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7 signs your car’s transmission needs a check up

woman driving car

A car’s transmission is responsible for sending the right amount of power to the wheels. The gears in the transmission change the speeds and allow you to properly control your car.

Whether manual or automatic, a transmission is a complicated component..The parts themselves are expensive and a repair or replacement is labor-intensive. The costs can range between $1,200 to $3,800 to even higher. Month-to-month vehicle service contracts (commonly known as an extended car warranty) are available  to protect you from these expensive repairs.

It’s time to take your car to the shop and get your transmission checked out if you notice any of the 7 warning signs below.

Transmission fluid leak

If you notice a puddle of red fluid on your driveway, this is a transmission fluid leak. A leak can occur because of things like wear and tear of the transmission pan, broken seals or an issue with the torque converter. Though it may seem harmless at first, if you don’t look into the problem as soon as possible it’ll cause bigger damage.

Shaky transmission gears

A transmission that’s working correctly will give you a smooth ride. There’s a problem if you’re getting a shaky ride while shifting gears. In manual transmissions, there may be a problem with the clutch or the synchronizers. In automatic transmissions, you may be running on low transmission fluid.

Unresponsive transmission  gears

Having unresponsive gears is when a car takes longer to shift into drive. This problem is fairly common with automatic transmissions after years of wear and tear. A delay in response is minor at first, but it can become a worse problem over time.

Note: You should avoid revving the engine if you’re experiencing a delayed response. The increase in friction can cause more damage.

Slipping transmission gears

Experiencing slipping gears is another clear sign that your transmission requires maintenance. When your gears slip, you’ll feel sort of like you’re driving over ice. You may also notice unusually high RPMs. It’s not safe to drive when your gears are slipping.

Check engine light

Your check engine light can be a sign that many things are failing or need a check up, among them is your transmission. If your check engine light is on, go in for a diagnostic to be completely sure of what the problem is.

Note: If you have a newer car that’s from 2012 or later, you will likely have a transmission warning light.

Read our blog to find out what your car’s dashboard warning lights mean and learn more about extended car warranties for used cars.

Strange noises coming from transmission

If you hear grinding, whining or gurgling coming from your car when it’s in neutral, it’s a cause for concern. There may be a variety of issues happening. Whether the noises are due to clogged fluid, too little fluid or something more complicated that’s damaging the gears, take your car to the repair shop as soon as possible. 

Strange smell coming from transmission

Whenever you detect a burning smell while your car is on, the fluid has broken down and the transmission is too hot. This leads to more friction in the engine. A transmission that burns too hot for too long will cause damage and lead to a major breakdown.

Transmissions are one of the most expensive car repairs

No matter how careful you are, sometimes repairs can’t be avoided. Transmissions wear down and they are bound to have problems down the line. These expensive repairs can be covered with comprehensive car repair coverage (also known as extended car warranties for used cars). By paying a low monthly subscription, you won’t have to worry about paying out of pocket for a transmission repair. has created vehicle breakdown coverage that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, offers a full suite of worry-free, no-haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!