If your vehicle has problems related to shifting gears, it's a good sign you should take it in to have your transmission inspected and repaired.
If you do notice issues when you shift, the sooner you have an experienced transmission repair mechanic service your car, the less likely you are to end up with severe transmission problems that could require a complete rebuild or replacement to correct.
1. Delayed Shifting
One of the most common shifting problems drivers experience when the vehicle's transmission is in need of service or repair is a delay when shifting into another gear. This can happen with automatic or manual transmissions.
If you have a manual transmission, your car should move as soon as you depress the clutch pedal and bring it back up to the point where the gears engage. If you notice a pause before your car moves, it usually indicates a transmission problem.
2. Random Gear Changes
If you have a manual transmission, the only time your vehicle should shift gears is when you manually shift the vehicle. If your car slips into another gear without you shifting while you're driving, have your transmission serviced promptly.
You may notice a squealing or whining noise from your engine that changes pitch when the car shifts gears if your transmission slips.
3. Difficult Shifting
Whether you have a manual or automatic transmission, shifting gears should be a smooth, easy process. The first noticeable sign of difficult shifting is often a clunk or thudding noise when the car shifts. If you notice the gears grinding or your car seems like it's struggling to move or isn't accelerating at the rate it should, you likely have a transmission in need of repair.
4. Fluid Leaks
One of the first things you should check if you experience shifting problems is your transmission fluid. Without adequate fluid levels, your transmission can't perform at its best. Check under your vehicle for puddles of fluid. Transmission fluid typically has a faint sweet smell and is red and transparent.
5. Warning Lights
If a warning light comes on in your vehicle, it could indicate a shifting or transmission problem. If your check engine warning light, a transmission temperature warning light, or another general warning light comes on, it's best to take your vehicle to an experienced mechanic to diagnose the problem.
Many vehicles generate error codes that mechanics and auto parts stores can help you read. If your check engine light comes on and the car generates an error code in the P0700 range, you likely have a problem with the transmission that is causing it to malfunction.