Signs That Your Automatic Transmission is Failing

2019 Ram 1500 – TorqueFlight Eight-speed Transmission

Modern cars can be highly complex, and many use computers for analytical purposes and also to run automatic transmissions. It may be that you are concerned that your transmission is beginning to fail. Fortunately, there are many telltale signs that it could be on its way out. In this article, we will go over some of the main indications that you need to take your car to a professional.

A Whining Or Whirring Noise

If this is coming from the front of your car, there could be an issue. It would happen when you accelerate and decelerate your vehicle. A whining sound usually means that something isn’t properly lubricated in the engine.

For more information, it’s worth making a Google search online. Many people look up automatic transmission servicing because there are helpful FAQs you can read. Suc pages explain the difference between automatic and manual transmissions and discuss what are the common issues. You can also read about the warning signs indicating something is wrong.

A Fluid Leak

The fluid is reddish in color (or dark brown) and it would be coming from the transmission fluid pan. Alternatively, there could be fluid puddles under the center of the car. Your vehicle could develop issues with overheating because the fluid acts to cool the transmission system.

If the levels become dangerously low,  you could end up with multiple issues and the vehicle could break down.

Your ‘Check Engine’ Light Comes On

If you see an explanation code of P0700 or “Transmission Control System Malfunction,” the car should be serviced as soon as possible.

With some cars, the light may also represent issues in other parts of the vehicle, so it’s always best to have a professional check it out.

Difficulties When Shifting Gears

Changing gears should be pretty much effortless, so if it becomes a struggle (e.g. jerky or clunky) there could be a problem.

If the issue is with your computer system, this could make your car dangerous to drive. In this case, you’d be wise to stay at the side of the road and seek assistance. Should the car shudder or shimmy it may need to be towed away.

Delays Or Slipping

If your car drops out of gear, especially when you are speeding along the freeway, this could be a problem. You may hear a racing/revving sound before the gear reverts to its correct position or it may not feel like the car is going forward.

If the car seems to pause or hesitate you could be a danger to yourself and the other road users. 

Burning Smells

Whilst you may be able to sort the issue with a transmission flush, there is a real possibility that you will need a new transmission or rebuild.  For this reason, you need to take action quickly.

Whilst you may be able to address the issue yourself, it’s safest to let a professional look at your car. Then you can enjoy full peace of mind that it is safe to use. You can enjoy driving once more, knowing that all is well.

Alicia Baker
Alicia is a Canadian writer whose enthusiasm for cultural and automotive are combined in her writing. Her background includes links to insurance, finance, and automotive safety.