Buying a used car can be difficult, especially if you are not a mechanic. Some issues are inexpensive to fix and should not dissuade you from making the purchase. Other problems are expensive to repair and will make the purchase a negative experience, unless the cost of repairs was negotiated into the price of the vehicle. A faulty transmission is a major mechanical problem and is something to steer clear from when choosing a used vehicle. Here are 5 things to look for which will tell you if a transmission is failing in a used vehicle you are looking to buy.
- Rough Shifting. Automatic transmissions are meant to shift smoothly. When they don’t it means something is wrong. If the car you are test driving slams into each gear this means you will be spending money to fix the transmission very soon after purchase.
- Transmission Fluid Leaks. The transmission in a car requires a certain amount of fluid to operate normally. If the car is operated without adequate fluid, damage will occur. Replacing gaskets and seals will fix the leaking problem but the transmission may already have sustained damage.
- Loose Gear Shift. Shifting a car into drive with the gear shift lever should be a simple task. The indicator will move directly to the desired setting and lock into place. If the indicator has trouble settling into a position, the transmission is damaged and will require costly repair.
- Grinding Noises. Grinding noises while moving are a sure sign that a vehicle has a problem with the transmission. It is possible that the spindle gears in the torque converter are bad, not the transmission, but this is still a relatively expensive repair. If the vehicle makes grinding noises, purchase a different vehicle.
- Random Shifting. Occasionally a vehicle with a damaged transmission will fall out of drive into neutral. This is a sign that the transmission needs repair. Choosing a different vehicle will save you time and money.
Paying attention to these 5 indicators of a damaged transmission will help narrow the choices when choosing your next used vehicle.