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Transmission problems and transmission warning signs can oftentimes be felt in the form of a jerk or surge, lack of power or sluggish performance, hard shifts, etc.

   
   
  After awhile, you become familiar with the performance characteristics of your vehicle and, as such, you are the first line of defense against major breakdowns and high repair bills.  Being the first line of defense against breakdowns and expensive repairs is a big responsibility.

  Owning a driving an automobile comes with many responsibilities.  Take them seriously and enjoy the rewards.  Ignore these rsponsibilities, or take them too lightly, and the costs can be high.

The following information, when used in conjunction with your knowledge of how your vehicle normally performs, makes vehicle ownership more enjoyable and major breakdowns and expensive repair bills less likely.

In this article, we focus on the different changes in performance that you will likely experience "FEEL" when your automatic transmission or transaxle malfunctions or begins to show signs that a malfunction is forthcoming.


My Automatic TransmissionTransmission Slipping
Sluggish performance could be a sign that your transmission is slipping.  When the transmission begins to slip, less of the engine's power is reaching the drive wheels.  The engine is still producing the same amount of power but it's just not being delivered to the wheels.  The condition is most felt when taking off from a dead stop and when traveling uphill.  You will see the RPMs rise higher than normal and hear the engine rev higher than normal.

Transmission slipping can be caused by something as simple as the transmission being low of fluid or as costly as worn out friction clutches.  Adding a quart of transmission fluid costs under $10 while repairing a transmission with worn out friction clutches can cost $2,000 or more for a rebuild.


Recommendations:

  Transmission slipping will not get better by itself - some action on your part
will be necessary.
  Continuing to drive a vehicle with a slipping transmission will cause the transmission to overheat and will cause internal transmission damage - if it is not already damaged.
  When you first recognize transmission slipping - check fluid level and
condition immediately and adjust as needed.  
  How to properly check transmission fluid level and condition 
  Transmission Rebuild Cost
 
   
  My Automatic TransmissionTransmission Shifts Hard
A hard shifting transmission hits hard (or jerks) when the gear engages.  A hard shift can occur when you shift from "P" Park into "D" Drive and between automatic gear changes "D" to "D2", "D2" to "D3" and so on.  Be careful as the hard shift (or jerk) will sometimes be harsh enough to snap your head back.


Oftentimes a hard shift condition is caused by a stuck shift or pressure control solenoid.  The cost to replace a faulty solenoid can range from $150 to several hundred dollars depending on the transmission.  If you change the solenoid yourself, the cost is usually around 1/3 or less than the repair shop cost.

A hard shifting transmission condition can also be caused by the vehicle's computer incorrectly telling the transmission to increase line pressure to the solenoid, which will cause a hard shift.  In most instances, it's not a faulty computer but a faulty sensor (such as a speed sensor or throttle position sensor) supplying bad data to the computer.    

The solenoids and sensors mentioned above are part of the powertrains electrical system.  Normally, a faulty solenoid or sensor will set a diagnostic trouble code and cause the check engine light to illuminate.  In these instances, retrieving the code(s) from the OBD-II system should point you in the right direction in resolving the problem.

If you have hard shifts with no check engine light then you will need to visit a transmission repair shop or dealership to have the transmission scanned using a professional transmission scanner.  If no electrical problem or faulty solenoid/sensor is detected, the transmission oil pan should be removed to check for excessive clutch debris. 


Recommendations:
     
  At the first sign of the transmission shifting hard, check fluid level and condition, and adjust as needed. 
√   In most instances, (but not all) a hard shift condition is an electrical problem not mechanical - meaning a rebuild is not needed.  So you must rule out all electrical possibilities before even discussing a rebuild.
√   If you have hard shifts with no check engine light, have the transmission scanned by a transmission repair shop or dealership. 
     
  How to check transmission fluid level and condition  
  How to change transmission fluid and filter  
     
  Great Deals on Transmission Solenoids - All Vehicle Makes and Models   



My Automatic TransmissionTransmission Not Working
When you shift from "P" Park to "R" Reverse or "D" Drive and the vehicle does not move the problem could be the transmission fluid level and/or condition, the transmission shifter cable/linkage is broken or disconnected (or on some transmissions the electrical component that controls the shifter has failed) or the transmission has internal damage.

If the fluid level and condition check are good and you can verify the shifter is actually working (meaning the transmission is changing gears when you move the shifter lever) then it is highly probable that the transmission is damaged internally and will need to be rebuilt.


Recommendations:

  If the vehicle does not move when shifted into gear, do not continue to rev the engine in an attempt to get it to work.  Further damage can occur.
  If you learn a rebuild would be necessary, consider all your options before authorizing a rebuild.
  When your transmission stops working, always check fluid level and condition first and adjust as needed.
 
     
Transmission Problems - What to LOOK for...
Transmission Noises and What They Mean - Whining, Gurgling...
Transmission Problems You Can Smell - Fluid Leaks - Burnt Fluid...
 
   
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My Automatic Transmission
 
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Transmission Fluid Color
 Shifter Stuck in Park
 Transmission Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid
 Transmission Pressure Control  Solenoid
 CV Axle Symptoms and Replacement

 Transmission Whining Sound
 Transmission Problems you can SMELL
 Transmission Problems to LOOK for
 
     
     
 
My Automatic Transmission Transmission
Solenoids

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My Automatic Transmission Transmission Service
What you don't know is costing you! 
 
 
 
My Automatic Transmission 8 - Great Tips
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My Automatic transmission Check Your Transmission Fluid Regularly
If you do nothing else - DO THIS!
 
 
     
 
     
 
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