We Want Your Trade! We'll Buy Your Vehicle Even If You Don't Buy Ours Value Your Trade Today

We Want Your Trade! We'll Buy Your Vehicle Even If You Don't Buy Ours Value Your Trade Today

My Garage

Transmission Problems: 10 Signs To Watch For

Transmission Problems: 10 Signs To Watch For

What is that grinding noise? And why does my engine smell bad? Either of these things might mean your transmission is on its way out. We’re here to give you our top 10 signs of transmission problems, so you know what to look for!

Vehicle maintenance is crucial to your safety and the longevity of your car. Therefore, read through our car maintenance tips and follow your Nissan Service Schedule to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Keep reading to see our 10 transmission problems to watch for.

A Nissan service technician checks under the hood of a Nissan vehicle during a service appointment.

Transmission Problems #1: Weird Smells

Firstly, whenever you smell a weird odour from your car’s hood, you should get it checked out. If you can smell something burning, that’s a sign that something is off. When transmission fluid runs out or is low, it can cause engine overheating. 

Transmission Problems #2: Gears Slipping

Secondly, gear slipping is dangerous to you, your passengers, and your car’s engine. So if your vehicle is slipping between gears without input from the driver, then you should book a service appointment.

Listen to Helpful DIY explain in his video: “How To Tell If An Automatic Transmission Is Slipping”

Transmission Problems #3: No Response When Shifting

If your car is hesitating or not responding when shifting gears, you won’t get far. This likely means transmission trouble. Like in Helpful DIY’s video about slipping gears, the engine noise and RPMs may not match your speed. 

This can be especially dangerous. If your car does not respond when shifting gears and struggles with speed, we urge you to get it examined by a qualified service technician as soon as possible.

Do you need a Toronto Car Service? Our Service Centre technicians can service any make and model.

Transmission Problems #4: Transmission Leaks

Fluids keep your vehicle in top running form. From lubricating to cooling, these fluids keep your engine healthy. If your transmission fluids or other fluids under your hood leak, your engine may be in trouble.

If you notice a leak under your vehicle, or your transmission fluid is running low, you should get it checked sooner rather than later.

How can you check if your transmission fluids are running low? Check your transmission dipstick! It is indented where the proper fluid level should be. If it’s lower than it should be, you may have a leak.

A Caucasian man uses a dipstick to check the transmission fluid on his vehicle.

Read: How and Why You Should Check Your Transmission Fluid

Transmission Problems #5: Dirty Transmission Oil

Another sign that you may have transmission problems is dirty transmission oil. Healthy transmission oil should be pinkish-reddish in colour, and dark fluid with a bad smell means trouble.

If your transmission fluid is any colour other than reddish-pink, be sure to get it checked out by a service technician. The problem could be as simple as a transmission fluid change or as serious as a transmission repair or replacement. 

A side by side comparison of dirty and clean transmission fluid, in two glass jars.

A comparison of dirty vs clean transmission fluid from Reddit user: IncognitoTanuki

You can check the colour of your transmission fluid the same way you would check fluid levels! Use your dipstick and lay it on a white surface, like a cloth, to check the colour. 

Transmission Problems #6: Strange Noises

If you hear clunking, whining, humming, or excessively loud noises when you shift gears, that’s a transmission problem. Don’t ignore any strange noises coming from your vehicle, especially ones that seem to arrive out of the blue. 

Transmission Problems #7: Shaking

Your vehicle is jerking and shaking while shifting between gears… so what does that mean? It could mean your transmission is unhealthy. 

Moreover, a normal transmission should transition smoothly between gears. If your car is shuddering and you ignore it, you’ll end up with shot gears and a transmission that needs to be replaced.

Transmission Problems #8: Dragging Clutch

If you have an automatic transmission vehicle, skip to the next point. But if you have a manual transmission vehicle, then pay attention!

If you struggle to change gears and feel extra slack in the clutch pedal, you may have a dragging clutch. An adjustment could help reposition your clutch!

Transmission Problems #9: Grinding

This clutch drag may also cause a grinding sound when changing gears. This grinding sound could be caused by an issue with the clutch not releasing, an adjustment issue, or shifter wear. 

We recommend a qualified service technician analyze this to avoid shot gears and a worn transmission. If the clutch or transmission is worn out, it can lead to costly repair bills! It can also lead to further damage, and you’ll need a tow to the car service centre once your transmission stops working.

Transmission Problems #10: Check Engine Light

We know life is busy… and ignoring the chronic engine light may seem like an easy solution. However, if that engine light stays on, is a red light or starts blinking, it’s no laughing matter.

A lit up check engine light on a vehicle's dashboard.

It could mean that transmission sensors have set off the alarm.

The transmission sensors detect speed signals and transmit this information to the transmission control unit (TCU). When the sensors fail, your transmission won’t receive the correct signals and can shift into the wrong gear.

Your Toronto Car Service Centre

We encourage you to act fast if you encounter any of the 10 transmission problems listed above. If ignored, any of these problems can lead to much larger repairs and bills down the road. We would hate to see a guest come in for repairs with a broken engine that overheated due to a failed transmission because they ignored the warning signs.

Our highly qualified technicians are here to address all your service needs, from oil changes to transmission replacements. At Woodbine Nissan, we are dedicated to providing top-tier customer service and on-time car repairs.


To book a service appointment to address your transmission concerns, click here.

Keep up to date with us by following our Instagram and Facebook.


Categories: Service

Tags: ,