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Warning Signs of Problems With Your Car's Automatic Transmission

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An automatic transmission takes a lot of the hard work out of driving. You don't have to worry about what speed you're doing or how much power you need on a hill. Your car will change gears for you. The automatic transmission comprises a series of gears and clutches that work under the hood and out of sight. However, you will get warning signs if the system has problems. Here's what to look out for if you think you may need auto transmission repair.

Burning Smell 

A burning smell emanating from a car rarely bodes well. It can suggest several problems, one of which is burning transmission fluid. This liquid lubricates the moving parts to reduce friction as the metal engine parts brush against each other when the car is running. Maybe not enough fluid is flowing through the transmission system, causing overheating it could need a top-up. Or the burning smell may arise from a severe mechanical fault, which your mechanic can detect before it worsens.

Gear Switch Delays

Some problems with automatic transmission systems become clear as you drive. You might speed up or slow down and notice a pause in the car's gear switches. This delay might be due to various issues, but one revolves around the transmission fluid as well.

You already know this liquid lubricates the engine parts. But it performs other tasks as well. The transmission fluid is key to the hydraulic system that your car uses to know when to automatically shift gears as you accelerate or brake. In the case of low transmission fluid, the internal pressure may not be correct, and thus, the gear changes are slightly off.

Alternatively, the fluid may have thickened so it doesn't flow smoothly. It runs along a series of channels and through a filter in the transmission system. Along the way, it can pick up debris such as tiny metal particles. Thickened fluid can cause slight bottlenecks, which can cause slow gear changes. If you catch the issue early before it causes mechanical damage, you may simply need the fluid topped up or replaced.

Oil Spots Where You Park Your Car

Another sign of problems with your car's transmission is red oil marks where you park your vehicle. Automatic transmission fluid is red, though it turns a darkish brown if degraded. If you notice a leak, book an auto transmission repair straight away to fix any problematic seals and gaskets.