6 Signs Of A Blown Transmission

Never underestimate the importance of your transmission. It's required to keep your car moving. It transfers the power of your engine to your wheels. But your transmission is much more complicated than that. So are the problems that can develop with it. This makes regular transmission service extremely important in order to keep you moving.

So, how do you know when your automatic transmission is about to fail you or already blown? These six signs of a bad transmission will help you determine if your transmission is toast.

Strange Noises

If you hear clunking, grinding, or whining sounds every time you shift gears, visit a mechanic for car repairs right away. These are all signs your transmission is going. This problem could be caused by a number of issues, ranging from insufficient transmission fluid to damaged or worn-down gears. Identifying the type of sound and at which point of the shifting process it happens will help your mechanic figure out the problem.

Strange Smells

It is time to start thinking about your next fluid change once you start to detect a light, burning odor. Transmission fluid will typically smell sweet or tart. Transmission fluid keeps all the transmission parts lubricated. It also prevents it from burning itself up. If your transmission fluid is burnt, your transmission could be burning, too. If that's the case, you could need a complete transmission rebuild.

Shifting Issues

Difficulty shifting or a gear slips are clear signs of transmission problems. With a manual transmission, this is usually caused by a worn clutch. In automatic vehicles, low fluid levels, worn-down gears, broken transmission bands, or problems with the solenoid or torque converter, could cause it.


Slippage is when your vehicle behaves like its on ice or snow, but you are on dry pavement. You push down on the car and you don't go anywhere. Your motor is revving but your car isn't responding. Slippage affects your transmission's ability to propel the car forward. Ignoring this issue will lead to your car not moving at all.


Around 90% of all automatic transmission failures are caused by overheating. While driving, the metal parts of your transmission system are in constant contact with each other. This causes friction that turns into excessive heat when there's not enough fluid for lubrication. When the component overheats, it produces an unmistakably burnt smell and can lead to a blown transmission if you don't refill the fluid immediately.

Extreme Heat from Inside Your Car

It is possible to feel your transmission overheating from the inside of your car. If you have a rear wheel drive car, you can feel the heat coming into the passenger compartment through the bottom of the car. This is because the transmission transfers power and heat along the length of the vehicle, to get the power to the rear wheels. If the transmission overheats in front wheel drive cars, you will probably feel this heat between the driver and passenger seats in the gearshift housing.

If should have your car serviced right away if you have experienced any sort of transmission issue. A small transmission problem now could turn into a big breakdown later. Plus, Transmission repairs can range drastically in price depending on the severity of the issue.

It's better to have your transmission checked than to have it leave you stranded on the side of the road. The experienced technicians at Express Transmissions can diagnose the root of your problem and recommend the best solution to get you back on the road. Schedule an appointment today and trust one of your vehicle's most important components to us.