How to Check Your Car for Transmission Problems


A car’s transmission is a crucial component of its performance and safety. In case it is not working properly, you’re likely to notice difficulty in driving your car. Depending on the issue, it can either be a quick fix or a costly repair.

If you suspect something’s amiss with the transmission, and want to ensure there’s a problem before taking your car to a mechanic, it is possible to detect the problem yourself. Let’s look at some of the methods you can use to check your car for transmission problems.

1. Check the Transmission Lights

Most of the time, a car’s ‘check engine’ light is triggered if there’s a transmission problem with your vehicle. If you notice a warning light blinking on your dashboard, it’s best to consult a car technician for transmission diagnostics. Even if the transmission is fine, you may end up finding another potential issue that caused the check engine light to pop up.

2. Check Transmission Fluid

Another way to check your car for transmission problems is to check the transmission fluid. To do this, turn the engine on and shift it into park. Open the bonnet and look for the compartment where transmission fluid is stored, then remove the dipstick covering it.  Check the level and the color of the transmission fluid.

Fresh transmission fluid is usually translucent and reddish in color. Checking the fluid color simply by peeking into the fluid compartment may be difficult, so wiping the dipstick on a white cloth may help. If the color is light red or pink, it’s fresh.

But it is dark reddish brown, it may need to be replaced. Moreover, you can even check for the smell, if the fluid smells off or burnt, it’s best to change it.

3. Use the Break Pedal

Another effective method to check for transmission problems is to press the brake pedal with one foot while pressing the gas pedal with the other foot to increase engine RPMs. Ensure the parking brake is on and keep in mind to not rev up the engine for more than a few seconds.

With this method, you can make sure that the engine revs up and the car accelerates upon pressing the pedal. If the engine fails to rev up or maintain the revs, there might be an underlying transmission problem.

4. Monitor the Transmission While Driving

It can be easy to spot transmission issues when you’re driving. Make sure to pay attention as you shift gears the next time you’re driving. The shift from one gear to another should be smooth and easy if the transmission is working fine.

However, if there are any quick jolts, or high revs when you shift gear it may indicate a problem with the transmission. And if the car fails to shift gears at all, it’s best to head for car servicing right away. Another indicator of the same problem is smoke coming out of your car’s bonnet or the car making weird humming or buzzing sounds while you’re driving.

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