Your transmission is one of those things that is easy to ignore in your car. Whether you drive a manual or automatic, you put the car in gear and it does what it's supposed to do. Every now and then, however, your car tries to let you know that something isn't right. The symptoms may start out fairly innocuously, but if you miss them, you'll see some bigger signs. The quicker you can respond to your car's cries for help, the better off you'll be.
As you drive, you're familiar with the normal sounds of your car. If you ever hear grinding sounds or other strange noises, it's time to take notice. If the sounds seem to be behind you, the most likely cause is the transmission. The sounds can range from clunking sounds to growling. What is happening is that the transmission has grease, sludge, and dirt clogging up the fluid, making it less able to lubricate the transmission. You could also have too little transmission fluid, which causes similar sounds.
The Car Surges
Every now and again, you may find that you're driving along and the car suddenly lurches forward. This problem shows up because the fluid may have dirt and other contaminants which makes the fluid flow unevenly through the transmission. As the fluid ebbs and flows, the transmission has a tough time keeping up so it surges and lurches. This can happen even when you aren't changing gears at all, so you may experience sudden lurches when you're driving along at a steady speed.
You press down on the gas, change gears, and your car doesn't respond. Three seconds later, it's as though the car realizes you asked it to do something and it jolts into action. This dance of hesitation and delay is a big sign that the transmission needs some attention. The problem could be the fluid, or there could be bigger problems brewing within the gears. Occasionally a clutch replacement may resolve this symptom, but that isn't always the case so it pays to get an expert opinion.
If your transmission is trying to get your attention, then it's definitely time for transmission service. Contact a mechanic like S & A Transmission who can take a look at the entire situation for you and determine exactly what will correct the symptoms you're seeing. Then you'll be back on the road with a happy transmission.
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