How to Know If a Car Needs a New Transmission

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A good indication that a car needs a new transmission is if the RPMs increase dramatically when the car isn't moving. Be aware of car's with automatic transmissions that have trouble making it to second gear with tips from a certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon. My name is Tom Brintzenhofe, certified master mechanic, from Redding, Pennsylvania, and today, we're going to talk about, how do you know if your vehicle needs a new transmission? Unfortunately, that's not one of the things you ever want to hear, when you've got your own car, and somebody tells you you've got a bad transmission, but I think you have a bad transmission. A few things you can look for to determine whether or not, you need one. If you're driving down the road, you go to pull out, and your RPM's will start picking up, but you're not really going anywhere. You hear the engine driving, but you're just not moving. That's a good indication right there, you're going to need a new transmission. The second thing might be, is if you go to shift between first and second gear on an automatic, and it surges up, it doesn't seem like it wants to grab, and then all of the sudden, it will grab in second gear, that's another indication that the transmission will need to be replaced. Other indications might be noise, banging, grinding noises coming from about the seat, where you're sitting in the passenger's seat or driver's seat. If you have any questions at all regarding noises or how the transmission might be, whether it's slipping or banging, or carrying on, and you're just not sure, the easiest thing to do, is take it to any local repair shop, and they can look at it for you real quick, and let you know if that's the source of your noise. A lot of these newer transmissions are electronically controlled. That's another thing you want to look for too, look into because you could have a few sensors, or a computer that's acting up, and give you symptoms of a bad transmission, and unfortunately, you yourself at home, unless you have the state of the art equipment, you won't be able to diagnose that kind of a problem, but the best thing to do, is if you think you have yourself a bad transmission, stop at your local shop, and let them take a look at it, hook the scanner to it, just to make sure you don't have a computer related problem. Other than that, the banging and the grinding noises, and the slipping, as we talked about in the beginning, that's a good indication right there, you will need a new transmission.

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