Don’t Let Transmission Problems Ruin Summer
Fortunately, the seasons don’t follow the lock down regulations. We are already well into spring (if you can tell it apart from winter in Florida), there is a taste of rain on the wind and a promise of hurricanes. So, if you’re looking to escape up north for some drier weather, it’s getting close to road trip time. Shifting gears to head out of dodge should be a cinch, but then you remember your little transmission problem.
You may have been putting it off for a while because, let’s face it, times are tough. All too often you’ve heard that buddy use ‘transmission problems’ and ‘expensive’ in the same sentence. Weighing it up though, what could be worse, fixing the problem at your favorite shop (Foreign Affairs Motorwerks) or being stranded somewhere up in Denver? It’s really your call, but you might be surprised to know that not all transmission problems need you to re-mortgage the house.
Let’s take a look at some common ones:
1. Transmission Noise Problems
This one can be tricky as transmissions make many different sounds. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones:
A whine means check your transmission fluid.
If your car is fairly old and you’ve kept up with transmission fluid changes, a little whine is not a problem. It will usually occur at a specific speed or rev range and shouldn’t be too intrusive. If this sounds like you, don’t stress too much, but perhaps just do another fluid change before that trip to Alaska. However, if the thing sounds like Lady Gaga after she met someone fresh out of Vampire Diaries, you may have a transmission problem. Best to get it checked as soon as possible, as there could be a serious fluid leak (or worse, no fluid in the transmission at all).
Grating Transmission Sounds
Grating, burring sounds? This is usually to do with the shift mechanism and could occur on a specific gear or gears. This one is more serious, and usually has to do with the clutch mechanism. We’d suggest you get a good shop to look it over soon. Definitely not a problem that you want to solve once you reach Detroit (just kidding).
Clunking Transmission Noises
Clunk when engaging in drive? Another shift mechanism issue, albeit a different one. If the transmission is struggling to change modes or shifts lazily this is a good indication that the torque converter system or dual clutch is going out. In some cases, it could be that you just haven’t had the fluid serviced.
At Foreign Affairs Maintenance (sorry, we meant Motorwerks) we believe that prevention is better than the cure. The manufacturer doesn’t set out a service schedule for their health (unless we’re talking about Mr. Musk here) but instead has a team of engineers work it out for you.
2. Shifty Characters
Transmissions are all about keeping the engine within its optimal power range while the vehicle moves at different velocities. What does it mean when the magic doesn’t happen? We’re afraid this one isn’t good news. Sticky shift or no shift at all could indicate a computer/electronic issue at the least or a full transmission rebuild at the worst. Clutch slip or the classic, ‘I’m giving her gas but she ain’t moving’ falls into a similar category. We’ve come a long way from the Model T, and modern transmissions can be fussier than an Oprah Winfrey interview. Some models have inherent problems, like certain Audis, so best off to check with us whether or not there is a technical note out for your vehicle, as often the dealer will repair this free of charge.
Well, it just ain’t here sonny… Similar to a black hole, sometimes your transmission problem can be no problem at all. Just one waiting to happen. Most modern automatic transmissions have a little thing called a service schedule. Yep, the one we discussed earlier. If you haven’t been sticking to it, we highly recommend that you bring your pride and joy into our Pompano Beach shop so that we can give her a once over. That way you won’t call us from Spokane to whine.