How to Tell if the Auto Transmission Is Going

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The transmission is one of the most important parts of any vehicle. Learn how to tell if the auto transmission is going on your car with help from an expert in the automotive industry in this free video on auto repair.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Bob Holcomb from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Today, we are going to talk about our automatic transmission. The automatic transmission in your car takes the energy from the engine, turns it into centrifugal energy and sends it to the wheels at different speeds. There are many different types of transmissions in these cars. The most common type is a shifting automatic transmission where it has anywhere from two to five speeds. The most common is a four speed, three speeds, and an overdrive. The first thing you want to do when you think that your transmission is bad is use your own best judgment. Does it act like it did before? Does it seem like it's shifting at the same points? Is there something different on my car? Did I recently change tires, did I recently have brakes worked on? And if you think that your transmission is bad or has a problem. The first thing you want to do is check your transmission fluid. The transmission fluid should smell nice and clean. It should smell like new transmission fluid. If it smells burnt or looks dark and tarnished chances are you have something wrong with the transmission. One of the symptoms of a poorly operating transmission is that when you put it into gear it takes a second or two before it engages. You shift the car into drive and nothing happens. And then suddenly the car lurches forward. This would be an indicator of a delayed engagement. That's common when the fluid gets low. You could have a leak in your transmission and if the fluid gets low it will give you that symptom as a problem with your automatic transmission. Another indicator is that the transmission doesn't shift out of any gear. Your tachometer continues to rev, it doesn't shift into the second, third, or fourth gear. It stays in one gear. The transmission could have put itself into something called limping mode. The modern transmission has a computer that controls the shift points. If the computer detects a malfunction in the transmission, it will put it into second gear. Second gear and reverse gear are the only two gears that you'll have. You'll know this by your tachometer revving higher then normal. If this will be the case you could have a malfunction in your transmission. Your car is smart enough to interpret whether or not it has an electrical malfunction or some sort of pressure problem with the inside of the transmission. If it does it will give you a check engine light or possibly the drive light will start to flash on your dashboard. These are some of the things that you want to look at if you feel you have a bad transmission. This is Bob Holcomb from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.


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