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Spot the Signs of a Bad Transmission

The California Lemon Law is a great resource for vehicle consumers in the state. It protects buyers like you from taking a financial hit in the event your new vehicle happens to be defective. But you can’t access the benefits of this law if you don’t notice that there’s a defect in the first place.

One area of common concern is the transmission. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s possible to miss an underlying defect. Keep reading to learn more about your transmission and the warning signs that it may have gone bad. 

What is the transmission?

Not everyone is a natural-born mechanic. If you’re not sure what your transmission is or what role it plays in your vehicle, don’t worry. Here’s a brief explanation.

If you drive a vehicle, it has a transmission. Transmissions are a key part of every engine. The role of the transmission is to keep your engine from destroying itself by turning too quickly and overheating. Essentially, the transmission’s job is to change gears in response to the vehicle’s speed and the input from the accelerator.

What are the warning signs of a bad transmission?

Now you know that your transmission is important to the health of your engine. But how do you know if there’s something wrong? Start by watching for the warning signs listed below.

Inability to Switch Gears

If you notice that your vehicle has difficulty switching gears, it’s likely a problem with your transmission. This symptom may be accompanied by clunking or thudding sounds as you speed up or slow down. 

Burning Smell

Any time your vehicle emits a burning smell, something is not right. It could be that your transmission is overheating or that it’s low on fluid.

Leaking Fluids

When you pull out of your garage, is there an oil stain where your vehicle once was? This could be a sign that your transmission is leaking fluid. Pay special attention to liquids that are red and/or sweet-smelling. And, get your car to a mechanic ASAP.

Your Engine Light Is On

We know this sounds obvious, but you’d be shocked at the number of vehicle owners who ignore their check engine light. If yours is on, it’s for good reason. A quick trip to the mechanic will tell you if the problem lies within the transmission. 

You Feel the Engine Grinding or Shaking

This is a telltale sign of transmission trouble, so don’t ignore it. Grinding or shaking as you speed up or slow down tells you it’s time to get into the shop.

Your Vehicle Won’t Start

Most often, a vehicle with a faulty transmission simply won’t start. This is because the neutral safety switch is designed to disable the car and prevent a dangerous situation if there’s trouble with the engine. 

If your mechanic pinpoints a defect in your transmission, it’s time to call the dealership or manufacturer of your vehicle. And if those entities are unresponsive, call the lawyers at Wirtz Law APC. 

Keep in mind that driving with a bad transmission can be extremely dangerous. Vehicles with this defect can be unpredictable, and you may end up in a dangerous situation or even a collision. 

Are you protected by the Lemon Law?

Wondering if you’re protected by the Lemon Law? If you’ve had your vehicle under 18 months or driven it fewer than 18,000 miles, you may be eligible. We’ll help you determine whether the Lemon Law applies to your situation. Contact our office today.

For more information call the experienced trial attorneys at (858) 259-5009 for a free case evaluation.


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