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Common Transmission Problems

The mere thought of transmission problems strikes fear into the hearts of many car owners. Although the transmission is an important part of your vehicle, not all transmission problems are costly. Common problems involve low fluid levels, old fluid, leaks, slipping or a defective solenoid. Fortunately, the easiest way to avoid transmission problems is through regular preventive maintenance. Here are the most common transmission problems and how to fix them.

Leaks and Low Fluid LevelsCommon Transmission Problems Leaks can cause low fluid levels, which can lead to other problem such as the transmission slipping or overheating. Look for reddish stains on your driveway or garage floor. Lakes and low fluid levels indicate a seal problm, worn gasket or punctured pan. and usually mean that there is a seal problem, puncture pan or worn gasket. Make sure your mechanic properly repairs the leak and that all bolts are retightened.

Ineffective Fluid
Transmission fluid that is old and dirty smells slightly burnt, looks dark red and has lost its usefulness. Its worse if the fluid smells very burnt and is very dark. Transmissions that run on worn fluid will eventually fail and could experience different problems such as overheating. Always replace the transmission filter when you replace fluid.

Slipping
Slipping transmissions may be the most common problem, but if you can easily pinpoint the cause, it is not necessarily a sign of imminent failure. Your transmission may be slipping include gears shifting suddenly or very slowly. Problems that cause slippage include the aforementioned dirty fluid or transmission leaks. If the fluid is low, replace it. If it is dirty, add transmission fluid or replace it. Other possibilities include worn gears that need replacing or debris within the solenoid.

Solenoid Problems
The electrical component that controls the amount of fluid delivered to the transmission is called the solenoid. A malfunctioning solenoid behaves erratically and may cause too much or too little fluid to be delivered to the transmission. When leaks, bad fluid and worn gears have been ruled out, check the solenoid. Defective solenoids require replacement. Plugging a scanner into your vehicle’s computer will allow your technician to find the exact cause.

The best way to avoid transmission problems is through regular preventive maintenance. Have your transmission checked twice a year or every 6,000 miles and replace fluid when it starts to turn brown.
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