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There are several issues you can have in your SUV. Many people consider premature engine failure the worst, but something comparable exists. Transmission failure is similar in that it impacts a super important part of your vehicle. Additionally, it’s an expensive fix because the transmission is an integral part of any vehicle. Here’s a look into the warning signs of a bad transmission.

Signs of a bad transmission 

A gear shift and emergency brake. Signs of a bad transmission
A gear shift | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

There are quite a few warning signs of a failing transmission. Of course, some are more subtle than others, but your SUV will typically tell you if something is wrong. You simply have to know what to look for. For the most part, you shouldn’t notice drastic changes in performance under normal circumstances. 

So, Ignoring these changes in your vehicle’s performance can lead to some significant problems. Additionally, according to Get Jerry, the act of driving with a malfunctioning transmission can cause damage to your engine. This could result in both of these important parts of your SUV failing.

Check Engine Light

One of the most commonly ignored warning signs is the check engine light. This could mean many things, but it could be one of the warning signs of a bad transmission. You should take your car to a mechanic just in case if the check engine light illuminates. 

Hesitating gears

Another of the significant signs of a bad transmission is hesitation when shifting gears. For example, when shifting from drive to park, if it seems the car takes time to adjust, there might be a problem with the transmission. With a manual transmission, you may notice that the gear you shifted to doesn’t match the RPMs. Similarly, your vehicle slipping out of gear is another warning sign of transmission failure. 

Leaks and burning smells 

Random burning smells and transmission fluid leaks are also signs of a bad transmission. Transmission fluid helps keep the transmission lubricated and from overheating, so a leak is never good. If there is a transmission fluid leak, you’ll see a crimson-colored liquid under or around the vehicle. Additionally, don’t ignore burning smells. While this may not be the transmission failing, it could be something serious. 

Loud noises from under the hood

Loud noises are another of the signs of a bad transmission. Of course, there could be weird noises coming from your car for several reasons. However, they should not go ignored, especially if it’s a sound you’ve never heard from your SUV. Overall, any noticeable change in how your vehicle functions, especially related to the gears, should be checked out because the worst-case scenario with the transmission is a costly issue for any owner to deal with. 

How to prevent transmission failure?

First off, not every transmission is perfect. Unfortunately, some transmissions are built with defects that cause them to prematurely fail. There are a number of SUVs and automakers the car-buying world thinks twice about because their vehicles often have this problem. However, under normal circumstances, there are things you can do to keep your transmission strong and functioning properly. In addition to paying attention to the warning signs of a bad transmission, the following six steps will help prevent the issue.

  • Check the transmission fluid on a regular basis. 
  • Make sure to come to a compete stop before switching from reverse to drive(or 1st gear for manual transmissions).
  • Use your parking brake when parking, even on flat surfaces. 
  • Avoid overloading your vehicle(especially with towing).
  • Get your transmission serviced yearly. 
  • Don’t ignore the warning signs of a bad transmission.
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