Automatic transmissions invented in 1921 are the most common form of transmission used today and allow vehicles to automatically change gears. This eliminates the need for the driver to change gears manually with a clutch. Unlike the manual transmission which uses a friction clutch the automatic transmission uses planetary gears that are locked and unlocked hydraulically. Newer CVT and dual clutch transmissions are becoming increasingly more popular due to their high performance and efficiency.

The following are some automatic transmission symptoms you maybe be experiencing and possible causes.

Shifts Rough

Often you will here a banging or clunking noise when the automatic transmission attempts to shift. Car may have trouble getting up to speed. The most common cause is low fluid levels. Jerky shifts can also be related to a malfunctioning shift solenoid.


Often you will hear a whining or high pitch noise. Automatic transmission may seem to change gears randomly or appear to be loosing power. Slips can be the result of low fluid levels, a defective solenoid, or broken bands .

Slow to Engage

When you shift from Park to Drive engine may rev up without moving forward. The vehicle after a delay can suddenly engage and lunge forward. May be caused by low fluid levels, wrong fluid type, broken vacuum lines or a defective solenoid. At Quality Certifies Transmission we can read your automatic transmission hydraulic pressure and determine if your pump is malfunctioning.

Fluid Leaks

Unlike manual transmissions with slave and master cylinders, automatic transmissions are sealed systems and seldom leak. Automatic transmission fluid is typically bright to dark red. Do not over fill automatic transmissions. Sources of leaks can be a defective pan gasket, leaky fluid lines or loose pan bolts.

Strange Noises

The fluid pump is the noisiest part of the automatic transmission. A failing pump or clog can cause unusually high pressure and additional strange noises.Engine Warning Light

Check Engine Lights

Check engine lights may be the result of a defective transmission. At Quality Certified Transmission we can read the error codes and let you know if the light is transmission related.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid like your oil gets dirty from wear and foreign matter. Rapidly degrading transmission fluid can be a sign of wear. Always check your fluid level. Most automatic transmission problems begin with low or ineffective fluids. If fluid levels are correct check to see if the transmission fluid is burnt or contaminated. If it is you will need a complete filter and fluid change.

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