How to Diagnose a Slipping Transmission

How to Diagnose a Slipping Transmission

October 20, 2016

A transmission plays a very important part in any vehicle, in that it is the part that is responsible for transferring the power from the engine to the wheels so that the car can actually drive. Over time, with normal wear and tear, the transmission might not work as well as it used to, which can be dangerous. This is usually caused by friction within the vehicle or a lack of proper lubrication. By learning how to diagnose a slipping transmission, you will be better equipped to take care of your vehicle and be safe while out on the road.

To begin the process of figuring out how to diagnose a slipping transmission, you'll need to get under the hood of your car. Here you can pull out the dip stick, and look at the color of the oil that's on it. The oil should be of a regular color and have a normal odor. If, by contrast, the color is brown and the oil smells like it might be burnt, then that is a definite sign of a slipping transmission. This shows that the transmission oil is not doing its job and lubricating the gears of the transmission in the best way, which can be a major cause of the transmission slipping. This would be your first sign that something is wrong.

If the transmission oil looks normal, there are still a few other areas to check in order to figure out how to diagnose a slipping transmission, however. Place the dip stick back into the filler hole under the hood, and then remove it to see if the fluid level is between the upper and lower marks that should be at the end of the stick. If the fluid line hasn't reached this level, then that is a sign that your transmission may be in danger of slipping because there isn't enough oil in terms of quantity. That is easy to fix, however, as you can simply refill your oil levels to protect the transmission.

When you are starting your engine, if you notice that the vehicle moves in an erratic way or if the transmission doesn't sound right, that could be another bad sign. If anything seems amiss with your slipping transmission, it's best to bring your vehicle into a professional repair shop for a full diagnosis by the professionals. This is fortunately a problem that is easy to fix, but it does need to be taken care of.


For more transmission advice, call Kimmer Transmission & Gear 303-693-1400.

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