Transmission In A Used Car: Must Check Before The Purchase

Buying a used car has a lot of benefits and advantages. The interior and the exterior condition of the car have equal importance. The transmission is one of the most vital things to check before you buy a used car. It handles both speed and torque from the engine to the wheels. The transmission transmits power from the engine to the driveshaft. Transmission problems can be bothersome. You will have no reliable transportation when you use a car with transmission issues.

Automatic transmission

There are three main issues you should watch out for when test driving a used car with automatic transmission.

Delayed engagement

If you change from park to drive or park to reverse, a delayed engagement means there is a major problem. The car should respond at once when shifting gears.

Harsh shifting

Try to switch gears to check for this. There should be no clunking or grinding sound when you switch. The car should also not lurch.


This is the most dangerous issue related to transmission. The situation might be worse if your car does not respond when you try to speed up on the highway. To test for this, try to press on the gas. The engine should not make any noise. Be wary if the tachometer climbs but there is no evidence of acceleration. These mean your transmission is slipping.

Manual transmission

Focus on the clutch when you check a car with manual transmission. This is more vital in older or well-worn models. The transmission will start to slip on acceleration if the clutch is nearing the end of its lifespan. It will also produce a burning smell. An old clutch will engage too fast after you depress the pedal.

Continuously-variable transmission or CVT

Recent car models feature continuously-variable transmissions or CVT. There are several signs of a faulty CVT you should keep in mind. Leaks, a jerky engagement, rattling, slipping, and a loud whining noise are only some of the signs.

There are other problems related to transmission aside from the common issues above.

Transmission fluid leaks occur when the seals in the drive shaft become loose. The transmission fluid is too low if your car shifts slower than normal. Fluid leaks also cause frequent gear slippage.

Most torque converter problems are because of worn needle bearings. Damaged needle bearings cause noise. Any brushing or grinding noises will mean something is wrong with the car.

The solenoid can run into problems because of its electronics. When the solenoid malfunctions, you will notice similar symptoms like when your transmission fluid is leaking.

It is always best to have a professional mechanic check the transmission in used cars in Raleigh. Knowing possible transmission problems you may encounter can help you prepare for them. Most transmission problems can affect the functionality of your car. It is crucial to have them looked at and fixed before you use the car.

Lisa Thompson: Lisa is a mechanic with over 20 years of experience. Her blog is filled with practical maintenance tips, DIY tutorials, and advice on keeping your vehicle in top condition.