The Transmission is the part that moves your car through the gears as it increases and decreases in speed. Transmissions generally come in two types Manual and Automatic. (We’ll leave semi-automatic to the real car buffs.)
manual transmissions (clutch/stick shift) usually cost less at purchase than
automatic transmission. They also use less fuel, are less expensive to maintain,
have better acceleration times, and make better use of the engine’s power
(which can be especially helpful for smaller engine cars). Makes you wonder why so many of us drive
automatics, doesn’t it? The downside of manuals is that they require more
effort to learn, more work to drive and can be downright maddening in stop and
drivers who want to be able to drink coffee on the way to work or do other
multi-tasking couldn’t live without the freedom that the automatic provides
since the right hand and left foot are free during driving. The manual requires
the left foot to press the clutch and right hand to operate the gear shift. The
automatic also scores a higher when compared to an improperly driven manual that
can place undue stress on the engine and drive train.
Typical symptoms of transmission
- Leaking Fluid: Park your car in a clear, clean area
for 24 hours. Then move the car and check for any evidence of liquid: drips or
puddles. Red fluid is typically transmission fluid and may mean that you have a
leak. Transmission fluid cools and lubricates the parts as they move. Low fluid
can cause the trans to overheat and/or parts to wear down. (NOTE: Green may be antifreeze very poisonous to pets and children, and black
fluid is usually motor oil.)
- Check Engine
Light: The check engine light tells you that the
car’s internal computer detects a problem in one of the operating systems. It
could be the transmission, or it could be the engine, or exhaust, etc. Better
safe than sorry on this one. Get it in to a professional with the proper
- Something feels
Grinding and shaking as you increase or decrease speed or shift gears can be a
symptom of a serious transmission problem.
- Makes funny
sounds: A transmission that is operating properly
will not make noises. If you hear whining or humming, it’s a problem. Get it
checked out. Note that the noises may only happen intermittently at first but
will happen more and more frequently over time.
- Won’t go into
an automatic transmission hesitates or has issues engaging "Park" or
"Drive" instead of shifting quickly into gear there's likely an issue
with the transmission.
- Manual or Auto Clutches
- Transmission Fluid Service
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