Signs that Something May Be Wrong with Your Transmission - Service Information at Capitol Chevrolet

While the engine is often thought of as the driving force behind a vehicle, the transmission is just as important. The transmission is what sends power from the engine to the wheels, and the multiple gears make sure that the right amount of power is sent. Transmission problems are more than just troublesome--they can also be expensive, especially if they're not caught early. Be sure to watch out for these seven signs of trouble.

Automatic transmission cross-section

7. Noises in Neutral

When your transmission is in neutral, it means that there's no connection between the engine and the wheels. When your transmission is in neutral, there should be no strange bumping noises. If there are, your Chevy might only be in need of new transmission fluid. If this doesn't solve the problem, there may be worn components.

6. Car Grinds or Shakes when Gears Switch

There's a reason that saying something "grinds your gears" means that it really bothers you. If you have a manual transmission and you can't switch gears without a grinding feel or sound, it's likely because either a gear synchronizer or the clutch itself is worn out. This might manifest itself differently in cars with automatic transmission. Instead of a grinding, you may feel a shudder, jolt, or other shaking motion when your car switches gears.

Gas, brake, and clutch pedals

5. Car Won't Go Into Gear

It goes without saying that a transmission that won't go into gear is a problem. This can happen in both automatic and manual transmissions, and it has a number of potential causes. Low or incorrect transmission fluid may cause this issue, or there may be physical components that need to be adjusted.

4. Slipping Gears or Dragging Clutch

Slipping gears are no laughing matter. A gear slips when the transmission pops out of the gear it's supposed to be in and goes back into neutral. This needs immediate attention, as it can lead to a loss of control on the road. A dragging clutch is a similar problem that's specific to manual transmissions. This problem means that the flywheel and the clutch disk don't disengage when you press the clutch pedal. This means that you won't be able to shift into gear once you've shifted into neutral.

Automatic transmission gear selector

3. Whining, Humming, or Clunking Noises

What's the best way to deal with strange noises in your car? If you answered "turn the radio up," that's a very good way to turn a small problem into a bigger one. If you hear any odd noises in your vehicle, it's best to have them inspected immediately. Whining and humming noises are often signs of trouble with automatic transmissions, while manual transmissions more often make clunking noises when something is wrong.

2. Burning Smell

With a few very specific exceptions (like when you're gathered around a campfire), burning is rarely a promising smell. If it's coming from your vehicle, it's even less likely to be good news. A burning smell could be caused by an overheating transmission. If this happens, it's likely because there's not enough transmission fluid.

1. Transmission Fluid Leak

Transmission fluid is a vital component of both automatic and manual transmissions. It cools the transmission and lubricates it so that moving metal parts don't grind against each other. If the transmission fluid is low, it will need to be replaced and any leaks will need to be sealed. This fluid is generally bright red, so any leaks that look like that should be investigated immediately. But you may not notice such a leak, so a full inspection is helpful.

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