You don’t think about your car’s transmission until it balks when it should glide. Considering the complicated makeup of automatic transmissions, it is a wonder they work as seamlessly as they do for so many miles. Yet, when transmissions start to fail, they will let you know trouble is coming. Pay attention to these signs that your automatic transmission is about to cause trouble before you grind to a halt.

A Bad Smell

If you experience a burning smell while driving, the problem likely comes from fluid on hot metal. It could be the result of residue from a recent oil change. If you rule that out, check for fluid under the car or on the bottom of the transmission housing. If you spot a leak, taking your car to transmission repair Fairfax VA right away may result in a quick fix instead of a costly rebuild.

Slipping Acceleration

When you push the accelerator and the car responds slowly – but the engine revs strongly – your transmission is slipping. Ultimately you can find your car popping in and out of gear. This is usually a sign that your transmission is beyond saving. However, check the fluid level after warming up the engine and according to the manual. If the fluid is low, adding more may cure the problem.

Lighted Warning

The job of the check engine light on your dash is to warn of motor or emission system control issues. A transmission, too, can cause the icon to illuminate, whether from overheating or computer-control module failures. Take your car to a mechanic when you see the symbol blinking or shining steadily; the technician will hook your car up to a tool that reads diagnostic codes.

The transmission is a critical component in your car’s drivetrain. When your transmission is not functioning correctly, it will let you know. If you pay attention to these early signals, you may be able to avoid costly repairs.