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The Carriage Motor House, Inc

Serving the Corona and Riverside area since 1970

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Transmission is a critical part of your vehicle's drive system!




The transmission is a key component of your automobile. It is also one of the most expensive components of your automobile to repair or replace. So you want to always be aware of the several indicators when your vehicle may be experiencing transmission problems. If you notice any of the warning signs of transmission problems you should bring your car in for an immediate diagnosis. Depending on the problem, transmission repair can be very costly, especially when warning signs have been ignored. Please see a list of just some of those warning signs listed below. .

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Signs of Transmission Problems

  • Delayed Engagement: You vehicle takes awhile to move or doesn't move at all when the gear is put in drive or reverse.


  • Slipping: You step on the gas pedal but the vehicle seems to be stuck on neutral.


  • Leaking: You notice pink or black oil underneath your parked vehicle.


  • Burnt Odor: A leaking or overheated transmission will emit a burning odor.


  • Noise: Knocking or grating noised coming from the engine can be an indication that transmission parts are improperly hitting or rubbing up against each other.  


  • Engine Light On: The "Check Engine" light is definitely a warning that there may be  a serious transmission problem, especially if one of the other warning signs are also present. 


  • Metal Shaving in Fluid: If the transmission fluid has metal shaving in it, the transmission is severely damaged and will need to be replaced


  • Hard Shifting:  A failed transmission may give the vehicle a hard and jerky action when attempting to shift gears.


  • Low Transmission Fluid: If the transmission is not leaking and yet your transmission fluid continues to run low, this is a sign indicating that your transmission is overheating and burning fluid. 


  • Slipping: While in gear, or while shifting  your car does not shift firmly and quickly as it normally should. Instead it shifts slowly, with the engine revving and a temporary lack of acceleration.       

Automatic Transmission Test Drive


Before you purchase a used auto, please schedule an appointment to have us evaluate the auto for need repairs, this include evaluating the transmission operation. If unable to make an appointment, try these procedures.

Use caution when test driving a vehicle.  Be sure to adjust the mirrors, the driver's seat,etc to fit your driving comfort and safety. Once adjusted, get a feel for the brake pedal so you know how much pressure to apply to make your stops. Familiarize yourself with all the controls. Once you feel comfortable with all of the above it is time to test drive the car.

To start testing the transmission, one of the first things you want to be aware of is the gear shift. Is there a delayed engagement, when you put the car into drive reverse? While your foot is on the brake pedal, shift to the "D" (Drive) Position. Almost immediately the transmission should engage, but smoothly and without a jerk. Now shift into "N" (Neutral) and the transmission should disengage. Now with your foot on the brake still, shift into "R" (Reverse) position. Again the transmission should immediately engage again without a jerk. If there is a noticeable delay, clunk or jerk, this could be an indication of transmission problems. Once you feel comfortable with shifting the gears it is time to actually drive the car.

Shift the vehicle into "D" (Drive) and gradually accelerate to a speed of 30 -37 mph, you should feel the gears shifting at least twice (from first to second and then from second to third gear).  The shifting can be felt by a slight change in the engines tone or change in the engine's RPM. The transmission should shift without a strong jerk, jolt, shudder, delay, or should the engine speed increase while shifting (rev). These are indications of transmission problems.

Now driving at a speed of 25-30 mph, press on the accelerator for a few seconds, you should feel downshifting to the lower gear.

Now it is time to test the overdrive. While driving the vehicle at 60-70 mph on a level road, without accelerating, shift the vehicle into "Overdrive". At this time you should feel the vehicle upshifting to the next speed. Now shift the vehicle out of "Overdrive", still not accelerating and you should feel the vehicle downshift.

While driving at a speed of 60-70 mph take note if the engine rpm increases when you press on the accelerator, without a forced downshift, but the vehicle speed remains the same. If it does, this is an indication of a worn transmission and it is slipping.

When coming to an easy stop the transmission should down shift smoothly.

If at any time during your test drive, you experience any of the signs of transmission problems have the vehicle assessed, before you purchase.