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Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Transmission

Luke is a college graduate and student athlete. He has been a car enthusiast since age 9 and continues to share his expertise on cars.


Signs That Your Transmission is Faulty

The transmission is one of the most important components of your vehicle. It gives life to the other parts of your vehicle and cannot be started without it. However, unknown factors could affect your transmission without you even realizing it, especially whenever the transmission is at the end of its life cycle, or it is faulty.

There are plenty of cases where a transmission has been faulty after the production line such as the Ford 5R55S transmission. Fortunately, we have some information in this guide here that will spell out what you should look for in the event that your transmission is faulty by including some of the problems that were found with the Ford 5R55S transmission. If you notice any of these signs it is time to take it to an automotive shop for immediate repairs or replace the transmission completely.


A Burnt Smell After Driving

We all smell some kind of burning smell whenever we are on the road at some point or another. If the burning smell persists then there is a strong probability that it is your transmission. The burning smell coming from your transmission would be an indicator that it is beginning to overheat. This could be caused by old transmission fluid that needs to be replaced immediately.

However, it should be noted that transmissions that are older do not work as well even with new transmission fluid. This could be a sign that it is time for a replacement or that your transmission is faulty. You should take your transmission to your nearest dealership if it is faulty to have it inspected or replaced before it can cause any more damage.

Gear Changes Aren’t Smooth

The transmission switches gears constantly to allow various components of your vehicle to do their jobs properly. However, at the end of the life-cycle of a transmission, you may notice that your gears are not switching as effectively as they used to. You may even try to replace the transmission fluid inside the transmission to give it some extra lubrication, but it may not even work. This can be a sign that the gears inside your transmission are simply giving out and that the transmission itself needs to be replaced.

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Grinding or Shaking

Have you noticed that your vehicle has been displaying a sound of grinding or has been visibly shaking whenever you are driving? There is a possibility that the transmission is beginning to malfunction, which happens whenever the gears are not working the way they should and creates a variety of unwanted conditions for your vehicle. A grind in your transmission is a surefire sign that your transmission should be inspected and replaced if need be if you notice that something like this is happening.

The Transmission is Unresponsive

The most guaranteed way of knowing that your transmission is dead or faulty is if it doesn't even turn over whenever you turn the key. It is important to note how old the transmission in your vehicle is and what condition it is in. How often has it been serviced and do you have any kind of extended warranty on it are questions that you should be asking yourself.

While there is no definitive cause of why your transmission isn't turning on at all there, but it is relatively old, then you can more than likely chalk it up to the fact that the transmission itself is simply past its life-cycle.

Software Malfunctions

The Ford 5R55S transmission has been known to have many problems including some of them listed here. However, the most unforeseen problem was the software malfunction. The software update did not go through and the transmission was rendered essentially useless. This is a problem that the manufacturer has to fix and thus the transmission needs to be recalled in order to be properly fixed.


Transmission Fluid Leaks

You may notice that there are transmission fluid leaks that happen whenever you are idling or on the road. This is due to the fact that some transmissions that are faulty can end up having leaks in the transmission that will lose your fluid. The problem with losing fluid is that your transmission can overheat and end up shutting down.

Other problems include gears not shifting properly which can also lead to expensive repairs in the future. Whatever the reason is, transmission fluid leaks can lead to expensive repairs if you don't catch them right away. This is a problem that the Ford 5R55S transmission had and one that needed to be resolved immediately.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Luke Wilhoit

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