How Do I Know If I Need A New Transmission?

Posted in
Articles, Transmission Problems
Published
11/11/2011

Your transmission suddenly isn’t shifting right. So what’s wrong with it? Do you need your transmission rebuilt? Good question. Unfortunately, the answer is: No one knows. At least, not yet.

To find out what’s causing your transmission problem, a technician is going to have to perform a series of tests. Basically, these tests are designed to answer the simple question: “Is it inside or outside?” That is, is the problem inside the transmission, or in one of the many control systems that operates the transmission?

That’s because there’s a lot more to transmission operation than the transmission itself. Nearly every transmission on the road today is controlled by a computer system. That system is integrated into the rest of the vehicle. So a problem in the engine — or for that matter, even the brakes — could have a dramatic effect on transmission operation.

In fact, today’s transmissions are so integrated with the rest of the vehicle that many technicians with years of auto repair experience can have a difficult time determining whether a problem is inside the transmission or not.
Until a properly trained and experienced transmission technician examines the vehicle and performs the necessary tests, there’s no way anyone can tell you for sure what’s wrong with your car’s transmission.

Once those tests are performed, a qualified technician should be able to tell you precisely whether you’re dealing with a transmission problem or not. And he (or she) will be able to let you know what it’ll take to fix your car and put it back into proper running condition.

The really great news is that the vast majority of customers who bring their cars in with transmission problems don’t actually need their transmissions rebuilt. In most cases the problem turns out to be external, which usually costs far less than a transmission rebuild.

But the only way you can be sure you’re only paying for the work you need is by bringing your car to a qualified transmission repair shop, such as one of the nearly 2000 ATRA Member shops all across the US and Canada.

To find the ATRA Member shop near you, click the Shop Finder link.

If you have any questions you can e-mail them to ATRA's Technical Department through the Technical Services page or call 1-866-GO-4-ATRA (1-866-464-2872)


More Transmission Problems articles available.