An automobile’s transmission is one of the most complex things it can have.
It’s the sole component responsible for transmitting power to the driven wheels.
If the transmission isn’t working properly, no amount of engine power will help your car to move.
Aside from the engine, a car’s transmission is the other component which experiences heavy wear and tear due to the stresses put through it.
The good thing is that modern gearboxes are designed to last for the entirety of the car’s lifetime.
As sealed units, you rarely have to maintain them aside from changing the transmission fluid.
However, like any mechanically-complex machine, transmissions can fail as a result of any number of factors.
What should I look out for?
If you feel, hear, smell or see any of these things, your transmission might be in need of repair or maintenance:
- Lack of, or slow response: If your car hesitates or outright refuses to get into gear even though the selector is in D, or Drive, you might have a problem. Shifting from Park (P) to D should engage first gear almost immediately – any delay more than that is a cause for concern.
- Loud mechanical whining or humming: if your transmission sounds like a swarm of angry bees, there might be a good chance your transmission is busted.
- Leaking: gearboxes are sealed units but can however leak transmission fluid, which is bright red. If you discover such a leak below your car, immediately get it checked out as lack of fluid will cause your gearbox to overheat.
- Jumpy or slipping gears: that’s a surefire sign you have real problems when you don’t get the gear that you need.
- Burning smell: your transmission fluid could be overheated. Make sure you check in with your mechanic about changing it out, as well as checking to make sure no lasting damage was done.