5 Truck Transmission Problems You Shouldn't Ignore

5 Truck Transmission Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

February 16, 2023

A transmission is the heart of your truck’s drivetrain and it’s important to keep yours in tip-top shape. Even minor problems can become much bigger and more expensive if you ignore them. That’s why it’s crucial to pay attention to your transmission and its symptoms as soon as possible. Below are 5 truck transmission problems that you shouldn’t ignore: 


If your transmission slips, it can pose a serious safety risk for you and other drivers on the road. A slipping transmission may also cause problems with the engine, such as low engine performance or a lack of power. Thankfully, slippage in the gearbox is relatively easy to spot. When it slips, the engine will shift from a low rumble to a high-pitched whine and your RPMs will increase dramatically even when you are driving at a similar speed. If you notice your truck slipping when shifting gears, contact a transmission specialist for an inspection.  

• Burning Odor 

One of the most common warning signs that your transmission is overheating is a burning odor. This can happen due to a number of reasons, including sludge, debris, or component breakdown. Another common cause is a dirty transmission fluid that is not being adequately lubricated. This will lead to intense friction and eventually damage your transmission. If your vehicle’s transmission has a burning odor, you need to have it checked as soon as possible.  

• Low Fluid Level

If you have low transmission fluid, it can cause your vehicle to be slow to shift gears. You may notice a delay between shifting into Drive or Reverse of about 2 to 3 seconds. This is because there’s not enough pressure from the transmission fluid to actuate the gear change. It’s easy to check your transmission fluid level, just pull out your dipstick and make sure it matches the recommended level listed in your owner’s manual. Many vehicles will also have instructions on how to check it, like with the engine running, in Park or Neutral, and with or without the parking brake on. 

• Check Engine Light

Your vehicle’s check engine light is one of several warning lights that illuminate when there are issues with your car or truck. This light is part of your car’s on-board diagnostic system, which uses a wide variety of sensors to detect and report problems with various systems and components. It may come on for a minor issue, such as an ill-fitting gas cap, or it could be an indicator of something much more serious. When the check engine light comes on, it’s best not to take chances and just get your vehicle into the shop as quickly as possible. 

• Clunking Or Groaning Sounds

If you hear your transmission whining or clunking while driving, it’s important to get your truck serviced right away. These sounds can be caused by many different things, but if left unattended, they could lead to serious damage. The most common issue that causes a clunking or groaning sound is a problem with the clutch, which has a very important job in both manual and automatic transmissions. Depending on the severity of this problem, you may need to replace your transmission. In other cases, it’s possible that you simply need to re-lubricate the gears. 

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