The Right Time to Repair Your Transmission

For most vehicle owners, the thought of transmission repair can be daunting. It’s often associated with high costs and lengthy repair times. However, addressing transmission issues promptly can save you from more extensive and expensive repairs down the road.

So, when is the right time to repair or replace a transmission? How will you know? 

What to Look For

If you can spot the warning signs, you’ll save a great deal of heartache and trouble. So, look for these symptoms in your car or truck.

  • Strange Sounds: If you hear the car humming, whining, or making a clunking sound, it could be from the transmission area.
  • Burning Odors: This burning smell may mean you’ve overheated or there are transmission problems.
  • Hesitant Response: When you feel hesitation when going from P to D or putting the car in reverse, it’s likely the transmission’s issue.
  • Gears that Slip: When you’re driving, you can feel when the transmission slips in and out of its gear.
  • Fluid Leakage: Look for puddles of a red liquid beneath the car.

Take our word for it. If you ignore these signs, more severe and pricey repairs are likely.

Maintain the Car Routinely

Proactive car care is paramount in keeping the transmission running smoothly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and suggested maintenance schedule. This will help pinpoint issues before they become full-blown catastrophes.

This typically includes:

  • Schedule transmission fluid and filter changes regularly.
  • When getting a check-up, request an inspection of the transmission.
  • Act quickly to fix any issues before further problems occur.

Car owners who stay ahead of the game will help extend the life of a transmission and stay out of the repair shop.

Don’t Put Off Repairs

There’s a reason they’re professional mechanics, and if they say you have a problem with the transmission, don’t doubt them. Schedule the repair asap to avoid more costly damage.

You might think that a small transmission leak would only need a seal replacement, and you’d be right if you got it fixed when it occurred. However, if not addressed, the leak could lead to the transmission running low on fluid and overheating, which in turn leads to internal damage. Trust us when we say replacing a seal is much less expensive than rebuilding a transmission.

How Old is Your Car?

You may be wondering if you should repair the transmission or chuck it all together. And you’d have valid concerns. Consider how old the car is and what the market value of it actually is. If the car is pretty new or has a high market value, then yes, by all means, get that transmission repaired or replaced. But, if the car is older and less valuable, you may just want to replace it completely.

Think of it this way. If the transmission repair price tag is more than 50% of your car’s value, it makes more sense to trade it in or sell it outright.

The Takeaway

If we can pound one point into your head, it’s that timely repairs are essential. They keep your car running and lasting longer. Pay attention to the warning signals, maintain the car regularly, and fix any issues ASAP. This will protect you from involved, pricey repairs in the near future. As much as you love your car, if it’s too old to make the fix make financial sense, go shopping for a new one.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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