Signs of a Bad Automatic Transmission

The transmission is undoubtedly one of the most crucial parts to a vehicle, because the problems occur with the transmission can be expensive, inconvenient and time-consuming. A bad automatic transmission normally presents a series of signs and symptoms, including grinding in gear changes, excessive gear noise, difficulty shifting or a burst smell from the fluid. You can know about it when you drive the vehicle. Modern transmissions have become more complicated and sophisticated with new internal computers. However, rather panicking and expecting to have to replace your malfunctioning transmission, just a few easy steps can help you diagnose possible transmission problems. What follows is a brief description of the most common signs of a bad automatic transmission.
Transmission Slippage
An automatic transmission that slips in and out of gear while driving is a typical sign of a bad transmission. An automatic transmission has a series of gears designed for various engine speeds and loads. An automatic transmission that slips between gears affects vehicle performance and is a sign of impend transmission failure.
Transmission Spinning
A bad or faulty automatic transmission will often spin without providing any forward vehicle movement. This normally happens when an automatic transmission clutch fails to properly engage the transmission gears with the engine crankshaft, resulting in a spinning or freewheeling condition.
Transmission Lag
Transmission lag is defined as a delay in transmission action or engagement. When a vehicle is accelerated, a transmission that lags will fail to engage for a few seconds before “kicking” into gear. Transmission lag normally happens during acceleration from a complete stop.
Burned Transmission Fluid
Normal transmission fluid is pinkish in color and almost transparent. A bad automatic transmission will often burn or char automatic transmission fluid and turn the fluid black; many times there will actually be a burned, smoky smell to the fluid as well.
Severe Transmission Fluid Leaks
An automatic transmission that leaks a large amount of transmission fluid, whether during normal vehicle operation or when a vehicle is parked is a sign of a bad automatic transmission.

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