| LOOK FOR THESE
TRANSMISSION TROUBLE SIGNS
LOOK for fluid leaks...
Routinely check your garage floor, driveway or parking spot for fluid
leaks. Transmission fluid leaks are fairly common and they
can cause major problems if allowed to continue.
If you see
leaked fluid on the ground directly below where you park your vehicle,
the first thing you need to do is determine if the leaked fluid is
transmission fluid or one of the other fluids (engine oil, power
steering fluid or brake fluid). Clean transmission fluid is
red in color and translucent. Old transmission fluid may be a
darker red or brown. Oxidized "burnt" transmission is very
dark, possibly even black, in color and has a burnt odor.
If you believe
the leak is transmission fluid - you must check the transmission fluid
level right away. If the fluid level is low, add the correct
type of transmission fluid to bring the level into the "full range" on
the dipstick. If the transmission fluid level shows full (and
you are quite certain the leaked fluid is transmission fluid) then you
will need to continue checking the transmission fluid level daily until
the origin of the leak can be confirmed and the leak is repaired.
to properly check transmission fluid level
WARNING: Allowing the
transmission fluid level to drop below the full range on the dipstick
will cause heat to build up inside the transmission.
Excessive heat will cause internal transmission damage rather quickly.
Learn how quickly excessive heat can ruin a transmission.
LOOK for smoke...
another sign of a possible transmission problem is seeing any signs of
smoke when the engine is running or after shutting a hot engine
off. Smoke coming from the engine compartment or from
underneath your vehicle is most likely caused by an overheated engine
or fluid leaking onto the exhaust pipes or other hot surfaces and
burning off. Again, the leak could be transmission fluid or
any one of the other fluids used in your car. But, regardless
of the type of fluid that is leaking, if it is causing the vehicle to
smoke it is a fire hazard. Leaked fluid onto hot exhaust
pipes is one of the top causes of vehicle fires.
How to locate and repair a transmission fluid leak
closely at transmission dipstick... When checking the transmission fluid
level, after wiping the fluid from the dipstick look closely to see if
the dipstick is stained. The stain will be brown or dark
brown in color and will not wipe off. If you see such a
stain, it means the transmission is either running hot or has gotten
very hot in the past.
This is an
especially troubling sign if you recently purchased the
vehicle. What sometimes happens is the seller (whether an
individual or dealer) will replace oxidized/burnt transmission fluid
with fresh fluid to cover up the fact that the transmission was
severely overheated at some point. But, these scrupulous
individuals or dealers do not replace the transmission
dipstick. A transmission overheats to the point that the
dipstick becomes stained, internal damage has likely occurred.
Information. You can either drive the car
until the transmission begins to slip or shows other symptoms of
failing and then get it repaired or consider selling the vehicle now.