The transmission is easily one of the most important components in a commercial vehicle, second only to the engine. Yet, despite this place of importance, transmissions remain a mysterious subject for many. If you would like to help reduce the likelihood of transmission problems by learning to recognize some of the common symptoms of trouble, read on. This article will introduce you to three key indications that your transmission is ready for some professional attention.
It's never a good thing when a vehicle starts to produce burning smells. Such odors may indicate everything from engine trouble, to oil leaks, to--you guessed it--transmission woes. Where the latter case is concerned, the problem is usually related to overheating transmission coolant. Such fluid can no longer do its job of keeping your engine from overheating.
This leads to an increase of friction inside the transmission itself. Not only that, but, as the fluid breaks down, deposits of sludge and debris will accumulate in the transmission. Both of these factors, if left untreated, are more than capable of leading to outright transmission failure.
The problem of overheating fluid may be caused by one of two things: either the coolant level is simply too low, or an incorrect type of coolant has been used. Check the transmission fluid dipstick to determine whether there is a sufficient amount of coolant. If so, chances are you've added the wrong type of fluid. Contact a local heavy equipment repair mechanic to have your transmission flushed and refilled with the appropriate variety of coolant.
Shaking or Jerking While Driving
Ideally, your transmission should promote a smooth, even driving experience. If, on the other hand, your vehicle has begun to lurch, shake or shimmy while you drive, chances are something is wrong. This also goes for any unusual or alarming sounds, such as grinding, whining, or ticking. Any such symptoms indicate that you may be dealing with either a problematic gear, or a faulty gear synchronizer.
If your vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission, pay extra attention the next time you get behind the wheel. Does the problem manifest especially when shifting into or between gears? If so, your clutch is likely in need of adjustment. Should the problem be allowed to persist long enough, it may even need to be replaced outright.
Verifying a gear problem is a little bit different with an automatic vehicle. Here you will want to pay attention to the way it handles when shifting from one gear to the next. Are you noticing a pause that seems slightly longer than it should? If so, your transmission is likely in need of a tune-up from a trained professional.