has had problems shifting recently. We found out that it was the transmission that was the problem. It was driving me crazy because it was so hard to switch gears. Luckily we just got it fixed so I don’t have to deal with the problem any longer.

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