Most people hear the words transmission problem, they see dollar signs, however, not all transmission problems have to mean disaster or the need for a bottomless money pit. We’ve listed some common symptoms of transmission problems and what they mean, to help you with troubleshooting and working out the best solution.
Rislone has been the solution to many automotive problems since 1921, and through this time, we’ve come up with many solutions to the most common problems.
1. Transmission whining or making noises
A noisy or whining transmission may be a scary thought, but there are many reasons and sounds your transmission can make. The most common noises are whining, buzzing or humming. In a manual transmission, these sounds are often louder, sharper and clunkier. In an automatic transmission, these noises are often the cause of low automatic transmission fluid, which means there is more friction and heat occurring – this is not ideal for your transmission. If you are low on automatic transmission fluid, refill, and consider an additive that stops transmission fluid leaks – both present and future. Transmission fluid doesn’t burn off like oil does from an engine, so if you are low on fluid, you likely have a blown or worn seal causing a leak somewhere, which means in time you fluid will get low again and cause the same noises.
A clunking noise could be the sign of a more serious problem, like a part of the transmission system has worn out or failed, and this should be tended to by a mechanic.
2. Transmission not engaging
If you have a manual transmission car that does not shift gears when you press the clutch and position the gearshift ‘into’ gear, your clutch fluid may be the issue. Your hydraulic clutch system works by generating pressure through fluid to allow the cylinders to move the car from one gear to another. If gears are not shifting, there could be an air bubble in the system, preventing the clutch from delivering enough pressure to change gears.
If this is the problem, try bleeding the clutch, by releasing a little of clutch fluid at a time, through the bleeder valve to allow the release of the trapped air, while releasing fluid, top up with Rislone Hydraulic Manual Clutch Fluid. Once all the air is released, and the fluid level is correct the clutch should re-engage. The Rislone Hydraulic Manual Clutch Fluid, will stop any leaks that were the original cause of the air leak. It works with all 3 & 4 clutch fluids and all clutch master and slave cylinders.
3. Slipping transmission
A slipping transmission is one of the most serious problems you can have with your transmission. It means your gear slips out of gear occasionally, a common symptom of this is you’re driving along, and you find your vehicle is slowing down, as it has spontaneously shifted into neutral. If this were to happen on a motorway it could have serious consequences. It also means that something connecting the gears in your transmission is either broken or very worn.If your transmission is slipping, you can try putting Rislone Transmission Stop Slip with Leak Repair, to eliminate slipping, hard shifting and any fluid leaks. Rislone Transmission Stop Slip is suitable for use in both manual and automatic transmissions, however, we would recommend testing its effectiveness on your vehicle, in a car park or other area where driving with a sudden potential loss of speed will not endanger yourself, or anyone around. If it is successful beyond the number of miles of driving where you normally experience slipping, it usually means the additive has helped revitalize a part that was not broken but merely worn down. If the additive is not successful, take your vehicle in for repair right away.
4. Transmission fluid leak
If the first sign that you have a transmission problem is that your transmission is leaking fluid, you’re in luck, because you can resolve the problem before you run into more serious transmission problems. Your transmission fluid is what lubricates the transmission and prevents damaging friction, so you always need to have the full recommended transmission fluid level in your car.
If you see fluid leaking from your car, put a white piece of paper underneath the leak. If the fluid that is leaking is bright red, it is almost certainly your transmission fluid that is leaking. If it is black, you probably have an oil leak, and another colour like blue or green is usually something like antifreeze or washer fluid.
If your transmission is leaking fluid and you have no other symptoms, the solution is simple. Refill your transmission fluid and use Rislone Transmission Stop Leak Concentrate, which will condition you seals and gaskets in both automatic and manual transmissions, to eliminate any fluid leaks. If you are continuing to lose fluid, then you will need to see mechanical attention, as the worn/broken seals are too severe for a chemical solution.
If the fluid that is leaking is not bright red but dark red and possibly smells burnt, the fluid you are currently using is compromised, and you will need to fully drain the fluid and refill the tank completely with fresh transmission fluid and stop leak additive. You may also want to consider flushing the system to clear it of any contaminants before adding the new fluid.
5. Transmission smells like it’s burning
What happens if you detect a burning smell when you are driving? Even if nothing else seems to be wrong and the car itself is not overheating, a burning smell coming from your car is a cause for concern. It often means that your transmission fluid is overheating (which can lead to that dark red or brown colour mentioned above).
If your transmission fluid is overheating, you will run into similar problems to what you may experience when your fluid is low. Parts are not properly lubricated, there is an increase in friction, and the transmission will damage itself and eventually seize up, which often results in a prohibitively expensive repair.
This problem is often caused by using sub-par transmission fluid or because of a low fluid level. The first solution to try is the same as above — flush the system and add quality transmission fluid with Rislone Transmission Stop Leak. In an automatic you can also consider the Rislone Transmission Repair, which will restore performance, reduce heat, friction & stabilizes fluid, while stopping leaks and helping prevent slipping gears.
6. Check engine light is on
Your check-engine light can go on for any number of reasons, some of which may be related to your transmission and some of which may not be. The typical response to a check engine light is to take the car to a mechanic so they can tell you what is wrong with it.
However, if the goal is to avoid a trip to the mechanic, if possible, you can purchase a diagnostic scan tool. This will give you a diagnostic trouble code that you can look up to see if it is the transmission causing the warning light or some other system. You can then choose your next steps according to what you find.
7. Clutch is dragging
If you have a dragging clutch, meaning you struggle to shift gears and there is a grinding noise when you do, you have a dragging clutch, which means the clutch disk is not able to disengage the flywheel when you press the clutch in. This is usually caused by too much slack in the clutch pedal and it is a relatively inexpensive repair, so you can go ahead and bring this one into the mechanic to be dealt with.