How To Tell When Your Vehicle’s Transmission Needs Service

Transmission Gears

Have you ever wondered how to tell when your vehicle’s transmission needs service? Moreover, have you ever wondered what a transmission does in the first place? Let’s answer the latter question and then we’ll take a look at the former. In the simplest of terms, your transmission moves power from your engine to your wheels, and there are three types that your car might have: a manual, an automatic, or a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). You should bring your car in for regular transmission maintenance as recommended by your manufacturer or an auto service technician, but even the best kept transmissions can show signs of wear. Here are a few possible signs to look for that could be indicators.


Have you noticed your transmission slipping in and out of gear, particularly when you are going up or down a hill? This can be a clear sign that your car needs maintenance.

Leaky Transmission

Any leak from your car should be addressed as soon as possible, and a leak from your transmission is no exception. If you begin to notice dark spots where you park, such as your driveway or garage, then examine the spots a little closer. Place a piece of cardboard underneath your car so you can collect some of the leak. If it is bright red, dark red, or brown, it’s probably your transmission.


If you notice a burning or even a sweet smell coming from your car, this can be an indicator that your transmission needs to be examined. This smell can be confused with radiator coolant, but either way the problem needs to be addressed. Let a trained technician take a look.

Rough Idling

Anytime your car makes odd noises or vibrations while it is idling, you definitely need to bring it in to be looked at by an expert technician. This could be a sign that your transmission needs service or it could be another problem.

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Check Engine Or Transmission Warning Light

Again, any sort of warning lights that illuminate on your vehicle should be addressed immediately as they can sometimes indicate serious problems. This may mean you need transmission service or it could mean there is something else with your car that needs to be addressed.


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