An automatic transmission is the most expensive vehicle component to replace. Often costing between $4,000 and $5,000, a new automatic transmission is something that most drivers want to avoid purchasing at all costs. In order to catch potential issues before they cause serious permanent damage, you’ll need to know what to keep an eye out for. To help you out, we’ve outlined some of the most common automatic transmission problems that occur.
Leaking Transmission Fluid
Leaking transmission fluid is one of the most frequent issues that those with automatic transmissions face. Transmission leaks can have a wide range of different causes. For example, a transmission leak could be caused by a cracked cooling line, a faulty driveshaft seal, or damaged solenoids.
However, the most common cause of a transmission fluid leak is a poorly installed or loose pan gasket. If you notice signs of a leaking transmission—even just a few drops of liquid under your vehicle—make sure to consult a mechanic immediately. If a leaking transmission goes unresolved, it could result in overheating and eventually a total transmission failure.
Another one of the most common automatic transmission problems that occur is slipping gears. A slipping transmission occurs when your gears aren’t able to engage properly and end up slipping out of sync. When your transmission slips, your vehicle may exhibit several symptoms, such as unpredictable gear changes, an inability to accelerate, and jerky gear shifts. If you notice any of these symptoms, have your vehicle inspected to identify the cause of your slippery gears.
One of the most detrimental automatic transmission problems that one can experience is overheating. Burning smells and smoke coming from your vehicle are a dead giveaway that something isn’t quite right, and you will need to take immediate action.
If not treated immediately, an overheated transmission could fail completely and require a total replacement. Some of the most common causes of an overheated transmission include low or contaminated transmission fluid and solenoid issues.