Next to the engine, your vehicle's transmission is the most important, and, therefore, the most expensive, part to repair or replace. As with any other problem, the longer a transmission issue is allowed to continue, the more extensive and expensive repairs will be.
There are usually signs that your transmission is in need of repair before it finally becomes inoperable. These include:
If your vehicle hesitates when you step on the accelerator, then suddenly jumps forward or backward, your transmission is slipping gears. Your transmission is designed to work as an intermediary between the engine and your wheels, delivering power to the wheels according to the desired speed.
This is done thorough a series of gears inside the transmission, which are engaged automatically in an automatic transmission and by the use of a clutch pedal with a manual transmission. When one of the gears or the component that engages the gears is damaged, and a gear cannot be engaged immediately, the engine will run faster but speed will not increase until the correct gear is finally engaged.
Because the engine is idling at a faster than normal speed, the gear engages with a sudden jolt of power, and the vehicle jerks forward or backward.
Over time, this will cause further damage until the gear cannot be engaged at all, or the engine overheats from excessive idling as the driver presses the accelerator with greater force in an effort to keep the vehicle moving. Synchronicity between engine and transmission is lost.
Dark or depleted transmission fluid
Transmission fluid should be a light, almost transparent, pinkish color, and the level should remain constant. Transmission fluid doesn't need to be changed like engine oil. If you check your transmission fluid, be sure to check it while the vehicle is on level ground and the vehicle has been running for at least ten minutes. If the level is lower than the low point on the dipstick, or the fluid is dark or burnt in appearance, you should make a trip to a transmission shop as soon as possible.
The clutch is used to manually engage the gears in a manual transmission by physically pushing down on the clutch pedal as the gear handle is also manually shifted.
Clutches are often worn, especially by new drivers, by the habit of leaving the left foot resting softly upon the clutch pedal. this cause the teeth of the clutch to become worn away as they drag slightly against the moving gears inside the transmission.
If you press down on the clutch and experience hesitation when shifting gears, it may be time for a new clutch.
What are your options when you need transmission repairs?
If you catch a problem early, the least expensive option of repairing or rebuilding your existing transmission is still possible. If not, you can have a rebuilt transmission installed, which will usually have a limited warranty included.
Installing a new transmission is the most expensive option, and should only be considered if you intend to keep your vehicle for several years. Of course, your warranty will also be in effect for several years, so you won't need to worry about future transmission issues for many years.
For professional transmission services, contact a company such as Tri State Transmissions.