5 Common Transmission Questions Answered

Your car’s transmission is a complex system that controls the application of power from the engine to the driveshaft. It experiences more wear and tear than many other parts of your vehicle due to the heat and friction produced by its many moving components. Problems range from simple leaks to complete failure, but it can be hard to tell when a seemingly small problem signals a bigger issue.

Do you have an issue with your transmission? Here are some common questions and their solutions.

Common Transmission Questions

In every vehicle, the transmission is one of the things that directly affect competency. Usually, following proper transmission maintenance procedures will keep it running smooth, but even with all your precautions, problems may still happen. Here are 5 common transmission questions and their answers:

1) What will happen if I add too much transmission fluid?

If you add too much transmission fluid, you may notice it foaming, which can cause erratic gear shifting. Some other problems that may arise include oil starvation and transmission damage. A common issue with overfilling is that people notice fluid underneath their vehicle and think there’s a leak. To remedy this, they’ll add more fluid, contributing to the problem.

2) What causes metal shavings in a transmission pan?

If you have noticed a very fine powder deposit of metal clinging to the pan, that’s normal. However, if you have actual shavings or chunks, then you have a potentially serious issue. Shavings are a sign of internal wear beyond what would be considered normal. The actual cause, if these are actual shavings, could be from a lot of things, and none of them are good. Metal shavings are a clear sign that the transmission is ready for a full transmission rebuild.

3) What will happen if I use the wrong transmission fluid?

Make sure you only use the recommended transmission fluid for your engine, since using the wrong kind can damage other parts of your vehicle. The most common situation where the wrong transmission fluid is used is in the case of using automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in place of variable transmission fluid (VTF) and vice versa. If you happen to use the wrong kind of fluid, you will need to remove it as soon as possible to try to minimize the amount of damage to your transmission. If your car has already been driving with the wrong fluid for many miles you will need to get it services to assess any damage.

4) Why does my transmission make weird noises while in gear?

There are many causes of transmission mystery noises. If your transmission is making a grinding or brushing sound while in gear, the problem may be damaged needle bearings associated with your torque converter. If the needle bearings become damaged, you will generally hear strange noises coming from the transmission while in driving gears, but not when the vehicle is in neutral.

5) How do I tell when my transmission needs to be checked out?

A transmission in trouble will give you various warning signs.  You might notice a burning smell, dirty fluid, or see transmission fluid on your driveway or garage floor, which could be caused by a leak. Hearing unexpected sounds while the vehicle is in neutral is another signal that you need to get your transmission serviced or scheduled in for repair. Unusual sounds while you’re in gear could also be warning you of a transmission problem.

Pro Tip: If your transmission starts to do anything out of the ordinary, don’t wait and hope for the best. Take it in!

Better Safe Than Sorry

Identifying problems with your industrial vehicle isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Remember, if you hear or see something strange, don’t wait to see if the problem goes away. Make sure to get your vehicle checked by a transmission service expert before any further damage occurs. Not only will it save you time and money, but it could also save you and others from harm.

Contact Us to speak with an Allison transmission technician to answer all your questions or concerns.