Signs My Automatic Transmission Is Malfunctioning

It’s an excellent idea to bring your vehicle to Del Hatt Automotive right away at the first sign of automatic transmission trouble. The sooner we inspect the transmission and repair it the less damage. If you continue to operate the vehicle with a malfunctioning transmission, you will cause additional damage to the transmission that could render it useless. Let’s talk more about this below.

Refuses to Shift Gears

For example, your transmission is in need of immediate service if it refuses to shift through the gear cycle. You may be able to get the transmission into gear only to notice that it refuses to shift out of first gear. This is a sign that the transmission is breaking down and, in some cases, needs to be rebuilt.

Refuses to Go Into Gear

Ignoring this problem can cause additional damage to the transmission. There may come a point when it won’t go into gear at all. No matter how many times you shift it into Reverse or Drive, the transmission may remain in Neutral or Park. This means the transmission is being completely unresponsive.

Slips Into Neutral

The transmission can also slip out of gear while you are driving. If it is going bad, it may suddenly slip into neutral and leave you without any power. In addition, you will hear the engine rev very high as your vehicle slows down. A slipping transmission can be a precursor to the problems discussed above.


The automatic transmission can also overheat if it is going bad. You will smell hot odors coming from underneath your automobile as this is where the transmission is located. A common problem that causes the transmission to overheat is old transmission oil that needs to be changed.

Leaks Red Fluid

The transmission is also going to overheat if it develops an oil leak. Also called transmission fluid, this oil is crucial in protecting the transmission as well as helping it to shift the gears. Transmission fluid can leak out of the pan gasket or the pan. It can also leak out of the torque converter or the transmission hoses.

Makes Strange Noises

Strange noises coming from the transmission should cause you to drive directly to our auto service shop in Poughkeepsie. This is an indication that the transmission is malfunctioning. Noises that a malfunctioning transmission will make include squealing, clunking, and grinding.

Finally, Del Hatt Automotive in Poughkeepsie, NY, advises that your transmission should never make your vehicle vibrate when it shifts the gears. If it does, give us a call so we can set up a service visit for your automobile.

Photo by VladimirGerasimov from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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