There is little that rivals that feeling of freedom when you buy your first car, but with that freedom comes responsibility. Not only do you need to ensure that you drive safely so as not to harm other drivers around you, but you are also now responsible for the maintenance of your vehicle so that it doesn't break down suddenly in the middle of the road. As a first-time car owner, you have noticed the car doesn't change gears as easily as it should, so you have concerns that perhaps your transmission needs attention. Here are three telltale signs to help you diagnose a transmission problem so that you know for sure you need to get your car to a mechanic for repairs:
Check Engine Light
The problem with a check engine light coming on is that it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a transmission issue. Until the diagnostic tool is plugged into your engine to read the error code, then you don't know what the light is warning you about. However, if the check engine light is on and you are noticing any of the other issues listed here, then this is a good indicator that your transmission needs repairing.
Vibration During Gear Change
It does not matter whether you drive an automatic transmission or a manual one -- when you change gears while driving, there should not be any vibration when it changes gear. One possible cause of this is that your gearbox needs more transmission fluid added. More serious issues include worn parts within the transmission unit. A mechanic needs to look at your car to diagnose this problem for you.
Another transmission problem indicator is if you notice your gears slipping during a gear change. There are several indicators of this, and they include the following:
- the RPM (revolutions per minute) dial on your dashboard suddenly switches from a low number to a high number and you hear an increase in the revving of the car motor at the same time
- you put your foot on the petrol pedal but the car does not immediately increase in speed, and it seems sluggish to respond
- you slow down the car using the brake pedal, but instead of slowing you hear a loud revving out of the motor which suddenly stops when the gear does engage
All of these are signs that your gears are not seamlessly moving when you ask them to, and that is an issue caused by your transmission.
If your car shows any of the three signs outlined above, take your vehicle in for transmission repairs as soon as possible. The longer you drive a damaged transmission, the more damage you do, which exponentially increases the size of your repair bill.