If you noticed that your car has started acting strangely whenever it tries to change gears, you may wonder if there could be a problem with your transmission. If so, look for the followings signs that indicate that your automatic transmission fluid's level is getting low and is interfering with your car's ability to shift gears.
Time Delay Is Noticed When Going from Park to Drive or Reverse
When your transmission fluid's level is normal, you probably find that there is not much of a time gap in shifting when you take your car out of park to put it into either drive or reverse. Normally, the gears change so smoothly that you may not even give it much thought.
However, if your fluid level is low, you may notice that there is a delay between the time you take your car out of park and try to put it into gear. After a while, you may also start hearing a whining or grinding noise during this time delay, indicating that the car's transmission is struggling to move its parts due to lack of proper lubrication.
Car Lurches When the Transmission Shifts Gears
Another behavior you may notice from your car indicating that the transmission fluid is getting low can be felt not only when you try to take your car out of park, but also while the automatic transmission tries to shift gears as you speed up when driving. Especially in the lower gears, you may start feeling the car lurch every time it automatically shifts.
As opposed to a manual transmission, your automatic one depends on a balance hydraulic system instead of a clutch to shift gears. To keep the pressure within the system at an optimal level, it is imperative that the fluid level remains constant.
However, if the level becomes too low, there will not be enough pressure within the transmission to shift gears immediately. During the delay in pumping, back pressure will build, creating a hard shift that you will feel as the car lurches. If the fluid level continues to drop, the forceful shifting will damage the hydraulic pumps and the transmission itself.
Even if you refill your transmission's fluid to the right level, you still need to have your transmission checked out since there is most likely a leak somewhere within the transmission. Take your car to a transmission repair shop as soon as possible so they can find the problem and fix it before permanent damage is done to your car.
Reach out to a company like AAA Commercial Transmission for more help.