Most people drive their cars every day but still don't know how they work. Sometimes drivers will even ignore obvious problems with their vehicles, hoping they will go away on their own or that it isn't something serious. Only when the car stops working altogether do they visit a mechanic in a panic! Issues with a car's transmission can mean serious problems down the road if they are not attended to quickly.
In layman's terms, a transmission transfers the power created by the engine to the drive line and wheels: this can be done either manually (as with a stick shift) or automatically.
Here are some of the symptoms of transmission problems and how to know when it's time to visit a transmission repair specialist.
-- Problems shifting gears: since the transmission's job is to keep up the momentum of the car by shifting gears, it stands to reason that any problems with gear change may be stemming from the transmission. The symptoms could be an unusual noise made by the transmission during a shift, or, if you drive a stick, it may not glide smoothly between gears.
-- The car makes a jerking movement or the engine surges at inopportune times. The jerking movement could indicate that the engine's power is not being smoothly transferred when a shift needs to occur.
-- Transmission fluid is leaking. Transmission fluid acts as a lubricant for all of the moving parts inside your car's transmission. Just as the engine cannot run right without oil, the transmission will not work right without fluid. Transmission fluid is generally reddish in color, so if you see any on the ground under your chassis, get help right away before a costly disaster happens.
-- The car won't move. If your car starts up ok, it just refuses to move, the problem is likely to be with the transmission. You'll need to have it towed to a shop where their mechanics can advise you on what to do next.
All car drivers should have a working knowledge of how their vehicle works and what the symptoms are for certain problems that may arise. If you suspect your transmission is to blame, take it to a mechanic: it does not necessarily mean it has to be replaced. The problem may just be a minor one; but one thing's for sure: transmissions do not fix themselves!