Your car’s transmission is responsible for making sure the right power is sent to your tires so they can move when up-shifting or shifting down. The transmission is part of the drive-train in a vehicle and is present in both automatic and manually driven cars.

When your transmission begins to fail, major components of your vehicle can be affected. While it's often easier to detect transmission flaws in a manual vehicle, there are signs that can tell you if your automatic transmission is taking a turn for the worse as well.

It is important to make transmission repairs as soon as you can. Here are 3 signs your automatic transmission is failing in your car so you know just when to take it to a mechanic.

1. Leaking or Low Fluids

If you find that you are constantly checking your transmission fluid dipstick and finding it low, or you see your vehicle leaking when parked, then you may have a transmission issue.

Transmission fluid is typically a reddish hue—although some brands may be blue—so you should be able to tell it apart from dark oil or yellow-green antifreeze. If you notice any issues with your transmission fluid, take your car to a mechanic to see what is wrong with your transmission and causing it to leak fluid.

2. Shifting Troubles

While an automatic car shifts without your having to put it into gear, it still requires the use of your transmission to pull extra power to your wheels so they can meet the speed you desire. Normally, you will notice an almost imperceptible shift change as your car accelerates, which may feel like a tiny bump or quick flutter of movement under your hood.

When your transmission is going out, you will begin to notice your car's shifting activity more frequently. You may notice a faint vibration or a full-on halt as your vehicle shifts into another gear, which should be cause for alarm. You may need to have your transmission flushed, its fluids filled or a full repair or replacement made.

3. Strange Smells

When your vehicle is on or at rest, you should not notice any odors, such as hot oil. If your transmission is leaking fluid or failing to operate as it should, it may give off a very sweet or slightly sour stench. In manual vehicles, the odor is very sulfurous, but in automatic cars, the scent is almost enjoyable.

The odor could also be antifreeze which smells sweet, so rather than try to self-diagnose your vehicle's sudden, strange smell, take it to a mechanic where your transmission and other parts of your car can be checked.

Why Transmission Care is Important

Replacing your transmission with a new or rebuilt model is not cheap, as average costs begin at $1,800. Automatic transmissions may also be more expensive than manual ones, which is why preventative care is so important.

Since your transmission is directly linked to how your tires operate, you can lose control of your vehicle more easily when it goes out. You will experience swerving, vibrations, and other driving issues that will make your car very difficult as well as dangerous to operate. The best way to ensure that your transmission is running smoothly and safely is to have it checked by an expert mechanic.

It is wise to choose an auto repair shop that will allow you to make payments on your large repairs. Many mechanics will allow you to make payments provided you place a down payment on your repairs upfront. Our Team at Transmission King will help you make transmission repair and replacement more affordable.