As soon as a car owner or driver notices a burning smell from the engine area, it becomes an issue serious enough that the car should be stopped driving.
Even though transmission problems often occur in specific cars rather than in other makes and models, as long as you have driven your car long enough, transmission repair will eventually come up and can escalate all the way towards a blown transmission.
This often presents itself in the form of burnt transmission fluid. But how do you know if your transmission fluid is burnt and what’s causing it to be like that? Here are some common symptoms to look for along with the reason why your transmission fluid is burnt.
Why Your Transmission Fluid Smells Burnt
Overheating is the main reason behind the smell. Transmission fluid performs two main functions: keeping the moving parts of the transmission well lubricated and causing a cooling effect to help in preventing the entire unit from burning up.
If not enough transmission fluid is in the system, overheating (exceeding normal transmission operating temperatures) and burning up of your transmission can eventually occur. Often, a clogged transmission filter is to blame.
While the smell of burnt fluid doesn’t always mean serious damage has already occurred, you’ll want to refill your automatic transmission fluid asap. But don’t add too much!
Even if the burning smell of the transmission means the car needs servicing, you should ensure a professional mechanic helps you identify if it needs replacement or repair depending on the period you have driven the car and the extent of the damage.
Luckily, almost all cars have the ability to indicate when their transmission has started to fail. Immediately upon noticing such symptoms, you should highly consider taking the vehicle in for diagnostics with a professional automotive tech. Such a decision can save you from having to rebuild the entire system.
Top 3 Burnt Transmission Fluid Symptoms
Without ignoring the likelihood of burnt automatic transmission fluid, the following key symptoms stand out as some of the warning signs that the vehicle needs transmission repair.
#1 – Burning Odor
As soon as you sense the smell of burnt transmission fluid coming from the interior of your vehicle, even without looking at it, that means the transmission fluid is low or needs replacement.
Similarly, when the gears overheat because of too much friction, you will smell some burning odor. Learning how to do a burnout? Expect it to take a toll on your transmission fluid as well as tires.
With a sign such as an intense burning smell, the transmission fluid is not normal. You will likely need the transmission examined if the fluid does not have its unique sweet smell and normal bright red color. A sign of dark and smoky fluid is abnormal.
#2 – Leakage of Transmission Fluid
Any leaks resembling transmission fluid stand out as one of the simple ways of identifying problems with transmission. Having problems such as difficulty shifting gears, indicate that your gears have dried up due some leakage.
Different from the motor oil of your car, the transmission has no capacity of burning up or consuming any fluids in the course of its use. Hence, running out of fluid means that there is a leak somewhere and the entire system overheats due to increased friction.
#3 – Gear Shifting Problems
The integral parts of the transmission of your car are the gears, whether they’re straight cut or helical. Most types of anomalies while shifting gears point towards the sign that the transmission needs attention.
When you try shifting the car into Drive and you notice some hesitation as well as the constant shifting of gears while driving, it may indicate that your car needs transmission repair. A transmission related DTC such as P0711 or P0730 may pop up when scanned with an OBD2 scanner.
Sometimes the gear may slip out when you are driving or jerks constantly when you try to shift gears. Any of the above symptoms should indicate that the car needs the services of a transmission professional.
Solving transmission problems, such as transmission fluid leaks and changing low, burnt or ineffective fluid is not complex.
However, you need the services of a professional automatic transmission professional to service your car. He can successfully check and change the fluid as well as fix any leaks on the transmission without causing any future problems.
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