December 14

What Happens When A Car Transmission Goes Bad?


Getting caught up in the daily grind of commuting through the Dallas-Fort Worth area is easy to do. You may brush off a change in your vehicle’s driving power because you can still reach your destination. You may even ignore random sounds or smells coming from your car. But in doing so, you risk severe damage to your vehicle’s internal components. Take a moment to learn about your car’s transmission, its importance, and what these warning signs may indicate.

What Is a Car Transmission?

A car transmission plays a vital role in making your car move. It delivers power from the engine to the wheels. Car transmissions are available in two different types: automatic and manual. Modern vehicles commonly feature an automatic transmission, while older cars with stick shifts have a manual transmission. Some brand-new vehicles offer a manual transmission option if you prefer to take the power into your own hands.

How Does a Car Transmission Work?

Despite the difference between automatic and manual, the way each type of car transmission works is the same. While you drive, the transmission engages the drive wheels and engine to help the car slow down or speed up using a gear ratio. A transmission enables your vehicle’s engine to run slowly when you drive at high speeds to reduce engine wear. It also allows rapid acceleration from a complete stop, as when going from zero to 60 mph in seconds. Transmission issues significantly reduce your vehicle’s reliability and driving performance.

Top Signs Your Car Transmission Is Going Bad

Maintaining your car’s transmission is vital to caring for your vehicle and extending its life span. Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, there are some signs that suggest it may be going bad.

Automatic Transmissions

Here are signs to look out for with an automatic transmission:

  • Shifting delays: Shifting gears should be quick on an automatic transmission. If your vehicle hesitates to change gears, the transmission fluid is probably low due to a leak or contamination resulting from a lack of maintenance.
  • Failure to engage: You should be able to rely on your transmission to engage and help your car reach your destination. If you switch gears and your vehicle won’t move, or it slips out of gear easily, there’s a problem with your transmission.
  • No power: Is your car’s engine running but has little to no power to move? The transmission may need servicing — a qualified automotive mechanic can use diagnostic tools to find the source of the issue.
  • High-revving engine: Your transmission shifts gears when your engine’s revolutions per minute, better known as rpm, get high, so it can help keep the rpm low. A failing transmission with a worn clutch or bad parts creates a high-revving engine, which is not normal and should be checked out by a certified service technician as soon as possible.
  • Leaking transmission fluid: If you notice fluid under your vehicle, your transmission may have a leak. Leaking transmission fluid is often red, but it isn’t always, so it’s best to get your transmission fluid levels checked by a professional to be sure.
  • Check-engine light is on: While this light is often dreaded, it helps notify you of transmission issues. Problems such as overheating or a slipping transmission can trigger this light to come on, and you should have an automotive professional inspect your car to find out what’s causing this alert.
  • Burning smell: Your car should be odorless as you drive around Lewisville. If you smell something burning, your transmission fluid may be low, or you may have a fluid leak.
  • Odd sounds: Do you hear weird sounds like buzzing, clicking, or humming coming from your car? There’s likely a bad bearing or gear damage within the transmission, and it needs servicing.

Manual Transmissions

Shifting gears on a manual transmission should be pretty smooth, aside from moving the stick shift around. If you hear gears grinding, there may be a problem with the shift synchronizer rings inside the transmission, so let a certified service technician know, and they’ll check it out.

When Should You Get Your Transmission Checked?

While the precise figure depends on the make and model of your car, you should generally check your transmission before your car reaches its first 75,000 miles. The first part of an inspection is a transmission flush. This process involves draining the transmission of the old fluid and refilling it with new fluid.

If your transmission has traveled more than 75,000 miles, you should get a traditional transmission service instead. A fluid flush could damage the internal components of an older transmission. A regular service is a good choice because it includes a comprehensive look at the transmission. This process involves draining the old transmission fluid, replacing the filter, and installing a new gasket on the transmission drain pan. Plus, new fluid is added on top of some old fluid to put less stress on your transmission.

Where To Schedule a Transmission Service

You can’t just take your vehicle to any auto repair shop for a transmission service. Only some mechanics are factory-trained and -certified. Other mechanics may be unfamiliar with transmission repair because it’s a specialized field in the automotive repair industry. Don’t risk further damage to your car’s transmission with an inexperienced mechanic — take your vehicle to a certified service center for the best possible service.

Visit our service center at Huffines Chevrolet Lewisville for your transmission service. Our certified service technicians are experts on new and pre-owned cars with automatic and manual transmissions. We conduct a multipoint inspection to diagnose your car’s issues and provide the correct solutions. We also use the highest quality replacement parts to make your vehicle more durable. Your car will be as good as new after you bring it to our Lewisville, Texas, service center.

Save Money on Your Next Car Service at Huffines Chevrolet Lewisville

You get peace of mind and save valuable money with the best deal on car services and parts when you visit us at 1400 S. Stemmons Freeway in Lewisville. We proudly serve customers from Denton to Grapevine and Frisco to Northlake, so stop by anytime or call us at 888-743-6254 to schedule an appointment. We offer convenient service appointment times Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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