Troubleshooting Your Automatic Transmission Based On The Sounds It Makes

Automotive Articles

If your vehicle has started making noises while it shifts into different gears, there is a good chance your automatic transmission has a problem. While some problems are fixable with adding transmission fluid, others may need professional servicing. If you suspect your transmission is making the noises, use the below troubleshooting guide to determine the problem.

Gurgle Noises Coming From The Transmission

If you hear gurgling noises coming from your transmission, this is usually an indication that your transmission fluid level is low. Because there is not enough to fully enter and lubricate the system, the air pockets interact with the fluid to create the sound.

The easiest way to check to see if this is the problem is to refill your fluid. To do this, check the dipstick on the transmission to see how low the level is to determine exactly how much to put in.

Pour in the fluid a little at a time, checking the level as you do so. While low fluid levels can create problems, overfilling can also cause issues. If there is too much fluid in the transmission, the pressure becomes too great. This could blow the lines or gears, leading to a complete rebuild or replacement of your transmission.

Bumping Sound When Placed In Neutral

A bumping sound while placing your vehicle in neutral is also a sign that your transmission fluid is low. Because there is not enough fluid within the system to remain at a consistent pressure, an air pocket is forced through the line when you shift into neutral.

As in the previous section, transmission fluid should be added to the correct level. If this does not solve the problem, or if other sounds accompany the bumping noise, you may need to have a transmission expert look at it.

Whining Or Humming While Trying To Shift Gears

If you hear a whining or humming noise while your vehicle is trying to shift gears, this sound is caused by the transmission's oil pump straining to push oil throughout the system. There are two possible causes for its inability to do this.

First, the transmission's oil filter may be clogged. Because the oil cannot pass freely through the filter, the pump has to work extra hard to push it through. If it is not cleaned or replaced by a service center, the pump will eventually burn up and need to be replaced.

Second, the motor on the oil pump may be wearing down, causing it to work twice as hard to do its job. The pump will have to be replaced.

Grinding Noise While Shifting From First To Second Gear

While your vehicle is shifting from first to second gear, you may hear a loud grinding noise. This is usually accompanied by obvious shaking of the entire vehicle. Every time you drive, you may hear the noise getting louder or feel the shaking becoming worse.

This grinding noise is caused by the gears rubbing against each other out of sync. This can be caused by a chipped or cracked gear. It could also be an indicator that the gears have slipped and are hitting each other's teeth as they are engaged.

If your transmission is showing these signs, you need to have it examined by a transmission repair service as soon as possible. If caught early enough, the gears can be repaired or replaced. If not, the strain on the transmission will become worse, needing more extensive repairs or replacement if the entire system freezes up.

If you are still unsure about what is causing your transmission's noises, you may want to take it to a professional transmission repair service. They can diagnose the problem and recommend that it be repaired or replaced. 

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27 March 2015

Emergency Car Care for Young People

When my daughter packed up and left for college, I worried that her car would get her from point A to point B with some sort of problem. I was right to worry. Her car ended up at a mechanic's shop miles from home with extensive repair work needed. Even though the car was fixed promptly and she arrived at her destination on time, I was worried. After that, I created a blog for other young people who are faced with car problems while traveling. My daughter didn't even know how to change a tire! With the research I compiled and a little practice, she can now change her tire and more.