Signs That Your Automatic Transmission Needs Service
The automatic transmission in your car or truck is designed to run without a lot of maintenance or service in most situations. However, there are some parts in the transmission that can wear and break as the car ages, and there are some indications that the vehicle needs service at a qualified transmission repair shop.
One of the most common things that happen with automatic transmissions is related to wear inside the case. The transmission may start to slip, especially if it has a lot of miles on it, and, commonly, it begins when you are starting from a complete stop and shifting into drive.
One of the common reasons for this involves the friction material on the clutch bands and the transmission filter. The friction material gets in the transmission fluid as it wears and then gets caught in the oil filter, eventually restricting the flow of oil through the filter and causing a loss of pressure inside the transmission.
The clutch bands don't grab the drum the way they should, and you feel the transmission slipping as you accelerate. The solution is to have a transmission shop flush the transmission and replace the filter and oil so that everything is flowing correctly.
Another common issue that you may see with an automatic transmission is improper shifting. In some cases, the transmission will not shift out of first gear. Other times it shifts, but the shift is exceptionally harsh. This situation is often also related to a blocked filter inside the transmission oil pan. Still, it can also be caused by a low amount of vacuum or a bad accumulator on the transmission. It is harder to resolve, and taking the car into the transmission shop is the best course of action.
Newer cars do not use the vacuum accumulator on the transmission but instead use an electronic module to help control the shifting. If your vehicle is relatively new, a bad module may be causing the shifting issues. If that is the case, the tech can test the module and read any error codes that may determine that it is faulty.
Leaking Transmission Oil
Leaks coming from your transmission need to be corrected as soon as possible so that the oil level inside the transmission does not fall too low. If you see a leak under the transmission, it is likely coming from the oil pan gasket or one of the cooling lines on the transmission.
The transmission tech will identify it and replace the seals for you when you take the vehicle to the shop. Contact an auto service for more information about car transmissions.