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Blog posts of '2021' 'December'

What to Do When Transmission Starts Making Noises

pieces of an automotive transmission

As the heartbeat of your car’s engine, the transmission is responsible for ensuring the proper amount of power is sent to your wheels to drive at a given speed. In other words, the transmission makes sure the engine spins at the right rate, to pull power from the engine to give to the wheels. So if your transmission begins to make noises, that’s an indication that something is wrong, and other problems may follow. If your transmission begins making noise, take it to a reputable transmission center ASAP. Small problems can often be fixed early on,  to prevent them from turning into costly repairs.

Signs of Transmission Problems

Strange sounds in your vehicle can be an indication of a transmission problem. If you hear buzzing, whining, humming, or clunking noises, it is essential that you take your car in for transmission diagnostics as soon as possible. These sounds can indicate transmission failure. However, keep in mind that transmissions are made up of hundreds of parts, so knocking or clicking noises may also just be a worn-out case, or bearing, requiring a minor transmission repair.

Other signs that you could have a problem with your transmission include:

  • Leaking fluid

  • Grinding, shaking, jerking

  • Delayed shifting into gear

  • Inability to shift gears

  • Burning smell

  • Service engine light

If you experience any of these problems, it’s smart to take it to a top-rated shop for transmission diagnostics as soon as you can.

Common Problems with Transmissions

A lot of things can go wrong with your car’s transmission but some transmission problems tend to occur most frequently. These include:

Dirty or Low Transmission Fluid

Whether you drive a manual or automatic, plenty of clean transmission fluid is essential to keep your car running properly. Low fluid due to a leak, or dirty fluid can lead to overheating, grinding, gear slippage (automatic vehicles), or lack of power (manual cars).

Worn Needle Bearings

In automatic vehicles, the needle bearings prevent gears in the torque converter from grinding. If they wear out, you’ll likely hear noise from your transmission that sounds like grinding or a brushing noise. If you take your car in for repair quickly, you can prevent premature failure of your gears.

Aged Gear Synchronizers

Manual transmission vehicles rely on the gear you are about to shift into, to spin at the same speed that the gear you’re shifting from. When the synchronizers (synchros) become worn down you’ll experience problems. Left untreated, these worn synchros can lead to complete transmission failure.

Worn Clutch

Worn clutches in manual transmission cars can be due to fluid leaks, or improper driving. Fortunately, most clutch replacements are quick, affordable fixes.

Poor Maintenance

Believe it or not, the number one cause for transmission problems is lack of owner maintenance.  All vehicles have manufacturer maintenance recommendations, but many car owners don’t follow them. Simple preventative transmission services can prevent the majority of transmission problems.

Transmission Diagnosis in Houston

To schedule preventative transmission service, or to diagnose a problem with your transmission, contact Circle D Transmission at 713-895-7019, or book an appointment online. 

Understanding the Cost Behind Transmission Repairs

mechanic working on vehicle

Dealing with a transmission repair likely wasn’t on your to-do list - or even in your budget. But it is definitely a necessity when it comes to having a working vehicle. Without a functioning transmission, your car isn’t going to run properly (or maybe even at all).

The costs of rebuilding or replacing your transmission can vary based on several factors, but it usually runs anywhere from $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 on average. And, while we know how important this part of the car is, what makes it so costly?

Factors That Impact the Cost of Transmission Repair

The transmission of your car is one of the main parts. It also has many different parts that make it a functioning system. So, when something goes wrong, it could be a number of different things - as well as vary based on certain factors.

  • The Symptoms. Like we said, there are many things that can go wrong. Are you smelling a burning smell? Is your check engine light on? Will the car not drive at all? Depending on what the exact issue is will impact the overall cost of the repair.
  • The Type of Transmission. Is your car manual or automatic? This matters as automatic transmissions are more complex and, as a result, their repairs tend to be more costly.
  • The Year of Your Vehicle. If your auto is newer, then the parts for the repair should be relatively easy to find. However, they are likely to be more expensive. For older cars, finding the parts may be difficult and also lead to expensive parts.
  • The Make of Your Vehicle. Automobiles made outside of the U.S. tend to have a much higher markup on their prices so you should expect to pay more.
  • Your Location. As with any cost of living, depending on where your car is located, you may find the cost of transmission repair higher or lower than in other areas.

Types of Transmission Repair

There are two common types of transmission repair that you can encounter when you take your car to the repair shop: a rebuilt transmission or a remanufactured transmission. They each come with different costs and have their pros and cons.

A rebuilt transmission means rebuilding the transmission with the necessary new parts - without replacing the entire unit. This is a time-consuming process, as the transmission must be taken apart, each part examined, and then put back together.

A remanufactured transmission is already built and the entire transmission is removed and replaced. This is much faster than rebuilding and you have the satisfaction of knowing that all parts have been replaced.

Having a trusted mechanic with extensive transmission knowledge can help you decide the best route for you.

Is Transmission Repair Worth it?

It is normal to feel as though you just want to ditch the car and buy a new one - especially because the transmission repair cost can seem very high. Unless your car is old and in bad shape, you may want to consider the depreciation of a new vehicle, the monthly car payments you are sure to have, additional insurance costs, and so forth.

When you break it down like that, it is easier to see that getting through this one hefty, unexpected cost can actually keep your car running longer and stronger - without all the added expenses of a new car.

Review your options, learn about any warranties that come with your transmission repair cost, and make your decision.

To learn more about transmission repair from a trusted source, contact Circle D Transmission at (713) 895-7019.