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Did you know that your car's transmission is a vital component that works alongside the engine to deliver power to the wheels? It doesn't matter if you have a manual or automatic transmission; it's critical to your vehicle's overall performance. But here's the deal: if you neglect to give your transmission the consistent TLC it deserves, you might end up shelling out a lot of cash for a repair or replacement. And trust us, that can really hurt your wallet.
Along with routine maintenance, detecting transmission problems early can help save you hundreds of dollars and prevent further damage to your vehicle. Let’s review the common signs of transmission problems and what you can do to fix them.
If you want your transmission to stay in tip-top shape, it's essential to keep an eye out for some of the usual transmission issues and tackle them head-on as soon as possible. Don't wait, be proactive and stay ahead of the game!
You look under your vehicle, and what do you see? Drip, drip, drip. There’s a leak! While leaking fluid can indicate a transmission problem, it can also point to issues coming from your engine, brakes, cooling system, or steering. So how do you know if your vehicle is leaking transmission fluid? It could be transmission fluid if the liquid is red, green, or blue. Regardless, leaking fluid is never a good sign, so get your vehicle to a trained technician as soon as possible.
Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, it’s designed to stay in a designated gear until you or your vehicle’s computer performs a shift. So if the transmission spontaneously slips in and out of gear while driving, it’s a scary situation that could lead to an accident and further damage your transmission. If you’re experiencing a slipping transmission, don’t ignore it.
Have you left a parking lot and noticed it takes a few moments for your transmission to switch from reverse to drive? This delay when shifting gears means the transmission is “hesitating” (AKA “slow engagement”). Typically, hesitation or slow engagement indicates a faulty clutch, which can lead to poor transmission performance. If left untreated, it could cause serious — and expensive — transmission damage. Take your vehicle in for an inspection as soon as you notice this problem.
Clunk! Do you hear that or another unusual sound when shifting gears? Or do you notice weird noises when leaving your vehicle in neutral? These symptoms might indicate car transmission problems. If you’re lucky, your vehicle may just need a transmission fluid exchange. On the other hand, it could mean an expensive transmission repair or replacement. Have a professional inspect your vehicle to determine the best solution for you.
A burning smell is never a good thing, whether you’re baking cookies or cruising around town in your car. When the odor comes from your vehicle, it’s typically a sign that your transmission is overheating. This burning scent is another sign that you should take your vehicle to a professional as soon as possible. Continuing to drive through this issue can result in bigger transmission problems and significant internal damage may cost a pretty penny to repair or replace.
Ah, yes. That little yellow light no driver ever wants to see. When it pops up on your dashboard, there could be a minor or — hopefully not — a major issue with one of your vehicle’s components, including the transmission. If the check engine light comes on and you experience any previously mentioned transmission problems, don’t ignore it. Bring your vehicle to a trained technician so they can identify the source of the problem.
Checking and changing transmission fluid is a common solution that some drivers might consider doing themselves to help resolve their transmission issues. While changing the fluid may solve the problem, if your transmission is already damaged, a fluid change will rarely fix it.
Changing your transmission fluid by yourself can be a complicated, messy process. On top of that, used transmission fluid is considered a hazardous waste item, meaning you must pour it into a leak-proof container and take it to your nearest automotive fluid collection site for proper disposal. Sounds like a long afternoon!
Instead, save time and energy by taking your vehicle to your local Jiffy Lube for transmission service.
When it comes to transmission maintenance, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive as letting these problems linger could leave you with a seriously hefty repair bill. You should always follow the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations for transmission maintenance intervals, which can be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If you can’t find it, don’t worry! Bring your vehicle to Jiffy Lube, where the trained technicians can access your vehicle's maintenance schedule and procedures.
NOTE: Not all services are offered at all Jiffy Lube service centers. Please call ahead or check jiffylube.com to ensure the service is available at the Jiffy Lube location near you.