The Most Common Transmission Problems

There are certain problems that affect your car, one of the biggest concerns is the engine. While the engine will have car owners running for help, the transmission, better known as gears, does not seem to get the same respect even though transmission problems can be serious and very expensive.

Below we discuss the transmission in your car and help you understand why a dysfunctional transmission can be very serious. We will break down some of the most common transmission problems and show you how to troubleshoot and repair some simple problems.

Some of the most common issues might be old transmission fluid, leaking seals, or a worn out clutch. Other common problems include bad shift solenoids, a faulty torque converter, and transmission bands.

So let’s get started –

Leaking Seals

Leaking Transmission Seal

Oil runs through your transmission to keep everything running properly. The fluid is held inside the gaskets and seals. As your transmission ages, the gaskets and seals will inevitably wear out. The outcome, the transmission will start leaking fluids and repairs will have to be done.

Worn Out Clutch

One of the biggest problems you will run across is a worn out clutch if you have a vehicle with a manual transmission. Replacing the clutch is no easy feat and can be quite expensive. Whether you do it yourself or need a mechanic, it’s critical to get your car back up and running.

Old Transmission Fluid

Even though you do not have to change out the fluids as often as you do for an engine, it still must be changed regularly. You should look through your owner’s manual to find out how to change the transmission fluids.

A Faulty Sensor

Newer car models come with sensors including your transmission. The problem, when your vehicle starts to age, the sensors can stop working and have to be replaced.

The Gears Are Slipping

Whether you drive a manual or an automatic, as the car ages the gears will start to slip. Even though it’s more noticeable with a manual transmission, the same will happen in an automatic.

Worn Out Torque Converter

Car Transmission

If you drive an automatic transmission, you have a torque converter. Even though a torque converter has a pretty long life, that doesn’t mean it can’t wear out. If the torque converter is wearing out, you will hear grinding noises coming from your transmission when shifting gears. The transmission will have to be rebuilt.

Faulty Shift Solenoids

Solenoids are known to last longer than sensors but as the transmission ages, the solenoids could wear out. Solenoids are quite expensive so be ready for higher repair costs.

The Transmission Is Overheating

In most cases, if your transmission is overheating you probably have other issues going on that have gone unnoticed. There are many reasons why your transmission is overheating. It could be caused by jammed gears or old transmission fluids, and the list goes on. You will have to troubleshoot the transmission or get your vehicle to a mechanic to find the problem.

Broken Transmission Bands

The purpose of the transmission bands is to hold various gears together to get the right output ratio. If the bands start to break, you will discover your transmission does not have the gears it needs.

This is a problem with automatic transmissions. What happens, the transmission is stuck in higher or lower RPMs and can’t accelerate the way it should.

Shifting Rough

This is another problem that could fill volumes of mechanical problems. It could be a jammed gear, worn bands, or a litany of issues. You will have to take apart your transmission and rebuild it or get your car to a mechanic.

Basic Troubleshooting The Transmission

Car Gear Stick

There are plenty of reasons why your transmission has problems. If you know what to look for, you might spot the problem early on and save yourself a lot of money and numerous headaches.

This seems like the ideal time to help you troubleshoot common problems so you can take care of them in a timely manner.


Troubleshooting leaks is not a particularly difficult task. Follow the leak to the highest point as gravity pulls fluid down. Once you found the highest point, you have found the leak. If the leak is coming from the bottom, it’s probably the transmission pan.

Slipping Out Of Gear Or Rough Shifting

When shifting becomes difficult to shift in and out of gears, you should perform a transmission fluid flush and add a little bit of slip-stop additive to get it running like new. This is not always the solution but if you catch the problem early on, you might get another 40,000 miles out of your transmission before you need to have a rebuild.

Can’t Get In Gear

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get your transmission in or out of gear. Again, it could be a number of issues but start by hooking up an OBD reader to your car and find out if the TCM generates any codes. If you get codes, it might be a faulty sensor or solenoid. On the other hand, if you do not have any TCM codes, you could have a serious transmission problem. It could be jammed gears or snapped bands. You will need the transmission rebuilt. Transmission rebuild will not be cheap so you might consider starting to save up now for future issues.

In Conclusion

There are not a lot of components as critical for operating your vehicle as the transmission. You should start learning everything you can about the transmission and keep a look out for anything that might seem to be out of whack.

Even though transmission repairs are far from inexpensive, you might just catch the problem early on if you know what to look for. Hopefully, this article will give you the information you need to spot a problem and diagnose your transmission so it will keep running the way it should.

With proper maintenance and a little knowledge about the components in your car, you can head out on a trip and know your vehicle is running in top-notch shape.

If you believe your vehicle has a transmission problem and you believe it needs checking then booking online today and receive a free vehicle service check. For further information on our services you can browse the site or get in touch with us by calling 019253 30468 or alternatively, you can email us directly at

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