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7 Common Car Transmission Problems That You Can’t Overlook

In every vehicle, car transmission is one of those things that directly affects competency. By following proper maintenance procedures you can keep the transmission smooth. In that way you won’t have to worry about costly servicing and replacements. However, having some knowledge of common signs of transmission problems will help you to detect any problem with your transmission in time. In this article, we will have the closer look at the most common car transmission problems.

Drivers Must Know These 7 Common Car Transmission Problems

Remember: Car transmission is very important. Any sort of problems with transmission can make your car unable to drive. The typical duty of the transmission in your car is directing power from the engine to the driveshaft which effectively rolls the wheels. The list below discusses some of the most common car transmission problems.

1. Grinding Or Buzzing Noises

common transmission problems
Whenever you hear noises, do not panic

When you hear a strange brushing noise, even with a good condition gear, the problem will surely lay in the torque converter.

Damaged or worn from the needle bearings are one of the most common car transmission problems. This is usually just a minor problem, but since it is connected with torque converter, you will know immediately.

Even though it seems like a minor problem, this can cause huge damage to the transmission if drivers are not  taking care of their dear vehicles.

2. Lack of Response

common transmission problems
It is obvious to check the transmission before fixing transmission problem.

If there are faulty or no respond from your car when you place it into gear, this problem is surely from transmission. Of course, one of the most common car transmission problems has to be the transmission itself. This problem, however, might be complicated. It could be simple like low transmission fluid, or may be something more serious.

For that reason, if your car are having failure to respond, take it to a service professional to avoid losing any more pennies from your wallet!

3. Low Fluid Levels or Leaks

Low Fluid Levels or Leaks
oil leak is one of the most common transmission problems

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Probably the most common car transmission problem is transmission fluid leaks or low fluid levels. Such a problem may occur when there are leaks in the transmission system. In case the driveshaft or transmission is defective, there can be leaks. You can fix the problem by replacing the transmission gasket seals. In some other cases, coolants are often found to be contaminating transmission fluid, also. The common term for such a defect is cross-contamination.

Fluid leaks or low fluid levels commonly results in slow shifting or gear slippage. Immediately change the fluid or completely flush and refill the transmission whenever you notice fluid contamination.

4. Torque Converter Problems

Torque converter
Torque issues happen very often

From the list of common transmission problems, we cannot ignore the torque. Torque transmission and converter could cause different kinds of issues that are responsible for a failure or damage in the transmission. Drivers quite often face problems with damaged or worn out needle bearings. Warm needle bearings often create noises that are easily hear while driving. When in neutral, it is not likely to make any noise. But, as soon as you shift to driving gears, you can hear brushing or grinding noises.

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5. Solenoid Problems 

common transmission problems
Solenoid is the cause of many common transmission problems

Throughout the car transmission and the flow of fluid is controlled by the solenoid. Electronic malfunctions or inadequate fluid level can damage the solenoid. And when the solenoid is faulty, the result can be same as when there are instances of fluid leakage or shortage. As long as there are no leaks, but your transmission keeps slipping, then, there is something wrong with the solenoid. Besides, the power output of your engine drops sharply.

6. Grinding gears

You can observe this symptom present itself differently in automatic and manual transmission. If your car is a manual transmission vehicle, when changing gears, you feel or hear a grinding sense, this may mean that the clutch of your car has just been worn out and it’s time for you to replace it. However it also mean that one of the transmission synchronizer of your car is damaged and worn out. If your are owing an automatic transmission car, a rough shift instead of an unnoticeable on could be resulted by a few thing. With the case of automatic transmissions, you should take your car into an auto workshop to diagnose.

7. Burning Smell

Another symptom in the list of car transmission problems is burning smell. The smell of something is bad warning sign that you don’t want it coming to your car. There are many factors can cause the burning smell but the main factor is often the overheating of the transmission fluid. If you have to face this bad situation, you should calm down then give your car a professional check as soon as possible.  

With a non-professional person, diagnosing certain car transmission issues is not the best thing to do. Bear in mind that whenever you feel or hear some strange things, don’t wait to see if the issue goes away. Urgent thing to do is taking your car to a repair shop to prevent any further terrible damage. Fixing your car transmission problems as soon as possible not only save you trouble, time and money, but also save you and others from accidents on the road.

Common Questions About Car Transmission Problems

Common questions about car transmission problem
Common questions about car transmission problem

What happens if your car transmission fails?

Driving a car with a failed transmission means you have to face with a lot of unnerving and dangerous problems. For instance, it is too hard for you to stay in gear, which can make the vehicle to stall. Besides, if low transmission fluid is the reason responsible for your transmission problems, you may feel a loss of acceleration gradually.

In some more serious situations, if your car transmission is totally out, you will not be able to start your car and will definitely have to call a tow truck to pick up your car. In these case, the need of replacing the transmission is unavoidable, which costs an extreme expensive price.

Is driving a car with a slipping transmission safe or not?

It is not recommended to drive a car with a slipping transmission because the car will be unpredictable. The car can go into different gears without sake, warning and cause damage. If you see any sign of slipping transmission in your car, just go to a auto repair shop to fix it as soon as possible.  

22 Comments
  1. Geff says

    I drive Premio Corona….the car is awesome but it looses power up the hill,it also takes too long to shift from gear 1 to gear no. 2.I recently serviced the vehicke,What could be the problem

    1. amin says

      Thank you for your comment. we’ll try to gather some reliable information on this & will write another article.

  2. Joe siwale says

    My toyota looses power up hill, what could be the problem?

  3. Kelly says

    I also have the same problem, my Toyota corona premio loses power uphill. I’ve been advised to change the catalytic converter, it might be clogged. Kindly advise.

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are happy to receive your comments. Please share with your friends so they can enjoy this article, too.

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    1. Trang Tran says

      We are happy to receive your comments. Please share with your friends so they can enjoy this article, too.

  5. Kasanka says

    I drive a Hyundai tucson JM 2006 model but it makes a squeak noise when the steering wheel turns to the end. What could be the problem? help please.

    1. Trang Tran says

      Thank you for contacting Car From Japan. However, we cannot answer your problem because there is many things we need to see at your car. I suggest you to bring the car to a local mechanical shop o solve your problem.

  6. Peter says

    I have a Toyota premio when I engage drive no response BT if you reverse it response good pls help

  7. Emery Jean Chambers says

    It was really informative when you said that if the car does not respond when it is placed into gear, then it needs to be checked by a professional as that indicates transmission problems. If so, then my brother has been ignoring a problem with the transmission of the car for a while now. The car is not broken, but it takes an awfully long time before it responds. Now, I know what it means. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Dino Violante says

    It was helpful when you said that transmission leaks are the most common problem with the transmission system and that it can cause slow shifting or gear slippage. If that is true, then I have a strong feeling that I have fluid leaks because shifting the gear has been hard, especially when it is raining. The car is not usually like that. I will take it to the professional to see what exactly is wrong and fix it.

  9. Dino Violante says

    I appreciate it when you said that the grinding gears in a manual vehicle mean that the clutch has worn out, and it needs to be replaced immediately. It has been a long while since my dad last got the car checked, so it is not impossible that there is something wrong with the car now. I know that he drives a manual car, so this must be the case of his transmission system. I will ask him to look for a mechanic ASAP.

  10. Mutebi says

    My toyota regius needs to warm up first to go over hills.please advise.

  11. Rukhsana says

    My Corolla Axio automatic while putting it from Parking into Reverse it is hard and then all other gears shift in normal and easily. What can be the cause?

  12. Caitlyn Page says

    Thanks for addressing the possible reason behind the transmission problem. Transmission is an important part of the vehicle and also expensive one. Regular maintenance of such expensive components is really essential to keep the transmission in working order. Regular inspection of the transmission is also essential to identify and repair mechanical issues associated with such important component.

  13. Jones says

    My Toyota cami J100E gearbox can’t move when I engage in the front and reverse gears respectively but at times it can engage but fails to pick up into next .What could be the problem?

  14. Usman says

    My premio 2007 had also cvt gear problem the belt was making noise from 5kmh to 25kmh then i have replaced transmission after 2 week i was giving acceleration the gear becomes slipped. Then i replaced again the transmission now it makes belt noise again in cold but after 5minutes its quite and fine.
    Please help me is this fine or it will again cause belt to be damaged.

  15. Usman says

    Why this belt makes noises in the cold?

  16. Rod Baker says

    Put my 2008 Toyota Hilux 4×4 in for service, picked it up and drove 200ks and the motor seized. Wrong oil filter, the engine had no oil, just at the same time as the engine seized the transmission made a whirring noise and a lost of power when I pulled to the side of the road,
    5 weeks later I get it back with reconditioned engine block, 1 days later I notice lag in transmission when I put it to reverse.
    Can this be connected to the engine seizing?

    Would love your help

  17. Hannie says

    My Toyota Cami has white smoke when its in one place but when you drive it clears. What’s the problem?

  18. Elisabeth Southgate says

    Thank you for helping me learn more about transmissions. I found it helpful when you said to not ignore strange noises or smells hoping they will go away. In general, these problems don’t just fix themselves and can be signs of a bigger issue that can leave you stranded on the road.

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