How to Know If a Transmission Is Gone in a Car

by Allison Boelcke

Car transmission problems are not only frustrating but also expensive if the transmission is shot before problems are addressed. If your car won't move, it is obviously too late to prevent it, but getting an idea of what is wrong can save you time and money. To speed up the repair process, educate yourself on the warning signs so you can get your car into the shop before it is too late.

How to Know if a Transmission Is Gone in a Car

Check your owner's manual to find out how to locate your car's transmission dipstick. Remove the dipstick and see if the transmission fluid is black, which means it is burnt.

Make note of any noises coming from the transmission when you change gears. If it is making whining or grinding noises, that indicates the transmission is going.

Pay attention to how easily your car speeds up. If the motor speeds up but the car itself does not increase speed, the transmission is slipping.

Put your car in reverse. If it won't go, that is a huge sign that your transmission is just about gone.

Try to move your car. If it won't move at all, and had any of the other signs mentioned, your transmission is dead.

Tip

  • check Take your car to the repair shop as soon as you notice any of the warning signs.

Warning

  • close Rebuilt transmissions can be a gamble, so you may be better off buying a used one from a junkyard.

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About the Author

Allison Boelcke graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's in English and a minor in psychology. She worked in print journalism for three years before deciding to pursue Internet writing. She is now a contributing web writer for Demand Studios and Conjecture Corporation.