Unless you have experience working under the hood of a car, transmission repair will be unfamiliar territory for you to try to navigate on your own. This makes it challenging to figure out exactly what’s going on when you experience a problem. Thankfully, that’s what we’re here for. As mechanics who specialize in transmission repair, we can help you determine your issue and provide you with the solution that gets you back on the road safely. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we get about transmissions.

#1: When should I check my transmission fluid?

Typically, you want to check your transmission fluid when you check your oil, which is every six months, or twice a year. When checking your fluid, it’s important to note that you must be parked on a flat surface, and your car needs to be warm. Before checking the fluid, start your engine and let it run for a few minutes. Then, take the transmission fluid dipstick out and wipe it with a clean cloth and then place it back in the reservoir. Pull the dipstick out again, and this time, check the indicators to determine whether or not you’re low on fluid. 

Transmission flushes may be required depending on the quality of the fluid, but generally, this service is done every 30,000 miles.

#2: What should I look for when checking my transmission fluid?

When checking your transmission fluid, you’re going to be looking for four specific things. 

  1. The level that the fluid is at. 
  2. The color of the fluid. Good transmission fluid will be a bright, transparent red color. 
  3. The consistency of the fluid. The consistency of transmission fluid should be thin, with no contaminants or particles mixed in. 
  4. The smell of the fluid. Transmission fluid is practically odorless, so if you notice a burnt odor, you likely have a transmission issue.

#3: How do I know if my transmission is leaking?

There are two indicators that your transmission is leaking fluid. If you go to check the fluid levels and they’re lower than they typically are from your normal driving routine, then it’s likely that you have a leak. And if you check the surface underneath where your vehicle is parked and notice a red fluid puddled on the ground, you know you have a leak.

#4: How much does a transmission rebuild cost?

Transmission rebuilds are often more cost-effective than transmission replacements. With that said, a rebuild is still going to be pretty costly. A transmission rebuild can cost anywhere from $1500 – $3500, while a transmission replacement will cost upwards of $4000. 

A complete rebuild takes skill and mastery, which is why this service is best left to professional mechanics with experience performing this kind of work. And luckily, at General Transmission, we offer financing options to help you get back on the road safely, without worrying about how you’re going to pay for it right now. 

#5: How do I know if my transmission is failing?

Transmission failure is usually pretty noticeable. Often, vehicles will malfunction in some way before the transmission completely fails. If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms, you may need your transmission to be looked at:

  • Hearing strange noises toward the front of the vehicle
  • A check engine light appears
  • You notice the transmission is leaking fluid
  • Your vehicle overheats
  • Gears start to slip

#6: How long does a transmission rebuild take to complete?

This question gets tricky to answer because there are many factors that may affect how long this service will take. Generally, it can be done in about five business days, but ultimately it will depend on the availability of parts and time in the shop’s schedule.

#7: How can I avoid transmission issues?

Avoiding transmission problems is sometimes unavoidable, but there are some things you can do to limit your risk. Start by making an appointment with your local transmission repair shop – General Transmission. We’ll inspect the whole vehicle, focusing on the transmission, determining how your vehicle is running and if there’s anything we can do to make it better. You can also check your fluids on your own and just be aware of any strange noises, smells, or sounds coming from the hood. If you do notice a problem arise, be sure to call a transmission specialist for help.

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