6 Signs You Need to Change Your Transmission Fluid
Your vehicle’s transmission fluid is a critical component of the system. While doing its job of lubricating the transmission, it collects grit and grime and starts to break down as it gets older. Dirty old transmission fluid doesn’t flow properly, which can put your transmission at risk. If you're like most drivers, you probably don't think about your car's transmission fluid until there's a problem but from time to time, the transmission needs to be flushed to remove the dirty fluid and add clean fresh fluid. While the fluid should be checked regularly, some clear signs will indicate that it’s time to take your vehicle in to change the transmission fluid.
1. Dirty Transmission Fluid
An easy way to check the condition of your transmission is by checking the quality of the fluid. If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, you can check this by pulling the dipstick out of the transmission. Look at the consistency of the fluid, wipe it off, then re-dip it and check the level again.
Good transmission fluid needs to be clear or pink-tinted. If it’s brown or red, then it’s old and dirty and you need to have the fluid replaced to avoid any damage to your transmission.
2. Whining Transmission
Whining transmissions indicate a problem, but when it whines will indicate where the problem is coming from. If the whine happens while in reverse, then the problem is in the transmission fluid line. When the line gets clogged the fluid can’t flow properly and your transmission is at risk for serious problems, so this needs to be addressed as soon as you notice it. If the whining occurs when you are moving forward, then it may be a problem with the torque converter, which is a more serious issue, and your vehicle needs to be inspected.
3. Slipping Gears
When transmission fluid is dirty, it can cause a lack of hydraulic power which then can cause the gears to slip. This is a result because the transmission does not get enough pressure to stay in gear. The dirty fluid cannot properly flow through the system, which in turn hurts the pressure in the system. Changing the transmission fluid fixes this problem by allowing the fluid to flow.
4. Can’t Reverse
If your vehicle won’t move in reverse, it can be due to several problems, and dirty transmission fluid is for sure one of them. When the transmission fluid can’t flow properly because it’s too dirty, the vehicle can’t switch into reverse. Of any problems that can cause this issue, a transmission fluid flush is one of the easiest solutions.
5. Engine Runs Hot
You might not think that your transmission is related to your vehicle’s temperature, but it can be. When the transmission fluid doesn’t flow as it should, it doesn’t process through the transmission properly, so it doesn’t enter the cooling tank to cool but creates excess heat. In addition, any slipping or friction in the transmission adds heat. All this heat transfers to your car’s engine, causing it to run hot. If you’ve checked other causes such as the cooling system but continue to find that your engine runs hot, then it’s time for you to check the transmission fluid too.
6. Transmission Grinding Noises
When transmission fluid is dirty it can cause symptoms that mimic low transmission fluid levels, which include grinding or other unusual noises. If you notice these noises, you should check both the fluid level and its consistency. Even if the fluid levels are adequate, if it’s dirty, it can’t lubricate the parts properly, causing these strange noises.
If you’re noticing any of these signs, call Best Western Transmission today. Our expert transmission team can flush and replace your transmission fluid and inspect your vehicle for other transmission problems. Contact us so we can help protect your car from transmission damage.