Car Shift Console - Transmission

Common Transmission Problems

There are a few transmission problems you should be on the lookout for to avoid costly repair, and Duramax offers all of the maintenance services that will keep your vehicle’s transmission in top shape. Different problems can have similar symptoms, so it is important to undertake regular transmission maintenance. Here are some of the most common issues and their symptoms.


Low Fluid or Leak

One of the most common problems are fluid leaks. Fluid leaks occur when the seals around the transmission or driveshaft become defective, causing wear on the transmission. Be on the lookout for bright to dark red or brown fluid leaking from your vehicle. Other symptoms include slipping gears or slow shifting. A fluid leak requires a complete flush and refill, as well as any necessary seal replacements.


Torque Converter

The torque converter is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the transmission. It has a couple components that can become damaged, the needle bearings and the solenoid. Needle bearings help prevent the gears from wearing down. The bearings can become damaged, causing a grinding or brushing sound while the vehicle is in motion and the transmission to overheat. The solenoid assists the torque converter in the flow of fluid through the transmission. A solenoid malfunction has symptoms similar to a fluid leak, with an overheating transmission or slipping gears. If you suspect a leak and there is none, the solenoid is the next thing to check.



The clutch can be a perpetrator of a locked solenoid and torque converter malfunction, and is caused either by human or mechanical error. You’ll notice a clutch problem if it causes violent shaking in the undercarriage and overheating in the transmission. You may also notice a drop in horsepower in the engine. This can require a total clutch replacement.


Having this knowledge and promptly repairing the issues will save you money in the long run.  Make sure your repair shop is reputable and ASE certified.