One of the hardest parts in your car to make sense of is the transmission. Each transmission can be different. For example, some transmissions come with their own mini-radiator. Also, there are substantial differences between manual and automatic transmissions. If the transmission is not functioning properly, it might shift unexpectedly or make strange noises. 

Start with Common Issues

To find out what is wrong with a transmission, a technician usually starts by looking at obvious issues, such as the transmission fluid. If the transmission fluids are low, the technician will top it off. Also, the transmission might have had the wrong fluid added. The good news is that this issue doesn't require that your transmission be removed and taken apart, which makes the repair easier and less expensive.

Take Apart the Transmission

If none of the more simple explanations are the actual root cause, the transmission will need to be taken apart to identify the cause of the problem. The technician might perform a dipstick test to determine if there is a leak. A blotter test can determine if there is old fluid. If the fluid is dark, this is a sign that it has become too old and will need to be replaced.

Look at Error Codes

A technician will look at the codes generated by a faulty transmission. Some codes will reveal whether or not the transmission is overheating, while other codes will reveal if the transmission has issues with the control module. If the transmission is a used part, one issue might be that it wasn't configured correctly. Other codes can be a sign of a potential problem, such as corrosion.

To be able to look at the error codes, you'll need the right diagnostic equipment. Even if you're not an automotive technician, you can purchase equipment that will allow you to connect your car to a laptop or mobile device and read error codes. However, it might seem unnecessary to purchase equipment that you will not use very often when you can instead outsource the work to a professional.

If you are stumped by your transmission, the best choice is to turn to a transmission repair service. While there are some auto services that handle all problems, the best place to visit is an auto service that specializes in transmissions. While some transmission repairs are expensive, they are necessary in order for your car to work properly.