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Bad Transmission Signs & Symptoms - What You Need to Know

signs-of-a-bad-transmission

On a sunny Friday morning, you prepare to head out for a road trip. Halfway there, your hatchback starts to make a  whining noise so you slow down. The sound goes away and you take off again when suddenly the car revs up and it kicks you back like a horse. Could you have a bad transmission? Selling a car with a blown transmission is easy online. Read on to compare all your options.


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Transmission checked before it's too late

Bad Transmission Symptoms 

You notice the car isn't shifting right and that faint whining noise is back.  Unless you want to be stuck without a paddle, then you should get it checked before the major signs your transmission went out show up.

If your transmission is acting up, then you may be asking some of these questions.

In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

Did You Know?

A slipping transmission is an obvious sign that it’s going bad and needs immediate attention. Whether the issue a fluid leak or just an old and worn transmission do not leave it unattended as it could spontaneously break down on you.

Replacing a transmission can cost an arm and a leg, sometimes even more than what the car is worth. Before dumping your hard earned cash into this expensive repair check your vehicle value and see if it's worth it.

Can You Drive with a Bad Transmission?

A vehicle with a slipping transmission should not be driven for many reasons including the safety concerns. When there are signs of a transmission going out, it could spontaneously shift into different gears causing a harsh kick that could lunge your car forward into another vehicle causing an accident. These harsh kicks can also damage your engine mounts and if left unattended, the end result could be an inoperable transmission. This is bad news because a new transmission cost can be extremely high.

What Are Signs Of Transmission Failure

What Are Signs Of A Bad TransmissionWhen a transmission starts to slip, the clock starts to tick. If the transmission in your car starts acting up, then it's important to check it fast, as these issues can escalate quickly to the point where your transmission won't engage and you'll be left stranded on the side of the road. Luckily, there are a few blown transmission symptoms to look for that will tell you a transmission is going bad.

What are signs of a bad transmission?

  • Slipping transmission (Delayed reaction or delayed engagement)

  • Strange smells

  • Transmission warning light

  • Rough shifts

  • Transmission fluid leak

  • Grinding or odd sounds

Transmission slipping: whether you have an automatic or manual transmission they both have a clutch system that will separate and engage new gears. With time this system will wear down and your transmission system will literally start to slip while changing into the next gear. Another cause of a slipping transmission is low fluid pressure which is caused by a low level of fluid, clogged filters or a bad pump. These issues will get worse over time to the point where the transmission seizes and will not engage.

Strange Smells: A transmission has its own designated fluid. It's designed to lubricate and make sure all the gears are spinning smoothly and synchronized. After a vehicle reaches high mileage this fluid can either start to leak out or burn inside the transmission. If you see any RED fluid leaking from under your car or smell any unusual smell from under your car, then your transmission is in need of fluid service. Failure to either change the fluid may lead to blown transmission.

Transmission warning light: Most of the new cars today have sensors all over the place to make sure you don't harm the car. Keep an eye out for any check engine lights that turn on as it could be that your transmission fluid is either running low or its burnt out causing the temperature in your transmission to rise exponentially. This will lead to it either seizing up or blowing.

Grinding or odd sounds: Automatic and manual transmission both make unique sounds when they start to go bad. On an automatic transmission, you may hear humming, whining or a buzzing sound. You'll also feel as if every gear is wobbling into place. With a manual transmission, you will hear and feel it grind into every gear. Whether you have an auto or manual transmission.

What is the Transmission Repair Cost?

How Much Does It Cost To Fix My Transmission?Transmission issues should never go unattended. What could be fixed with a simple bad transmission fluid change, can quickly escalate to a blown transmission. It's important to have a professional diagnose your issue to determine what is needed to repair before you spend money on transmission service.

Transmission repair costs can have quite a range though. In some cases what may fix the issue is a simple maintenance job. A transmission fluid change could do the trick if you catch it early on. if you know how to do it yourself, then on average you could spend about $90 in parts including the gasket, filter, and fluid. Now if you do not have the mechanical expertise then the price could almost triple! Depending on what car you have the cost of a transmission flush can reach over $250.

The True Cost to Fix a Transmission

If your transmission slipping fix was not completed in time, then it may cause devastating damage to the point where your vehicle will not be driveable. There is no “Quick Fix” at this point and it will require either transmission replacement or full disassembly to perform an internal transmission rebuild. For a common car, you can expect the cost to replace a transmission to reach up to $3,500 and $2,000 if you plan to disassemble it and repair. As you can see transmission replacement costs aren't so cheap.

Is It Worth Fixing My Transmission?

The first step in determining if a car repair is worth it is to assess the damage and see it's gonna cost you more to fix the car than to sell it. Here's what we recommend

  1. Have a professional transmission mechanic diagnose and quote your damage

  2. Evaluate what your vehicle is currently worth

  3. Fix it or Sell it

Have a professional diagnose and quote your damage: If your vehicle isn't completely destroyed and the engine is still running well then it might worth your while to fix the car. Visit any local repair shop to have your repair estimate made. Rebuilt transmissions might not be as good as a new transmission, but they'll keep your car running.

Evaluate what your vehicle is currently worth: Find out what your vehicle is worth. If the cost of repair exceeds your vehicle's value, then it may not be worth the time and money. CarBrain is a great place to start. We will make offers on most makes and models in just 90 seconds! Click here to get your offer.

Fix it or sell it: Once you have the repair estimate and the vehicle's value, then you’re ready to determine if the transmission is worth repairing or not.

What are other my options?

Fixing a damaged transmission may not always be the smart and cost-efficient option. You might spend more than what the care is worth on the repairs alone. If you’re tired of throwing away your hard earned cash into the bottomless pit of car repairs, then the next best thing is to sell the vehicle AS IS to avoid any further depreciation.

Sell your car to CarBrain! We’re the smart way to sell your car. Our dedicated team has over 30 years of experience in the car business. We’ve put our knowledge to test and designed an interactive price engine just for you. Our system will make offers on most makes and models in just 90 seconds and if you agree to that offer, then CarBrain is prepared to deliver the payment and tow the car at no cost to you! All this in just 24 to 48 hours.

See why we’ve been recommended by thousands of customers nationwide. Check the value of your vehicle as it sits right now.

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