These two groups of problems are caused by the same faults in your
transmission, so whichever your car is doing, the following applies.
Is your fluid level correct?
It's important to check your transmission fluid at least twice a year.
Not only can a low fluid level cause your car to shift poorly, it can
eventually lead to transmission damage, and a costly repair. If your car
seems to be losing fluid on a regular basis, you may have a leak.
Is your transmission leaking?
Checking for leaks isn't as trying as it may seem. The transmission is a
closed system, so there are only a few places that can spring a leak.
Unless it's been changed to a non-dyed fluid, your car will have red
transmission fluid. Here are a few places to check for leaks:
Is your filter clogged?
- At the filler tube base.
- At the drain hole underneath the transmission.
- Between the transmission and the engine.
- At the selector shaft - the rod that connects your gear
to the transmission.
- Speed sensor mounting point. This will either be your
screwing into the transmission housing or an electronic sensor bolted to
- The radiator. If your car has a transmission cooler,
possible that a leak will cause transmission fluid to leak into the
radiator fluid. They don't mix well, so you'll see it floating around in
Your transmission's filter is vital to its performance. If you haven't
replaced your filter in a while (or ever for a lot of us), be sure to do
you start talking about rebuilds or replacements.
transmission problems can't be fixed by the average
do-it-yourselfer. There are just too many specialized tools and pieces
of equipment you'll need, and buying this expensive gear just to screw
up your first three tries at fixing the thing just doesn't make too much
Now that you're in front of the firing squad, it's time to drop some
knowledge on your fix-it guy. Tell him what the car's doing. Then tell
him what you found out when you inspected the transmission. If there's a
leak, let him know where and how much is leaking.
Time for a rebuild?
When your transmission gets tired enough, you'll have to have it
rebuilt. It's true. For some makes and models of car, it's true a little
too often, but that's neither here nor there. The important thing is
checking any other possible causes to your problem before you take the
transmission apart, which is very expensive. If you haven't replaced
your filter yet, do it!
This fixes a nice percentage of
transmission problems. If your filter is good, and nothing simple is out
of adjustment, be prepared to drop some serious dough on the rebuild.
The good news is that most shops warrantee a transmission rebuild for a
nice amount of time. A small consolation as your handing over the credit
card, but at least you know that it will get fixed and stay
Good luck and thanks for using Fixya.
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