Transmission Noise and Other Signs of Transmission Problems

signs of transmission problemsWhen buying a used car, you are always taking a risk that it may be more “used” than you bargained for.  There can always be hidden problems lurking that are difficult to diagnose in the few minutes you have while you are looking at the car.  The same can be true of the car that you are currently driving.  It can be easy to think that if your car starts and runs relatively well then everything is working perfectly, but that isn’t necessarily true.  For the trained eye and ear, it can be easy to notice the subtle hits your vehicle is trying to give you that something isn’t quite right.

Signs of Transmission Problems

  • Harsh Shifting
  • Slow or hanging shifts
  • Whining or humming
  • Clunking or rattling

The first step in learning how to listen to your transmission is true for any component of any car.  Start by driving a few miles on the highway, and a few miles around town with the radio off and no one else in the car.  These quality miles with your vehicle will allow you to hear what a healthy and happy car sounds like.  Try opening the windows and listen to the sounds your car makes as you idle, turn corners, accelerate, brake, turn on and off different equipment like the air conditioning or headlights.  Also, watch the gauges your car has to see where they read during normal operation.  Knowing what your car sounds and acts like when it’s working properly will help you notice when something different is happening which can allow you to make an early diagnosis of a failing component, which will save you money and frustration.

Harsh Shifting

One of the first signs of transmission problems is harsh shifting.  When your transmission slams into gear it can be a sign of abnormal pressures, worn components or even a low fluid level.  Start by checking your transmission fluid level and condition on the dipstick.  If you find a low fluid level, ad BlueDevil Transmission Sealer and top off the fluid to get things back to normal.

Slow or hanging shifts

Similarly, slow and hanging shifts can be a sign of worn component or abnormal pressures in your transmission.  If you’re experiencing slow shifts, consider changing your transmission filter and see if it is clogged and causing the problems you’re having.  If that doesn’t fix the problem then you may need to take your transmission checked by a specialist.

Whining or Humming

Whining and humming are transmission noises that suggest two different problems but are often hard to distinguish.  Whining indicates a problem with the transmission fluid pump and could be due to a low level or a failing pump.  Humming is usually an indication that there is bearing going bad in your transmission, but can also be confused with carrier bearings and wheel bearings so make sure to check all those bearings before jumping to conclusions.

Clunking or Rattling

Clunking or rattling in any system in your car usually means something either has or will soon fail catastrophically.  If you’ve got these kinds of sounds coming from your transmission, have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.  Usually, these types of failures only occur if you’ve got a low fluid level or extremely old transmission fluid.

If you’ve got a low fluid level in your transmission, use BlueDevil Transmission Sealer to stop the leak and avoid many of these transmission problems.

What are the Symptoms of a Failing Transmission?

The symptoms of a failing transmission usually follow after you start to see some of the signs of failure.  For example, If you’ve got rattling or humming in your transmission from a bad bearing, you’ll likely see a leak turn up soon as the bad bearings will allowing the input or output shaft to wobble which will ruin the seal.  Similarly, harsh shifts can wear out clutches and bands and lead to slipping.  Eventually, this slipping leads to your transmission not going into gear at all and you can no longer drive your car.

How do You Know if Your Transmission is Going Out?

The biggest problem you can have with a transmission is excessive slipping or it not going into gear, either forward or reverse.  If you’ve got one of these problems then your transmission could be ready for a rebuild or replacement.  Unfortunately, to find out for sure that your transmission has gone out, you need to remove the transmission and open it up to inspect it for wear and damage.

What are the Signs of a Bad Transmission?

The biggest sign of a bad transmission is its track record.  It can be useful to look for reviews of a vehicle and it’s track record for transmission problems to see if you might end up with a bad transmission.  Resources like www.carcomplaints.com can help you deterimine your chances for transmission problems in the future.

How do you Ruin your Transmission?

The quickest way to ruin your transmission is by running it with a low fluid level.  Check your fluid level often to make sure it’s at the full mark to keep your transmission cool and properly lubricated.  Besides keeping a full fluid level, avoiding shifts at heavy throttle or shifting while your vehicle is moving can help your transmission from wearing out prematurely.


If you’ve got a fluid leak thretenning to damage your transmission, pick up BlueDevil Transmission Sealer today at your favorite local auto parts store like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Fast Track
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
  • S&E Quick Lube Distributor
  • DYK Automotive
  • Fisher Auto Parts stores
  • Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
  • Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
  • Salvo Auto Parts
  • Advantage Auto Stores
  • Genuine Auto Parts stores
  • Bond Auto Parts stores
  • Tidewater Fleet Supply
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
  • Any Part Auto Parts
  • Consumer Auto Parts

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transmission_problems.jpg – By Bizoo_N – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link