What Other Vehicle Issues Can Seem Like Transmission Problems?

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Most cars have a way of telling you when something’s wrong. Unfortunately, with a variety of strange sounds, smells and vibrations that can alert you to malfunction, it can be difficult to discern the source. To complicate things, many problems can have a number of viable causes.

Any time you sense something awry with your vehicle, the best hope for successful diagnosis and repair means having a trusted technician take a look. With special training and years of experience, reputable mechanics can take the stress and frustration out of car repair.

Signs of Transmission Distress

When a transmission needs attention, your car will exhibit certain symptoms, including stuck gears, shaking, burning smells, a bumpy ride, grinding or slipping gears, and red-colored fluid dripping from the undercarriage.

Common Problems Misdiagnosed as the Transmission

It might seem counterintuitive, but most of the symptoms listed above can be caused by something other than transmission meltdown.

  • Burning Smell – If your car smells strange, nothing good can come of it. Yes, transmission malfunction is a common source, but it might also be a fluid leak, faulty clutch, brake problem, electrical short, or heater/air-conditioner issue.
  • Computer Malfunction – Today’s cars use advanced computer systems to identify and monitor emissions, fuel economy, technical issues, engine performance, and safety features. Unfortunately, with so many indicator lights, drivers tend to ignore them or overgeneralize. In some cases, a simple computer glitch that could have been fixed with minor repairs turns into a transmission problem over time.
  • Gear Trouble – Struggling gears usually indicate transmission distress, but other systems can cause gears to slip or stick, since any component affecting engine performance will negatively-impact gear shifting. For example, if the catalytic converter gets clogged, the engine will work harder, causing difficulty in the transmission. Also, a faulty oxygen sensor or airflow sensor can cause sticking gears, as can a dirty fuel injection system or fuel filter.
  • Shaking – A bumpy ride can mean more than transmission damage, including a cylinder misfire or broken engine mount.
  • Strange Noises – If you hear a distressing symphony of noise when your car runs, it’s probably the engine or the transmission. If you hear whirring, backfiring or hissing, it points to engine issues, and humming, clunking and whining mean the transmission. Either way, you should have your car checked by a professional right away.

For all your vehicle’s needs, call Prestige European Auto Service at 954-358-4933 for Oakland Park and 954-767-6837 for Fort Lauderdale.

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