Signs the Transmission is Failing

The transmission allows the gears to shift while driving, propelling the vehicle forward or backward. When the transmission begins to fail, it can lead to other issues that can be costly. Fortunately, there are a few signs that you will usually notice if this part begins to fail due to the age of the machinery or other components that are damaged.

One of the first signs that you’ll notice is that the transmission begins to slip. This could happen when shifting from reverse to one of the other gears or between driving gears. When gears slip, it will feel like the gear that you’re in slips out of place for no reason. Most of the time, the vehicle begins to whine because the RPMs aren’t consistent with the gear that the vehicle is in at the time. The vehicle can also struggle while it’s in gear because it can be difficult to change from one to another, especially when you’re changing from a lower gear to one that is higher.

Hard Shifting
Shifting gears should be a smooth process. When you notice that shifting from one gear to another begins to get harder or if there is a jerking sensation felt when you shift gears, then it’s usually a sign that the transmission is failing. The vehicle might feel like it doesn’t want to shift into gear at all. There could be a grinding noise heard when shifting gears because of the strain on the transmission. The vehicle might take longer to gain speed as the gears shift harder and take longer to shift from one to the next.

Gears Engage Later
When your shift gears, they should shift as soon as you tell the vehicle what you want it to do, such as go in reverse or drive. As the transmission begins to fail, the gears won’t go into gear when you tell them to, gradually taking the transmission and the gears to sync together for the vehicle to move. This is one of the later signs of a failing transmission and should be addressed as soon as possible because it usually means that the transmission won’t begin to shift at all. If there are issues with the gears engaging, you can often get a Clark transmission from K&L Clutch as well as the other components needed for the vehicle.

Leaking Fluids
A sign that the seals of the transmission are failing is fluid leaking from the vehicle. If you think that the fluid is leaking, you can put a large piece of cardboard under the vehicle to see what color the fluid is and how much is leaking. Transmission fluid is normally pink to shades of red. If you see any other color, then it’s likely oil or coolant. Check the fluid in the vehicle on the dipstick to determine if it gets lower over time or if it has a burned smell. You probably won’t notice that the transmission is leaking unless you pay attention to the area where the vehicle is parked and see the fluid on the ground. When the fluid begins to leak, it can cause the gears to grind, which can make the transmission fail faster than if there were other issues present.