Canada is a nation of cars and drivers. We depend on our cars to take us where we want or need to go; we rely on them to always work. However, we don’t always take as good care of our cars as our cars do of us. Car repairs are expensive, and general maintenance is time-consuming, and to be frank, we take our cars for granted and sometimes wait until a catastrophic failure occurs before we do anything. If you live in or within driving distance of Edmonton, Alberta Canada, you have a great choice for your transmission care: Pro-Tech Transmissions.
Early Warnings of Future Doom
Your car is not unlike your children or your pets – it will give you signs it’s having health problems. Most of us haven’t a clue what these early warning signs are, or if we recognize a problem is brewing, we have no idea what part of the car is complaining. Modern cars are complex beasties, and repairs are getting more costly as time passes. It would serve us well to learn the warning signs of at least some of our car’s more important systems, both to save our lives and our wallets.
One of the most expensive repairs a car will need is transmission work; learning the five early warning signs of transmission trouble pays off well if you stop a problem as it starts.
1) Leaking Fluid
Your transmission, unlike your engine, doesn’t consume its cooling fluid. An internal combustion engine eats oil as it runs. You will eventually have to put oil in your car, even if there are no problems, because the oil is consumed. Leaks mean you have to add more oil more quickly, but you’ll have to add the oil nonetheless. A transmission has all the fluid it’s supposed to when you buy the car. If you have any signs of a leak – bright red fluid on your driveway or garage floor, for example – you need to:
a) add fluid right away
b) get to a transmission mechanic, so he can find the leak and fix it.
Transmissions require their fluid to keep cool. Another way to spot fluid problems is by smell – if you smell a burnt, slightly sweet odor in your automatic transmission automobile, you’ve got a leak and it needs to be fixed. Checking transmission fluid levels isn’t as easy as checking the oil; there’s no dipstick. Most likely you’ll have to find the reservoir and pull the plug to check.
2) The Check Engine Light is on
Many of us ignore the check engine light, because the car still seems to be running fine. A few paranoid types like myself, however, worry whenever that little light flips on. If you don’t have a reader yourself, you can take the car to an Auto Zone or some similar shop, and they will read the code for you for free. If it indicates a transmission problem, your next call should be to a transmission shop you trust. In Edmonton, you should call Pro-Tech Transmissions.
3) Grinding or Shaking
If you have a manual transmission and you hear a grinding sound after you’ve shifted the gears, you have a problem you need to get checked out. Grinding gears in a manual transmission are not necessarily expensive or catastrophic, but if you leave them alone, they’ll get that way. If you drive an automatic, you’ll most likely feel a shimmy as the car shifts, instead of a smooth transition from gear to gear. Again, not necessarily a wallet-buster, but if you leave it alone you’ll regret it.
4) Whining, Clunking, or Humming
Every car is different, and will develop different sounds as you use it. If you car starts to make sounds you’ve not heard before, you most likely need to have it checked out. An automatic transmission may develop a whining, humming, or buzzing sound as it starts to have problems. A manual transmission will most likely make a clunking sound after the gears are shifted. These sounds are not necessarily indicative of a transmission problem, but they do mean something foul is a foot, so take it in and have it checked out.
5) Lack of Response
When you shift gears in your car, you expect them to shift properly. In a manual transmission, you may shift gears and discover your car is not moving faster – or at all - but the tachometer is going wild. This is a really good indication the gears have not shifted properly. Assuming you can get the car into gear and moving before you have an accident, make the mechanic your first stop. If you drive an automatic, you may find your car doesn’t want to shift into, or out of, park or drive. If you are successful in getting the car into drive, head straight to the shop with it.
Finding a Mechanic You Can Trust
Back in the old days you had to spend serious time looking for an honest auto mechanic. They were a hard commodity to come by; how about finding one today? You start with recommendations, from people you know and trust. If nobody’s very helpful, or you want to be thorough, you go next to the Internet. Yelp, Google+ and the company website are a good place to start, for recommendations of whom to see and whom to avoid.
If you live within driving distance of Edmonton, you should check us out for transmission service. We are a family-owned and operated business, with a staff who has a combined experience of over forty years. Our website can be used to request a rapid quote or even schedule an appointment to bring your car in and have it checked out. Pro-Tech handles automatics, manuals, and heavy-duty transmissions, and we service all facets of transmission repair.
Are you experiencing any of the five early signs of transmission troubles? If so click here to get a Rapid Quote!