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7 Signs of a Broken Transmission (and Repair Cost)


Imagine traveling at any speed during your trip. It is not an attractive idea. The transmission is the part of your vehicle that helps you shift gears smoothly.

When a specific gear is selected, the transmission controls the amount of power sent to the engine. It doesn’t matter if it’s an automatic or manual transmission; They do the same thing.

What is the transfer for?

The powertrain is there to make sure you have enough power when you need it. The principle is similar to bicycle derailleurs. Lower speeds mean more power is produced. Higher gears allow you to drive at higher speeds.

There are three types of transmission in a car: manual, automatic, and CVT. Manual models allow you to change gears yourself. Automatic models use the vehicle to shift gears for you. CVT transmissions are basically the long-ratio automatic type.

Top 7 Signs of a Bad Transmission

How do you know your transmission is slipping or has transmission failure? Let’s review seven of the most common transmission symptoms.

#1 – Stains on the garage floor or driveway

cost to repair a transmission fluid leak

Another way to check for leaks is to place sturdy paper or cardboard under your car when you park it overnight. If it is colored in the morning, you will be able to tell if it is oil or transmission fluid.

If possible, also take the paper or cardboard to your mechanic. They can then confirm what the leak is if you are unsure.

See also: Transmission Fluid Color Chart

#2 – Unusual noise

the steering wheel makes noise when turning

If any part of your car is making a new type of noise, you need to get it checked. The transmission is slowing down, but at first, it may be more than a whine or hum. Go to a mechanic and have him check the transmission. If you catch it early enough, it may not be as bad as it could be.

#3 – Unresponsive Gears

Signs of a Bad Transmission Valve Body

Your gears should shift easily. It’s something you shouldn’t think about, much less struggle with while driving. Unresponsive gears may indicate a transmission fluid leak, a serious problem that you should address quickly.

Related: Transmission Valve Body Problem Symptoms

#4 – Smell

If you smell burning, your transmission fluid may be overheating or low on fluid. It’s not the end of the world if you notice it early enough, stop and let the car cool and/or buy a quart of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) at a nearby gas station or auto parts store and refill it.

This is often enough to take it home or to a repair shop. You’ll want to diagnose the problem right away before a completely broken transmission requires an expensive rebuild or replacement.

#5 – Grinding Equipment

manual transmission difficult to shift

A squeaky manual transmission is easier to notice. You will hear the noise and feel the gears getting stuck. It could be a simple matter of replacing the clutch (not as simple but better than the alternative).

Automatic will only make a noticeable sound – a creak. If you’ve driven a manual car for a while, you’ve probably shifted gears before, so you know the sound. What we are talking about here is the grinding noise that occurs regularly.

See also: Comparison of helical and spur gears

#6 – High in Neutral

sudden deceleration

If your car makes strange noises when in neutral, it’s time to look under the hood. You can often solve this problem by adding new transmission fluid so it is full. If it continues after doing so, consult your mechanic to see if more serious damage has occurred to the transmission.

#7 – Check Engine Light

check engine light

We know how annoying those warning lights are to maintain your car. They are especially problematic if you are having a bad financial month. If you don’t want things to go wrong, find out beforehand.

Proper maintenance can save you thousands of dollars in costly future repairs.

Transmission Repair Cost (and Replacement Cost)

Signs of Burnt Transmission Fluid

Get ready; repairing and replacing the transmission will be quite expensive. You can often find a rebuilt transmission for between $1,000 and $6,000. This price will depend on the make and model of the vehicle, and a manual transmission is cheaper than an automatic transmission.

If you want something with more of a warranty, opt for a factory-rebuilt model. You’ll pay more, but the warranty can be up to 100,000 miles or three years. Installing it is easier for a mechanic than rebuilding it and will take a day or two at most.

If the mechanic rebuilds it, the costs are lower, but the warranty period is shorter. This may take at least three or four days as the damaged module must be removed, disassembled, and repaired. Costs vary because you never know what problems are hiding inside.

Your other option is to save a stream. If you’re lucky, you’ll pay between $200 and $600, but the problem is you don’t know what you’re getting. Who’s to say the rescue model will work for your vehicle?

Talk to the repair shop in advance; some will not offer this service due to potential risks. Also avoid used parts, unless you know something about maintaining the other vehicle.

You’ll also need to guide your budget, so when deciding if this repair is affordable, consider towing costs. You can drive the car if you are within walking distance of the garage. If it is long enough, call a tow truck.

See also: 6 Types of Car Title Marks

Can you drive with a bad transmission?

We do not recommend it under normal conditions. If you have identified a leak, you can get rid of it by regularly refilling the transmission fluid. It’s a pain because it means checking the fluid every time you get in the vehicle.

You will always need a bottle of transmission fluid with you. If you are going to try this, make sure you have the right type of fluid for your vehicle.

If the gears slip or you are not sure what the problem is, park the car and have it towed. The potential for damage is high. If the metal on the transmission starts to peel off and leak into the coolant, you can expect a very expensive repair.


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