5 Transmission Failure Signs To Look For In Your Car

July 21, 2022 | June Mckaig

transmission graphic 

There's a reason why transmission repair is one feared the most by drivers. Your transmission allows your car to, well, move, and it lets drivers power a vehicle in a preferred controlled way. Your transmission is what sends power to the wheels and the engine through a system of mechanical gears and gear trains.

Basically, without a transmission, your car wouldn’t be a car.

Issues with a car’s transmission tend to be a pretty big — and expensive — deal. The cost for transmission work varies.

The average transmission replacement will run you anywhere from $1,800 to $3,400. There tend to also be high labor costs related to transmission issues since mechanics must spend time figuring out exactly which part of the transmission is failing.

You can stay ahead of it all by knowing when your transmission may be on the brink of failure.

Here are 5 of the top transmission failure signs.

Signs To Check Your Transmission

1. Rattling, Clunking, And Other Sounds

Have you ever been driving and heard something that just sounds different? Random sounds you haven’t heard before may indicate something is off with your transmission.

These are frequently reported as repeated clunking or rattling sounds. Sometimes it’s a buzzing or a humming sound.

The clunking sound may also be heard when you switch gears. Gears should feel smooth, but if there’s a gear shift that is accompanied by a clunk or a thud or a sudden drop to the next gear, your transmission is trying to tell you something.

While not all car sounds indicate a transmission issue, another sound-related hint is if your car is noisy while it’s in neutral. Sometimes replacing transmission fluid is the solution, but other times it can mean parts are worn or need to be replaced.

2. A Burning Smell

Drivers shouldn’t just perk up their ears while on the road. If there are any type of burning smells you notice, your next stop should be a repair shop. Burning smells usually mean the transmission is burnt and old or that it is dangerously overheating.

3. Fluids Are Leaking

There are many different kinds of fluids in your car that do everything from helping you steer and break to cleaning the windshield. When fluids begin to break down or start to leak, your engine won’t work as efficiently as it can unless you prioritize replacing them.

The good news is that it’s usually easy to tell when a fluid leak is related to your automatic transmission. These are usually red in color and often smell sweet. If your fluid is long overdue for a replacement, automatic transmission fuel will begin to smell toasty and have a darker color.

checking for a leak

A good rule of thumb: When your transmission’s fluid is running low, there will always be a leak.

4. Shaking

Transmissions shift and run smoothly, whether you’re traveling slowly through a residential area or gunning it down the highway.

When there’s any kind of shaking or jerkiness, especially when there are shifts in gear or you’re using your brake, there’s something likely off with your transmission. The gears may be shot or are wearing down.

5. Lack Of Response

Every good transmission allows you to slide into gears easily. If there is no such response or your car seems to be hesitating to move into a different gear, the transmission is the likely culprit.

In manual cars, this delayed shifting response often comes with a noise that isn’t in line with your speed or even an RPM surge.

Get Help Covering Transmission Repair With A Nevada Title Loan

Car repairs are one of the most common forms of financial emergencies. Since transmission work can easily get up to $10,000, one option is receiving assistance through a Nevada title loan.

Designed to help with financial emergencies, a title loan uses your vehicle’s lien-free title as collateral in exchange for a short-term loan to be paid off over time.

Those who qualify for a title loan at Nevada Title and Payday Loans, Inc., may receive up to $15,000 — and it can take as little as 30 minutes to qualify.

It’s easy to get started. Fill out the short online title loan inquiry form on our homepage and a loan representative will give you a quick call and guide you through the rest of the process.

Once you bring the required materials with you to one of our locations near you, a short inspection will be conducted, and you get the cash you need the same day or the next business day.

Get Started Today

Transmission failure signs will help you get to a mechanic promptly, but the cost for transmission repair can be sky-high. We can help. Start online, give us a call, or visit us today to see how a Nevada title loan can help you overcome a financial emergency in a snap.

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

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