There’s never a good time to have trouble with your truck or car. Mechanical problems with your vehicle always seem to happen at the worst time, and they can cause major headaches. Engine problems cover a wide range of severity and cost—if you’re lucky, an oil change and a new air filter will take care of your problem. If you’re not, your transmission may need massive overhaul. That’s on the top end of expensive and one step short of putting in a whole new engine.
Fortunately, a transmission doesn’t just stop working: there are plenty of warning signs. If you take care of your truck or car even moderately, you’ll know something is wrong. Listen to your vehicle, and read these tips on how to know your diesel is having transmission problems.
A very obvious sign that something is wrong with your transmission is the smell. If a burning smell is coming from under the hood, that’s usually a good sign that something is wrong. Either your transmission fluid is burning, or the gears are grinding against one another and causing friction.
Cloudy Transmission Fluid
Your routine maintenance should involve checking all the fluids in the vehicle, especially the transmission fluid. A quick way to check for problems is to monitor this fluid, which should be a crisp, clear, bright red color. If it’s dark and cloudy, something is wrong.
Shaking or Grinding Gears
A transmission should never grind or shake. If either one of those things is happening, then you have a problem. A malfunctioning manual transmission may grind when you shift between gears, whereas an automatic may grind and shake while in operation or going into gear. A smooth shift is what you want—anything other than that is trouble.
The Vehicle is Louder Than Usual
Loud clanking noises are a clear sign something is wrong. If your truck starts to sound clunky or whiny, or if a buzzing is coming from the gear box, then there may be issues with the transmission. Listen to your car—if it’s louder than you’re used to, have it looked at.
The gear system is what makes the car go from point A to point B. If the gears are starting to slip in and out of gear while you’re driving, that’s not just an indication that something is wrong—it’s also dangerous for you. Sticking gears are another sign that your transmission is about to clunk out on you. Take the vehicle to a mechanic and have it looked at immediately while you can still drive it.