5 Most Common Transmission Problems

The more you drive your car, the more wear and tear occurs. However, with the proper maintenance, you can keep your car running well for years. As your car ages, keep in mind that one of the most common issues with older vehicles is problems with the transmission. Transmission problems can result from leakage or from damage to the torque converter, solenoid or internal clutch. Mechanical problems in other parts of the drive train can also lead to transmission problems.

We've come up with a list of the 5 most common transmission problems and how to identify them:

Low Fluid Level or Leaks

As we mentioned before proper maintenance can keep your car running well for years to come. A part of routine maintenance is checking and refilling your transmission fluid regularly. Be sure to refasten and tighten all parts when finished. Leaks can be caused by punctured fluid lines, worn transmission pan gaskets, poorly secured bolts and seals on the transmission pan. This is a VERY simple problem to avoid - but like regular oil changes, many people tend to put off fluid changes or even forget about them completely.

Torque Converter

The needle bearings inside your torque converter are most susceptible to damage. When they're damaged they make an odd grinding sound when the car is in gear. The easiest way to find any problems is to inspect the torque converter while the transmission fluid is being changed.


The solenoid manages the transmission fluid flow rate. If the solenoid is damaged it may not allow enough fluid through for the gears to change smoothly. If you have checked your fluid levels and found no leaks, consider having your solenoid checked.


The clutch is located inside the torque converter and can jam. If your clutch jams the gears will be sluggish when shifting and your car may also shake and run hot. If you suspect a jammed clutch, service is needed immediately.

Other Drive Train Problems

If you notice a squeaking noise while your car is idling, a defective universal joint may be to blame. When you have a defective universal joint it may interfere with power reaching the drive wheels. If your gearshift no longer engages correctly, the transmission mounts may be damaged.

The good news is that regular maintenance will catch and prevent most of these transmission problems. Whenever you have an engine problem you can't identify, bring it into the Mears Mazda Volvo service department where qualified technicians will diagnose your problem. Call us at 806-747-2931 with any questions you may have, and don't forget about our monthly service coupons!

Categories: Parts, Service
; ;