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Signs of a Failing Transmission: When to Seek Transmission Repair

The transmission is a crucial part of a vehicle. It transfers power from the engine to the wheels to make the car move. It is also called the gearbox because it shifts the gears in the vehicle to increase or decrease speed. A vehicle may have an automatic transmission where the gears shift automatically as you accelerate or decelerate, or it may have a manual transmission, which means the driver must shift the gears. 

A vehicle’s transmission is built to last for around 100,000-150,000 miles with regular maintenance, but it may last longer or fail sooner depending on many factors. What are the signs of a failing transmission? How do you know when to seek transmission repair? Learn to recognize the common indicators. 

Check Engine Light Comes On 

As you probably know, the check engine light in your vehicle may come on for any number of reasons. If you take your car to a mechanic, they can check the code that indicates the reason for the check engine light. It may indicate that there is a problem with your transmission, or it may be something else entirely. 

Shifting is Rough or Hesitant 

If your automatic transmission is not shifting smoothly or as soon as you think it should, you may need to seek repair. In a manual transmission, if you feel that the gears are grinding or not shifting smoothly, it may mean that repair is necessary. 

Leaking Transmission Fluid 

If you notice any leakage underneath your car, it could be your transmission fluid. Transmission fluid tends to look dark brown or red in color. It is not as thick as oil, but thicker than brake fluid, so you may need to inspect it closely. If it smells burnt, that indicates a problem with your transmission. 

A Burning Smell When Driving or After Parking 

When your transmission is not working properly it can become overheated or burn transmission fluid, which results in a burning smell. You will typically notice it while you are driving or after you have driven for a while and then park. It may intensify as the gears shift, especially in city driving when you are constantly changing speeds. 

Excessive Shaking of the Center Console 

A failing transmission can cause vibrations or shaking of the center console where the gear shift is located. This could indicate a lack of transmission fluid or contamination of the existing fluid. It could also be caused by a damaged clutch that needs to be replaced. 

Abnormal Noises Coming From Under Your Vehicle

If you hear unusual noises or a sudden increase in noise coming from under your vehicle, it is most likely due to problems with your transmission. Noises from the engine indicate other problems, but the transmission is located under the center console in most vehicles. Be careful not to confuse it with your muffler, which is located near the rear bumper of the car and will cause excessive noise if it is damaged. 

Where To Seek Repair 

In the Houston area, there is no better transmission repair center than Circle D Transmission. We specialize in transmission diagnosis and repair on a wide variety of vehicle makes and models, including performance transmissions. We source quality parts for transmission repairs, rebuilds, and conversions. 

If you’re having any problems with your transmission, call 713-895-7019 or contact us today to schedule a service appointment. 

The Importance of Regular Transmission Maintenance

Your transmission plays an essential role in your vehicle. Essentially, a transmission transfers the power the engine generates to the wheels. It also controls the degree of power the wheels receive, ensuring you can moderate your speed and reliably start and stop a vehicle.

Just like many car components, a transmission is a complex piece of machinery. That means it requires regular maintenance.

Don’t delay in scheduling this service! Staying on top of maintenance now can save you more money on repair bills in the long run.

Why Regular Transmission Maintenance is Essential

There are many reasons consistent transmission maintenance is vital. The following are merely some particularly noteworthy examples:

  • Identifying problems: There may be times when it’s necessary to repair or completely replace a transmission. No automotive part lasts forever. However, regular maintenance can help you extend a transmission’s lifespan. During maintenance tasks, a transmission repair professional may spot the warning signs of developing problems. Addressing minor issues now before they become more significant problems can benefit both your safety and wallet.
  • Saving money on gas: Often, a properly-working transmission will help a vehicle optimize its gas mileage. You may save money at the pump (and conserve resources) by staying on top of transmission upkeep.
  • Topping off transmission fluid: The team performing transmission maintenance will usually check to confirm whether your transmission needs more fluid. They will typically add more if necessary. Ensuring your transmission has sufficient fluid will prevent it from overheating. In addition, proper lubrication can reduce wear and tear on your transmission. This is another way in which regular transmission maintenance can maximize a transmission’s lifespan.

You may also notice your vehicle operates more smoothly after undergoing transmission maintenance. Be aware, many components of a motor vehicle affect each other. A transmission that’s in good working order will optimize the lifespan of the entire vehicle.

DIY Transmission Maintenance Tips

There are some transmission maintenance tasks, like thorough inspections, that professionals must perform. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn how often the manufacturer suggests scheduling transmission maintenance.

However, there are some basic steps you can take on your own to improve a transmission’s performance and guard against failure. They include:

  • Check fluid levels: Your owner’s manual should include information regarding how to check transmission fluid levels and how often you should do so. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.
  • Check for leaks: Monitor the areas where you park your vehicles for signs of fluid leaks. Transmission fluid often appears red when it leaks. However, in some cases, it may appear blue or green. Regardless of the color, you should always have a professional take a closer look when your vehicle is leaking any type of fluid.

A professional can also offer additional tips for keeping your transmission in good shape. By scheduling regular maintenance and following professional advice, you’ll save a lot of money on repair service in the long run.

Contact Transmission Repair Professionals in Houston

At Circle D Transmission, in Houston, Texas, we specialize in transmission services. This type of specialization ensures we can address virtually any transmission issue you may need help with. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online today.

6R80 Ford Lead Frame Problems

A Ford 6R80 lead frame on the ground

The molded lead frame houses the transmission output speed sensor and connects to the shift solenoids on the valve body of your transmission - it is a critical component. We commonly find lead frame issues in the Ford Expedition, Ford F-150, Ford F-250, Ford Mustang, Ford Transit, and Lincoln Navigator. Remember that attempting to fix a transmission when you don’t know what you’re doing can cause more harm than good. Thus, it’s best to hire transmission repair professionals if you’re unsure how to address a possible lead frame issue.

Symptoms That You May Be Having a Lead Frame Issue

  • Vehicle may not start
  • Vehicle may not shift out of Park
  • Vehicle may downshift while driving on the highway / harsh downshifting
  • Vehicle may have Output Speed Sensor, Input Speed Sensor, and/or Range Sensor DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes)
  • Speedometer may not work or only work intermittently

The Importance of Addressing Possible Lead Frame Issues Promptly

At Circle D Transmission, we are familiar with this common issue and only use OEM replacement lead frames. If you’re having problems similar to those listed above, please reach out to us as soon as possible so that we can possibly correct the issue by replacing the lead frame and not the entire transmission. As long as we confirm that the lead frame is the issue and that the transmission pan does not show signs of metal debris, we most likely can be successful in rectifying your transmission’s issues by replacing the lead frame. Never ignore a potential lead frame transmission problem, and never attempt to fix the problem on your own if you’re unsure how to do so. When you address a transmission issue promptly, you may prevent a minor headache from becoming something much more significant.

Learn More About Our Transmission Shop in Houston

At Circle D Transmission in Houston, TX, our experts are on hand to take a closer look at your transmission and determine the cause when you encounter common transmission issues. Whether you need basic transmission repairs or a full transmission replacement, we can help. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 713-895-7019 today to schedule an appointment.

Common Transmission Problems and Their Solutions

A person with their hand on the stick shift puts a car into gear

Your vehicle’s transmission is a complex machine within a complex machine (a car). As is the case with any such machine, it can stop working for various reasons.

Understanding common transmission problems and how to fix them can help you save money over the years by minimizing the need for repairs. The following overview covers some noteworthy transmission issues you may encounter, along with how to fix them.

Just remember that attempting to fix a transmission when you don’t know what you’re doing can cause more harm than good. Thus, it’s best to hire transmission repair professionals if you’re unsure of how to address an issue.

Common transmission problems drivers face include:

Transmission Won’t Stay in Gear

Does your transmission fail to easily engage when shifting gears? Or, does it not stay in gear?

Low transmission fluid may be the culprit. Check your transmission fluid levels and add more if you’re running low. 

If addressing low transmission fluid levels doesn’t fix the problem, a shifter cable issue may be the cause. Fixing a shifter cable is something only a professional can do.

Fluid Leaks

Transmission fluid is bright red. Check for transmission fluid stains around all areas you regularly park your vehicle.

Again, low transmission fluid can cause problems. You may add more fluid to address the immediate issue of low transmission fluid levels. However, if you suspect a leak, you’ll have to get an expert to take a closer look. They can determine the leak’s cause.

A Burning Smell

A burning smell when you operate your vehicle is always an issue requiring immediate attention. Often, a transmission leak is the cause.

Get in touch with a professional to address the leak as soon as possible. If you don’t repair a transmission leak in a timely manner, the transmission itself can become damaged beyond repair. You may need to replace your transmission entirely if this happens.

Strange Noises

Your transmission may generate noises you haven’t heard before. Common descriptions for transmission noises include humming, buzzing, and clicking, among others. Some transmission noises are so loud that drivers describe them as roars.

Damage to one of the transmission’s components is likely to blame for these new sounds. Or, a component may be loose. If you lack the expertise necessary to inspect a transmission and repair or replace a damaged part, contact a transmission specialist for assistance.

Shaking at High Speeds

Does your vehicle shake when traveling at high speeds? There are various potential causes for this problem. Because a shaking vehicle can increase your chances of being hurt in a collision, it’s vital to have a specialist take a closer look at your vehicle. They need to confirm the cause of the issue so you can be confident you’re fixing it thoroughly.

A vehicle may shake when traveling at high speeds due to a transmission issue. Per news reports, some vehicle brands like Chevrolet have been the targets of lawsuits due to their faulty transmissions causing this type of problem. If your vehicle needs a new transmission, installing it is a job for the professionals.

The Importance of Addressing Transmission Issues Fast

Never ignore a potential transmission problem, and never attempt to fix the problem on your own if you’re not sure how to do so. Your vehicle can’t run properly without a properly working transmission!

These tips will help you identify the early signs of an issue. When you address a transmission issue fast, you may prevent a minor headache from becoming something much more significant.

Learn More About Transmission Services in Houston, TX

At Circle D Transmission, in Houston, TX, our experts are on hand to take a closer look at your transmission and determine the cause when you encounter common transmission issues. Whether you need basic repairs or a full transmission replacement, we can help. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 713-895-7019 today to schedule an appointment.

What You Need to Know About Transmission Fluid

A person standing underneath a vehicle uses a computer sensor to diagnose transmission problems

Your transmission fluid plays a critical role in your vehicle’s functioning. Thus, it’s important to check your transmission fluid at least once a year. 

Don’t just check transmission fluid levels. Check the color of your transmission fluid as well. Its appearance can tell you whether you need to replace it.

What Does Transmission Fluid Do?

Whether your vehicle has a manual transmission or an automatic transmission, when gears shift, it can put a significant degree of wear-and-tear on the vehicle’s parts. Transmission fluid helps to lubricate these parts. According to Universal Technical Institute, transmission fluid also ensures that transmissions remain fairly cool.

What You Need to Know About Checking Transmission Fluid

The best resource for information about checking and replacing your transmission fluid is your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It will provide directions on how to check transmission fluid in your specific model vehicle.

The owner’s manual will also explain what type of transmission fluid your vehicle uses. As Car and Driver points out, different types of transmissions use different types of transmission fluids.

You may check transmission fluid with the dipstick. You can usually find the dipstick under the hood in the engine compartment. Look for a transmission symbol or other such marking to confirm you’re using the transmission dipstick and not the dipstick for checking engine-oil.

The process for checking transmission fluid with a dipstick typically involves:

  • Warming up the engine
  • Parking the car on a level surface and letting it idle
  • Removing the dipstick
  • Wiping the dipstick clean
  • Placing the dipstick back in its original location
  • Removing the dipstick again

The dipstick will have “low” and “high” marks letting you know whether your transmission fluid levels are low or high. However, your goal now may be to check the color and overall appearance of the transmission fluid. The next section of this guide will explain the process.

Be aware that some new vehicles have sealed transmissions. If yours does, you may never need to check transmission fluid levels.

What the Look of Your Transmission Fluid Tells You

Get out a paper towel, a sheet of printer paper, or another such white surface to rest the dipstick on. Make sure you’re not near any surfaces that dripping transmission fluid could stain.

Healthy transmission fluid tends to have a red or pink color. As its condition deteriorates, the color becomes brown-red. It’s time to replace your transmission fluid if it looks like this.

Sometimes, transmission fluid appears dark brown or even black. It may even have a burnt smell.

Bring your vehicle to a transmission service specialist if this is the case. At this point, it may no longer be enough to replace your transmission fluid. You might have to also replace internal transmission components that are damaged.

Checking Transmission Fluid: A Simple Way to Save Money

Replacing your transmission’s internal parts is costlier than replacing the fluid. That’s why checking the fluid at least once a year is smart. If you know when to replace your transmission fluid before damage occurs, you could save a lot of money on repair bills over the years.

Contact Transmission Services Specialists

At Circle D Transmission, in Houston, TX, we offer a range of transmission services, including repair and replacement services. Learn more about what we can do for you by calling us or contacting us online today.

How Long Does It Take To Install A Transmission?

A person uses a wrench to install a transmission in a car

Your vehicle’s transmission plays a critical role in its performance. To understand what exactly a transmission is and how it functions in a motor vehicle, it’s sometimes best to think of a transmission as serving the same function that a bicycle’s gears, chain, and shifter serve.

The transmission is a complex piece of machinery made up of several different moving parts. As is the case with any such piece of machinery, it can fail over time.

You may need to have your transmission replaced one day. When this day comes, you might wonder how long the process will take. Keep reading for more information. The following guide explains what you need to know about the process.

Signs You Need a New Transmission

Various warning signs may indicate it’s time to replace your transmission. Example include:

  • Check engine light: The check engine light turning on can signal a range of potential issues. Often, this light will turn on when there’s a problem with the transmission. Bring your vehicle to a professional to learn more. Remember, the longer you drive with the check engine light on, the more the problem will simply worsen.
  • Noise: Monitor your transmission for any grinding, banging, or similar noises. Such noises often mean the transmission is in need of repairs or replacement. Be aware, the noises that come from a failing transmission aren’t always particularly loud, so you may need to pay close attention to hear them.
  • Dark or cloud transmission fluid: Get into the habit of checking your transmission fluid (and all your vehicle’s other fluid levels) at least once a month. When doing so, inspect the condition of the transmission fluid. The transmission may not be functioning properly if the fluid is dark or cloudy. In addition, a burnt smell coming from the transmission fluid may be a sign of a problem.

These are just a few warning signs of a transmission issue. The moment you suspect a problem, make an appointment with an expert who can take a closer look and determine whether your transmission needs replacing.

Replacing a Transmission: How Long it Takes

There’s no universal answer to the question of “How long does replacing a transmission take?” Several factors can influence how long it may take to replace a transmission. They include:

  • Vehicle make
  • Vehicle model
  • Vehicle age

In some instances, it also might not even be necessary to replace an entire transmission. Depending on the nature of the issue, it may be possible to address the problem while merely replacing a single component.

That said, a typical transmission replacement may usually take about two days or less. However, for more complex jobs, the process can take three to four days. Make arrangements accordingly if you won’t have a vehicle while your transmission is being replaced.

Learn More About Transmission Replacement

If you believe you may need to have your transmission replaced, our team at Circle D Transmission, serving the greater Houston area, is on hand to offer the quality service you deserve. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 713-895-7019.

Where Is The Transmission Dipstick Located?

A person wearing a red glove pulls out the transmission dipstick

Your transmission is a vital part of your vehicle – one that it cannot run without. So, it is important to ensure that it always has what it needs to run successfully and efficiently. That means knowing the signs that it is struggling and how to routinely monitor your levels of transmission fluid. 

But first, you need to know where to find the transmission dipstick. 

Signs Your Transmission Fluid is Low

There are many different signs that will let you know when your transmission fluid is low. Knowing what they are so that you can take action swiftly is important to keep your automobile healthy. 

Should you experience any of the following, you may want to check your transmission fluid or get your car to a transmission specialist as soon as possible. 

  • Noises while shifting gears
  • Noticeable fluid leaks underneath the vehicle
  • Burning smell
  • Check engine light is on
  • Slipping gears that make a grinding sound and feel
  • Gears are slow to shift into place
  • Feels stuffy when trying to accelerate

Finding Your Transmission Dipstick

The transmission dipstick can look very similar to the oil dipstick so you will want to be careful not to get these two confused. 

Not to add to the confusion, but the transmission dipstick is not always found in the same place. It usually comes down to the type of vehicle you have. For instance, those that are front-wheel drive will often have the dipstick toward the front of the engine whereas rear-wheel drive cars have them located near the back of the engine. 

Your transmission dipstick should be labeled and it will often have a red, pink, or yellow handle for you to easily grab. 

If you aren’t sure where your transmission dipstick is located, you can always look at your vehicle's manual. 

Check the Level of Your Transmission Fluid

Once you have located the transmission dipstick, it is important to follow these steps to check the level and health of the fluid. 

  • Park on a flat, level roadway or driveway.
  • Turn on the ignition and let the car run idle for a few minutes as transmission fluid will expand as the car heats up. This will give you a better indication of what the level is when you are driving it.
  • Pull out the dipstick, wipe it off with a cloth, and then put it back in place.
  • Pull it back out and look at the level indicators on the dipstick to see if yours is where it should be. 

While you need to look at the amount of fluid, you will also want to notice the color and the smell of the fluid. All of these things will give you an idea of whether or not your transmission requires some attention. 

Transmission fluid that is new often has a bright red appearance that will begin to deepen in color as time passes. It may start to look dark red or even light brown. This is okay but is indicative that it is time for the transmission fluid to be changed. 

If the fluid is black, you have bigger transmission issues that need to be addressed by specialists. 

As for the smell, healthy transmission fluid doesn’t usually have an odor. And, if it does, it smells sweet. A burnt odor means that it needs to be serviced immediately. 

To help keep your vehicle running efficiently, get in the habit of checking your transmission fluid for these things once a month. 

Seek Professional Transmission Service

Because your transmission is such an important part of your vehicle, you don’t want to do something that could cause damage to it – or repair it without fully knowing how. The specialists at Circle D Transmission can help you with routine maintenance or the repair of your car’s transmission. In fact, we’ve been serving the greater Houston area since 1976.

Contact us today at (713) 895-7019.

How Long Can You Drive With Engine Light On?

Seeing the Check Engine Light illuminate on your dashboard can cause anxiety for any driver. This light indicates a potential problem with your vehicle's transmission system. Do you know how long you can safely continue driving before the issue becomes serious?

Let us help explain the factors that determine when it's time to stop driving with the Check Engine Light on.

Causes of the Engine Light Turning On

The Check Engine Light turning on can have several underlying causes that require different solutions. Here are some of the most common reasons this nervous light may illuminate:

  • Loose Gas Cap - A loose or faulty gas cap allows evaporative emissions to leak out, triggering an emissions system code that turns on the transmission warning light as well. Thankfully, this is one of the simplest fixes - tightening or replacing the gas cap typically resolves the issue.
  • Sensor Failure - Modern vehicles have sensors that monitor transmission temperature, speed, fluid pressure and more. If one of these vital sensors fails or sends incorrect signals, it can activate the transmission light. A diagnostic scan at a shop can identify the faulty sensor that needs replacement.
  • Low Fluid Level - Not having enough transmission fluid can cause overheating, increased friction, and deterioration of transmission components over time. Low fluid indicates a leak or issue with shifting and will trigger the light. Checking the dipstick and topping off or changing the fluid resolves this cause.

Identifying the specific reason the Check Engine Light is illuminated is crucial to understanding if it is safe to continue driving or if immediate repair is required. Consulting the owner's manual or a professional mechanic can help diagnose the issue accurately based on the fault codes stored.

Potential Consequences of Driving with the Check Engine Light On

Here are some key potential consequences of continuing to drive with the Check Engine Light illuminated:

  • Greater Transmission Damage - Driving with an underlying issue can worsen any mechanical problems or wear and tear. Transmission components like clutches, gears, and bearings depend on proper lubrication and operation. Prolonged abnormal functioning often leads to internal damage and eventual failure.
  • Shifting Difficulties - Depending on the specific problem, you may experience delayed, jerky or hard shifting when the light is on. Faulty sensors or low fluid can prevent smooth gear changes, presenting a safety hazard.
  • Increased Repair Costs - The longer you drive with transmission problems, the more likely major repair or replacement will be needed. Minor issues can turn into major faults quickly with continued use, resulting in higher shop bills down the road.
  • Reduced Power Transfer - An unhealthy transmission may slip or fail to efficiently transfer engine power to the wheels. This decreases acceleration and performance. Fuel efficiency can also suffer due to power loss through the drivetrain.
  • Complete Breakdown Risk - If the transmission fully fails, your vehicle could leave you stranded. Continuing to drive once issues appear dramatically increases the chances of a roadside breakdown. This also creates hazardous situations if failure occurs in traffic.
  • Safety Hazards - Slipping gears or inability to accelerate/decelerate smoothly presents risks. Reacting appropriately in traffic or dangerous conditions may be compromised with transmission problems.

Addressing the warning promptly reduces further damage, repair costs, and safety risks. Understanding these potential consequences informs smart decisions to avoid breakdowns or accidents.

How Long Can You Drive with the Check Engine Light On?

There are some key factors that determine how long you can safely drive with the warning light illuminated.

  • The specific cause of the warning light - Minor issues like a loose gas cap may allow brief continued driving without much concern, while serious mechanical problems like low fluid or a worn clutch require pulling over and repairing immediately.
  • The presence and severity of any symptoms while driving - Are you experiencing slipping gears, trouble accelerating or other driveability issues? Severe transmission symptoms mean you should stop driving right away, while mild or no symptoms may mean a short trip to the repair shop is possible.
  • Mileage driven since the initial warning light - The less distance you've traveled with the light on, the less likely you've already caused significant wear or damage through continued operation.
  • External driving conditions at the time - Stop-and-go traffic and extreme weather increase strain on a compromised transmission, so drive with extra care or avoid these conditions altogether.
  • Availability of transmission repair or service - Can you pull over or have the vehicle transported to a shop right away? The sooner you can have it properly diagnosed and repaired, the better.
  • Manufacturer recommendations - Your owner's manual may provide guidance on whether you can drive short distances to the mechanic after seeing the transmission light.

While the specific safe distance depends on your unique situation, the best practice is to stop driving within a few miles or less once you see the Check Engine Light and seek professional diagnosis and service immediately. This minimizes the chances of a roadside breakdown or permanent damage. Be cautious and listen to your vehicle's warning signs.

Transmission Rebuild, Replacement, Repair & Service

The Check Engine Light is not something to ignore - it likely indicates a serious issue that requires prompt attention. Driving any substantial distance with the light illuminated risks damaging your vehicle and compromising your safety.

You should stop driving as soon as safely possible once you see the light come on. Ongoing operation may exacerbate mechanical problems or wear. The longer you drive, the more likely major repairs or replacements become necessary down the road.

For trusted transmission service and peace of mind for the road ahead, choose the specialists at Circle D Transmission.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or quotation for your vehicle. We service all makes and models.

What Should Your Transmission Temperature Be?

closeup of a car transmission

The transmission of your vehicle has to be in good working order for the automobile to run smoothly. And the temperature of the transmission plays a significant role. Too high and you could face serious issues. 

The average, optimal temperature of your transmission should be somewhere within the range of 175 to 220 degrees. What happens when it rises above? Let’s find out.  

What Causes a Transmission to Overheat? 

There are a few different reasons that may cause your transmission’s temperature to jump above the optimal range, including: 

  • Dirty or old transmission fluid
  • Worn, dry seals 
  • An engine that is overheating
  • Low - or no - transmission fluid
  • Leaking fluid

A solenoid that is malfunctioning can also cause a rise in your transmission’s temperature. This part is tasked with measuring the fluid that goes into the transmission. If it doesn’t send enough, it can overheat. Getting your car serviced regularly by a transmission specialist can reduce the chance of these things happening. 

Is Your Transmission’s Temperature Too High? 

If your transmission’s temperature is above 220, your car is at risk. These high temperatures lead to overheating. And, sometimes rapidly, parts of your vehicle can become damaged, including hardened seals, slipping plates, burnt-out clutches, and so forth. Complete failure is the eventual end result. 

How to Know if Your Transmission is Overheating

There are a few different ways you can find out if your transmission is overheating. The sooner you recognize it, the sooner you can take action to protect your vehicle. 

  • Warning light. One of the first indicators that your transmission is overheating will be the warning light on your dash. If there is any issue - including overheating - it will turn on. It is important to note that this may be warning you of other transmission issues, as well, such as low fluid. 

  • Burnt smell. One cause of a burning smell is a transmission that is overheating. It is important that you pull over and get this checked before you cause more serious damage. 

  • Difficulty shifting gears. Overheating transmissions do not work properly. And that means they may have difficulty shifting gears. If you are experiencing this, get your car checked out right away. 

  • Hot engine. When your transmission is running too hot, the feeling of being overworked will carry over to the engine, too. And it is not uncommon to see that light come on as well, warning you that your engine is about to overheat. 

Lowering Your Transmission’s Temperature

To lower your transmission's temperature, there is an easy and simple solution. Ready? Pull off the road to a safe space and turn the car off. This will allow it to cool down completely. This is also a good time to check your level of transmission fluid, adding some if necessary. 

Do not continue to drive your car while the light is on or you will damage your transmission. 

Is Your Transmission’s Temperature Too Low? 

It is possible for your transmission’s temperature to be too low. And this could be dangerous, too. Transmissions that have low temperatures struggle to reduce the condensation inside the unit. And, as a result, the car will not function as well as it should.

Cold weather is a very common denominator in transmissions with low temperatures. To keep this from happening, simply give your car a chance to warm up before driving it when the outside temperatures are low. 

Expert Transmission Care

Whether your transmission temperature is too high or you are experiencing other signs of wear or tear, the technicians at Circle D Transmission can help. We have been servicing the vehicles of those in the greater Houston area since 1976.


Contact us today at (713) 895-7019.

Should You Check Your Transmission Fluids While Your Car is Running?

man checking transmission fluid

Without transmission fluid, your car will not run. 

This fluid is necessary for keeping certain parts lubricated, cooling the transmission, and more. So, driving around with low fluid - or transmission fluid that is dirty - means that you are putting excessive stress on the unit. The result? Unwanted transmission issues

But, how do you check your transmission fluid? Should your car be turned off? Or should it be running? Let’s find out. 

Signs Your Transmission Fluid is Low

Your transmission requires transmission fluid to run well. So when it is running low, you will likely feel it. Here are a few signs of low transmission fluid. 

  • Overheating. Fluid is used to regulate the temperature within your transmission. When it is too low, the system can overheat. You may notice a burning smell
  • Difficulty shifting gears - or slipping gears. This is more noticeable in cars with a manual transmission but can be felt in automatic too. For instance, you may feel a slight delay or momentary weak acceleration. Slipping gears refers to your car not staying the geat it should be in. 
  • Clunking or whining sounds. Unusual noise that begins to come from the transmission can often be due to low transmission fluid. Sometimes a flush and change will leave the car running quietly. 
  • Leaking fluid. Anytime you see that fluid has leaked underneath your automobile, it is important to check your fluid levels. Transmission fluid is often red - so keep an eye out in your normal parking spot. Bear in mind that it may get darker, too. Regardless, if you notice a leak - it is time to get the car check out. 

Do You Check Transmission Fluid With the Car Running? 

It is possible to check your transmission fluid when the car is running and warm - and when it hasn’t been started and is cold. Either will work. To make this easy, your dipstick will have a cold and warm full line so you can easily tell where the should be. 

To get the most accurate reading of your transmission fluid, you will want to check your fluid with the car warmed up. Run it for about 10 minutes and leave it running while you check your transmission fluid level.

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

You should consider checking your transmission fluid (and all your vehicle’s fluid) about once a month. It is a simple step to take to ensure y our car is running correctly. 

Below are the steps necessary to check your transmission fluid: 

  • Put your automobile in ‘park’ on a level surface. This will help you to get an accurate reading because the car will not be slanted. 
  • Let the car continue to run so that it is warmed up - and, of course, leave it running while you go through these steps. 
  • Find the transmission dipstick. Pull it out, wipe it clean, and re-insert it. 
  • Pull out the dipstick one more time and notice where your markings are and where your fluid is. Since your car is in warmed up, you are looking for the fluid to reach the warm line.

If your fluid is not where it should be, contacting your trusted transmission specialist for further direction is a good idea. 

Visit Your Local Transmission Specialists

If your fluid is low or doesn’t look right, it is best to have your automobile evaluated by skilled transmission specialists. That’s what you will find at Circle D Transmission. 

For decades, we have been helping those in and around the Houston, TX area with all their transmission needs. And we can help you, too. 

Contact us today at (713) 895-7019.