Transmission Problems: Spotting the Signs Early

Transmission Problems: Spotting the Signs Early

Affirm CollaboratorDecember 11, 2019

The only time you can count on having mechanical problems with your truck is at the worst time—it’s Murphy’s Law. Some problems are easy and cheap to fix, others will cost you; they can cost you five bucks or several thousand.

Unfortunately, one of the most expensive issues is a faulty transmission. However, there are plenty of warning signs leading up to that failure. And chances are, if you perform moderate maintenance on your vehicle, you’ll know something is wrong. Spotting the early signs of transmission problems will save you time, money, and aggravation.

Bad Smells

Terrible odors coming from underneath your truck is a good sign something is wrong. Specifically, if there is a burning smell coming from under the hood, don’t ignore it. This means either your transmission fluid is burning or the gears are grinding on one another and causing friction. Unless you are standing next to a campfire, a burning smell is a universal sign something is wrong.

Grinding Gears

No transmission, be it an automatic or manual, should ever grind or shake. If either one is happening, you have a problem with the transmission. A manual transmission will grind when shifting between gears, whereas an automatic will grind and shake while in operation or when put into gear. Consistent, smooth shifting is what you want—anything other than that is trouble.

The Engine is Louder than Usual

Loud, clanking noises are a clear sign something is wrong. If your truck starts to sound clunky, whiny, or there’s a buzzing coming from the gearbox, there’s likely an issue with the transmission. Listen to your truck, and if it’s louder than you’re used to, have a mechanic look at it.

Trouble Shifting

The gear system is what makes the tires rotate and the car move from point A to B. If the gear stick starts to slip in and out of gear while you’re driving, don’t drive your vehicle any further. This is dangerous for you and could lead to an accident. Sticking gears are another sign that your transmission is about to clunk out on you. Take it in and have it looked at immediately while you can still drive it.

Murky Transmission Fluid

Any routine maintenance on your truck should involve checking all the fluids, especially the transmission fluid. The transmission fluid should be a crisp, clear, bright red color. A quick way to check for problems is to monitor the fluid. If it’s dark and cloudy, something is wrong.

If you’re lucky, you may be able to fix your problem with an oil change and a new air filter. However, in the event it’s something more, your transmission may need a massive overhaul. Next Gen Diesel can help. We carry high-quality transmissions, such as the Cummins 68RFE transmission, as well as truck parts and rebuild kits.

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