Your vehicle's transmission is the part of the car that actually controls switching gears within the engine, and as a result, plays an integral role in your ability to control the speed of your vehicle while driving. The transmission makes use of fluid under pressure to create enough effort to switch gears: this means that any sort of contamination or problem with your transmission fluid can quickly and directly have an impact on your ability to control your vehicle, which is a serious safety consideration. Fortunately, there are a few red flags that you can watch out for to determine when you need to head to a mechanic to have your transmission fluid flushed.
The earliest warning sign associated with transmission fluid that is dirty and no longer able to properly and effectively do its job is a strange noise coming out of your engine while driving. This will become apparent when speeding up or slowing down, and most commonly takes on a grinding or rubbing sound. This is symptomatic of a transmission that is not able to exert enough power through its fluid to effectively change gears, causing excessive grinding. This is a fairly serious issue, as increased friction can cause your gears and transmission to wear out at a faster rate than they would otherwise.
Another common sign of dirty transmission fluid, though one that has more of a direct impact on your control over your vehicle, is if you notice that your engine suddenly slips into a lower gear. This is because of contaminated transmission fluid, which causes a variable amount of pressure to be exerted over the gears in your engine – which can cause slipping and sudden slowdowns.
Alternatively, in a similar vein to the above point, you may find that your vehicle suddenly surges forward. Sometimes, this can manifest itself as a delayed response to pressing down the gas pedal, but other times it can be a sudden increase while otherwise traveling at a consistent speed. This is because a contamination within your transmission fluid suddenly clears, allowing more fluid and pressure to push forward and kicking your engine up a gear. If you experience either surging or slipping, you should head to a mechanic on the first occurrence, as waiting can cause both symptoms to increase in regularity and make it harder for you to drive normally and safely.
For more information, contact a company like AutoMedics.