3 Sneaky Signs Of Transmission Trouble Every Used Car Shopper Needs To Know

Buying a used vehicle may be a good way to get a set of wheels without a lot of money or even without going in debt, but buying used also means that you could inherit a previous owner's problems along with the purchase. While there are some engine problems to be expected with a used vehicle, whether it is a slight miss or something simple, if there is one thing you do not want to discover about your new used set of wheels, it is that the transmission is going bad. As someone shopping for a used vehicle, there are a few sneaky signs of imminent transmission trouble you must get to know.

The vehicle seems to have a miss, but only during acceleration.

There are a lot of things that can cause a vehicle to miss and not run smoothly while it is running at an idle. From bad spark plugs and wires to even a clogged fuel filter, all of these things will cause the engine to spit and sputter. However, if the transmission is starting to fail, the miss will be much more pronounced and easy to detect, especially during acceleration. What seems like a miss is actually the transmission failing to kick into a higher gear as it should, and this is never a good sign.

The transmission fluid contains tiny metal fragments.

Never buy a used vehicle without first checking the fluids under the hood--especially the transmission fluid. Pull the transmission dipstick after the car has been sitting at an idle for a few minutes and wipe the transmission fluid on the stick onto a clean white cloth. Carefully inspect the residue for tiny fragments of metal. If you spot tiny metal fragments in the transmission fluid, it is a sign the interior of the transmission is starting to deteriorate and a rebuild or replacement is inevitable in the near future.

The vehicle stalls for a moment when you shift from park into drive.

Shifting the transmission from park into drive should immediately signal the transmission to change gears. However, if the transmission is starting to fail, the cogs on the gears that should be moving because of this change will be slow about catching up to actually make the vehicle move. You will notice a slight hesitation when you shift the car into drive from a parked position. If you spot this problem during a test drive, it may be best to move on to a different vehicle.

For more information, contact Atomic Transmissions or a similar company.