Most mechanics will name the transmission as one of the most important parts to thoroughly examine when buying a used truck. Transmission repairs tend to be costly and complicated. This is especially the case when it comes to vehicles with automatic transmissions.
When you are considering the purchase of a used truck, you should look carefully into the following factors when inspecting and test driving the vehicle. All of these factors indicate potentially severe transmission issues and should convince a truck shopper to move on to the next option:
Trasmission noise in neutral- Listen carefully to the sounds the truck is making when it is running in neutral. A vehicle in neutral should not be making excessive noise. Noise in neutral is a sign that there are transmission fluid problems or worn out parts that will soon need to be replaced.
A rough ride- If a vehicle seems to ride rough due to grinding, shaking, clunking, or humming, transmission problems are likely. Although a rough ride might indicate only a small problem, it is likely to reveal transmission problems that need to be fixed immediately. This is especially the case with automatic transmissions.
Abnormal transmission fluid- A truck's transmission fluid should be bright red and translucent. It should also have a slightly sweet smell to it. Dark transmission fluid that smells burnt typically indicates underlying transmission problems.
Burning smells- Burning smells either inside or outside of a truck indicate that a vehicle part is overheating. The transmission typically gives off a burnt smell when it is overheating because of dirty fluid or low fluid levels.
Delayed movements- If a vehicle responds slowly to the gas pedal, transmission problems are likely. A car that responds slowly can put drivers and passengers in danger. A slow response because of transmission problems could not only foreshadow an imminent breakdown, but also make a vehicle dangerous to drive.
Surges and jumps- A truck with transmission issues might surge forward or jump when driving for no reason. However, the issue could be quickly remedied with a transmission flush.
Leaking fluid- If the transmission fluid level of a truck is low, it could indicate that there is a leak somewhere. Transmission leaks are typically caused by cracked gaskets, faulty bearings, or warped pan gaskets. More serious yet, leaks could be caused by rust. A used truck buyer, like Auto Max, needs to look into the cause of leaks to evaluate a used vehicle's reliability.
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