Car Problems

Is My Automatic Transmission Going Bad?


Signs of a failing automatic transmission.

Automatic transmissions were a gift from above for anyone who is overwhelmed by stick shift and a third pedal. They have made driving safer, easier, and sometimes even more efficient than ever before! That being said, sometimes it can be harder to pick up on some signs that show it’s not functioning properly than it is with a standard transmission. It’s not your fault… when you aren’t as involved with the shifting, you won’t notice these things! However, here are some things you can look out for to let you know when your automatic transmission might need to be looked at by a pro!



Have you noticed any fluid leakage beneath your car? If so, grab a white rag and dip it in the fluid. If the fluid has a red color to it, it is probably transmission fluid. There should NEVER be any fluid leaks on a healthy transmission, so this is cause for some major concern. If you notice a leak, find a trusted technician to take a look at it before any more damage is done!


Loud Unusual Noises!

If you are hearing some loud clunking noises from your engine while driving, that is never a good sign. There are many things that could cause noises like that, and a failing transmission is one of them. Next time you are driving, pay more attention to the timing of the noises. To do a quick test, speed up and listen for noises during the shifting periods. If you aren’t sure when that is, watch for shifts in the RPMs while your foot is steadily on the gas. If the timing of the noises lines up with the timing of the shifting periods, it could be your transmission.


Shifting Time!

Is your car taking a seemingly long time to change gears? An automatic transmission that is working properly should never take longer than 1 second to change gears. If your car is lagging when shifting gears or will not shift smoothly, that can be concerning. If your car is just refusing to shift gears altogether, then there could be more severe issues. If any of this sounds like something your car is doing, definitely get it checked out before it costs you even more money!



The same way not shifting at all can be cause for concern, so can randomly shifting for no reason. If your transmission seems to shift gears at random times and you hear the RPMs increase as your engine starts to whine, that could mean your transmission is slipping. This can be caused by a couple of things such as low transmission fluid or worn out gears.


Now remember this is not a complete list of signs of transmission failure, so just because you don’t notice these things happening doesn’t mean everything is okay! Just the same, these are some common signs, but are by no means a diagnosis… if you find yourself experiencing any of these issues, I would advise getting a professional’s opinion! Your transmission is a very important piece of your car, so take care of it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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  1. I’m quite certain I have transmission problems (gears slipping) but my sensor is finding no problems… What is going on?

  2. You still didn’t answer the question. Can fixd diagnose transmissions? And I don’t want any phishing just because I answered. My order is on it’s way and I want to know.

    1. Hi Fred, FIXD is only able to read and clear your vehicles’ check engine light. The other lights (TPMS, ABS, Airbag, Maintenance lights, Stability Control, etc) and issues are controlled by manufacturer-specific parameter identifiers, which makes it difficult for us to read this information through the OBD-II port.

      We are working on licensing this information from the manufacturers, but we have not finalized these deals yet.

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